*We were recently approached by Bloomington Parent Magazine to write an article that would give parents ideas of what to talk about on date nights other than the kids. We were so happy they asked! Enjoy the tips below!
“Our youngest leaves for college next year. We’ve been so focused on parenting that we’ve lost touch with each other.”
As relationship counselors, this is a common phone call we receive from couples who realize they’re overdue on nurturing their own connection. While it’s wonderful to share the joys and challenges of parenting, an imbalanced emphasis on your kids can detract from your roles as lovers, best friends, and co-adventurers of life!
To create a vibrant, healthy relationship, it’s essential to regularly tend to your love, and there are little things that can make a big difference – like staying up to date with each other’s inner worlds during date nights!
Below, you’ll find some ideas for conversation starters. You’ll notice that these are open-ended questions, different from yes and no questions (ex: “Do you want to stay in or go out to eat?”) or leading questions (ex: “Do you feel happy about…?”) or challenging questions that don’t feel supportive (ex: “Why won’t you just…”).
Another few tips:
(1) When you ask a question, be sure you don’t answer for your mate.
(2) Ask questions with genuine curiosity and heartfelt interest in one another.
(3) Offer empathy and appreciation in response, rather than advice (unless asked for).
(4) If your partner takes longer to respond, relax, breathe, and give them time to process.
(5) If you are typically less verbal, stretch yourself to give descriptive responses (think paragraphs, rather than one-worders or short sentences).
Date Night Discovery Questions:
– What adventures would you love to have?
– How have you grown in the past year?
– What are some goals you have in your life right now?
– What would you love to learn more about?
– What is something you are feeling proud of and why?
– What are your favorite ways to recharge these days?
– How could I best make your day?
– For what are you feeling grateful?
– If you weren’t afraid of anything, what would you do differently in your life right now?
– Is there anything you need support with right now?
– Who would you like to get to know better and why?
– What books and movies are on your list to read and see?
– If you could spend a day in anybody’s life, who would you choose and why?
May your date nights be filled with conversations that keep you connected to what relationships are all about — to enjoy life more fully together!
As always, we are here to help you create the relationship you’ve always wanted (but maybe just didn’t know how to create). Let us know any way we can ever support you, we’re cheering you on and wishing you all the best in every possible way!
Infinite Love and Joy,
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