If communication in your relationship is lacking it becomes a challenge to have a great relationship. When relationships fall apart communication can usually be pinpointed as a cause. Strong relationships and marriages usually have solid communication as a foundation.
An important part of successful relationships
I am a huge proponent of having regular date nights not just in the dating phase, but throughout marriage. It has been a challenge for my wife and I to be consistent through our marriage; however, we have recently been on it.
While we used to get a handful of dates for the year, over the past 1-2 months we have only missed one (weekly) date night. We only missed it because we were in the middle of moving to a new house.
Date Night should be deeper than the activity
Even in being more consistent it can still be challenging to come up with date night ideas. In a conversation with our marriage mentors, they said something very interesting. Many of the dates we have do not foster a good environment for communication. There may be activities, but not really the opportunity to have intimate conversation.
We go to dinner and a movie. At dinner we have some opportunity to talk, but the movie we have to be quiet. We attend an event. Time together, but not ideal for intimate conversation. We go out with friends. That is fun, but the deep conversations may be limited. We go on a shopping trip. Fun, especially for the women, but void of deep conversations.
Dating should deepen your relationship
Our mentors went on to say having dates in which they were able to have long, intimate conversations became the foundation of their communication in marriage. It has lead to a deep friendship. They are able to talk to one another about any and everything because they have done so for years. Activities and stuff has not filled their time together. What we may find boring, they found essential.
As I thought about this, it had me thinking. What types of dates are best for having these deep conversations. I learned they don’t have to be complicated, but they also don’t have to be boring. Below I listed several.
Top 10 Date Ideas to Improve Communication in Your Relationship
- A walk in the park. Take a walk with your spouse in a scenic area. If you live in the city with limited nature, then walk and talk in your neighborhood. Make sure you hold hands.
- A patio date. Put the kids to bed, or lock them inside the house. Yes, inside! Go out to your patio with lemonade, or your favorite drink, and strike up a conversation. Talk about your past, your present, and your future.
- Random chat from a hat. Put a variety of conversation topics in a hat. When you are on your date, pull out one of the topics and talk about it. Don’t allow the kids to come up in conversation, the bills, work, or anything else. Talk exclusively about that topic. (This can be used to facilitate conversations for any of the above or below date ideas)
- Late night coffee shop date. Coffee shops like Starbucks are full of people during the day. However, late at night before closing it can be very quiet. Find the hours of coffee shops near you, and stop by the last 45-60 minutes prior to closing. Grab a warm drink and chat away.
- Ice cream date. If you have an ice cream shop within walking distance take advantage! Walk, holding hands, to the shop and grab some ice cream. Sit outside and talk while eating and talking. Don’t sit inside if possible. Get outside. Then enjoy your walk, and talk, back home.
- Visit the art museum. The art museum is a quiet place. It is not “library quiet” where talking is discouraged, but it is quiet and intimate. Whether you are into art or not. Whether you know a lot or a little about art. Go check out some pieces and discuss them. You’ll learn a lot about one another when you do.
- Double dutch bike riding. Remember the old school double dutch bikes? My grandfather used to have one, and I wonder if he and my grandmother ever had a “bike date.” Take a light bike ride. Although you will be active you can still enjoy a good conversation. If you don’t own one, rent one at a bike shop.
- Star gazing. Similar to the patio date, lock the kids inside if they are home with you and go outside. Lay in the grass, look up at the stars, and talk. Just like the art museum some interesting and perhaps revealing conversations will take place. You could also drive to an open area where you can see the stars, get out and sit on the hood and talk. That is old school.
- Paint something. Paint a room in your house, just the two of you. Paint a painting. You will be forced to talk. And then you’ll have something, the finished painting, which reminds you of the conversation you had when you worked on it.
- Create a scrapbook. Find some old pics, some new pics, scrap booking supplies, and a room alone. Talk and create a book that you’ll remember and love to share later on.
I encourage you to date, but don’t just have dates filled with activities and distractions. Have dates that are intentional about growing your relationship. Great communication is the key to that. Relationships built on solid communication are relationships that will thrive in all circumstances.
BMWK family — Do you have deep conversations with your spouse? In addition to the ways above, how can you improve the communication in your relationship? Please share in the comment section below.
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