As a serial dater, for the best part of two years I averaged 2 dates a week. And in busy times it was as much as 3 dates a day!
Yes, I was writing a dating blog, and treating dating more like a hobby than a way to find a boyfriend, but it was a lot of fun. I met a whole range of people I’d have never come across beforehand, and made genuine friends. I still giggle when I’m asked how I know certain male friends, and have to admit it was because of Tinder or a blind date.
Regular dates can teach you a lot – about other people and about yourself. They make you more comfortable and confident with the whole dating game, and can help you work out what you find attractive (and don’t find so attractive) in a match.
Now I’m no longer single, date nights are very different. Because they are always with the same person! But they are just as important.
A few days ago I was chatting with friends, both of whom are in long-term relationships. They’ve both lived with their partners for a number of years, and it was interesting how both of them commented how little they see of their other-halves. The longer you live with someone, the easier it can be to take them for granted. Yes, you live together. But how much time do you actually spend together? One of the first questions asked them (because, come on, of course I’m going to ask it …) is if they still go on date nights.
Both my friends said no. And neither friend could remember the last ‘date’ they’d gone on with their boyfriends.
The longer someone is in your life, the easier it is to take their presence for granted. And I know from countless conversations with friends, that in general, the longer you’re in a relationship, the less sex you end up having! We all transition from honeymoon periods to everyday life eventually. But just because your relationship is longterm and an everyday reality, doesn’t mean you have to forgo date nights.
Block out a regular night in your diary. Book in things you’ve been saying you wanted to do for ages, or simply agree to spend the evening with your phones turned off, properly chatting over dinner. Take the opportunity to explore the city you live in. Take it in turns to plan surprises for one another.
Date night means different things for different people. For me and the Rugby Boy, it means alternating taking responsibility for a date, one night a week. We don’t do it on a specific night, we just make sure we have one night a week spent with eachother properly. Not just an hour before bedtime, or a rushed shared meal at 10pm, but an actual evening activity. And yes, we may still be in our honeymoon period … but it’s a tradition I plan to stick to. Because it means we both take time in our busy weeks for eachother. And that time is important.
So if you’re in a relationship and you can’t remember the last time you went on a date, book out your other half for the evening. Need some ideas? 30 Dates is full of them! Check out some of the weekly London Date Ideas, if you’re based in the capital. Or have a think about things you’ve been wanting to do for a while.