10 Ways Double Dating Helps Your Relationship
Looking for ways to strengthen your bond or break out of your usual routine? Here are 10 reasons why inviting another couple to join you on your next date ups the romance factor in your relationship.
hen it comes to getting closer with your mate, your first thought might be that you need to start scheduling more alone time together — but a one-on-one candlelit dinner for two is not always the best recipe for reigniting that spark. In fact, going on a double date with another couple could be just the
thing to help you see your partner in a new light (or keep a new relationship from getting stale). "Double dating adds a level of social excitement to the mix," says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of igniteyourpleasure.com. "It can be a powerful aphrodisiac and a great way to shake up your dating routine."
|When we're in social situations, different aspects of our personalities emerge.|
Read on for the 10 reasons why going on a double date just might be the best thing you've ever done for your relationship:
1) It allows you to see your partner from someone else's perspective
Sometimes it takes another couple to remind your how amazing your other half is — whether it's a special talent he or she has or just a knack for ordering a fantastic bottle of wine. "I tend to forget what a great storyteller my wife is," says Joe*, 42, of Brooklyn, NY. "At home, we talk about things like the electric bill and the kids' homework. But when we were out to dinner with another couple recently, I saw that they were [held] rapt by her every word. It made me remember that this was part of the reason I fell for her in the first place." Levine explains: "When we're in social situations, different aspects of our personalities emerge — and that can be sexy!"
2) You tend to dress up more than you usually would
When the two of you go out, a t-shirt and jeans may be fine for the movies, but when you double date with another couple, you tend to take things up a notch — and making that extra effort when it comes to your appearance can be very attractive. "I have to admit, it's so easy to get into just throwing on my gray sweatpants, even on a Saturday night," agrees Joe. "We went to the theater with our friends the other night and when we got home, my wife practically jumped me. I think it had something to do with the suit I was wearing."
3) What's old is suddenly new again
You may have heard that story about your guy and his college friends getting arrested on a scavenger hunt a million times, while he can repeat the story about the time you cut Chris Noth off in line at Whole Foods verbatim. But when you're on a double date, those same old stories suddenly become hilarious anecdotes because the other couple hasn't heard them yet. Instead of rolling your eyes or checking your cell phone, suddenly, you're laughing and finishing each other's sentences.
"I talk to a lot of couples who are dealing with some kind of relationship boredom and they even find date night kind of boring," says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a sex and relationships counselor and the author of Sex Recharge: A Rejuvenation Plan for Couples and Singles. "Whether you're meeting old friends that you have a great rapport with or going out for the first time with new friends, I think it brings newness and novelty and stimulation into a relationship," says Kerner.
4) A little flirtation can be good for you
A little fun, harmless banter between couples never hurt anyone. In fact, it can make you just the right amount of jealous and territorial instead. When you go on a double date, seeing that someone else finds your partner to be witty, charming — and yes, even sexy — can go a long way toward sparking new interest in your mate.
"As long as you're comfortable in your relationship and you're with a couple who's comfortable in their relationship, I think that kind of energy can be contained and can be constructive," says Kerner. "But if you're looking to go out with a couple because you find the guy or gal intensely attractive and you have fantasies about having sex with that person or being in a relationship with that person, then maybe don't go down that road," he warns.
5) It brings up your shared history
When you're double dating, you tend to tell stories about your shared experiences together. So even if you were sparring over whose turn it is to clean the toilet just before you left the house, when you're talking to your friends, you'll most likely find that you present a united front — whether it's about politics, favorite vacation spots or what kind of toppings to get on the pizza for dinner.
"I work with a lot of couples who are having problems in their relationships, and sometimes, the best thing they can do is go on a double date," says Kerner. "Sometimes you need a break from dealing directly with each other." So instead of going head-to-head, call up those new neighbors and plan an outing instead. You might realize that you and your partner agree on more things than you think!
6) It breaks up your usual date-night routine
When you and your partner go out, you've got your old standbys: maybe it's a favorite brunch place, familiar movie theater or a diner where the waitress knows your usual drink order. But when you venture
out with another couple, you tend to shake things up. "Often, when we first start dating someone, we plan dates that can wow the other person. Then, once a couple is together for awhile, the creativity tends to subside," says Levine.
|You don't need to choose a perfect couple to go on a double date with…|
Stephanie, 45, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada recently went on a double date that was definitely out of the ordinary. "We planned a food fight for no better reason than because we could," she says. "It was outside on a hot summer day; we wore old clothes, used the hoses and had a laughing, screaming, howling good time. It was great to see my straight-laced, serious man completely succumb to the silliness, playfulness and messiness of this event. It was a date none of us will ever forget!"
7) It can help a new couple start creating a history of their own
Double dates can certainly put the spark back in a long-term relationship, but did you know that they can also help solidify a new one? "I'd been dating a girl for two months and went on a double date with a couple that she knew," says Wayne, 23, of Lawrence, KS. "The date lasted almost 12 hours, including brunch, a baseball game, pool time and a late-night dinner. We've joked about that day ever since, because it was really fun. And it really made me appreciate her even more, seeing how positively we interacted with the other couple."
8) It reminds you of the reasons you chose each other in the first place
When you're double dating, it can remind you of all the reasons why you chose each other to begin with. Recently, my husband and I went out on a date with another couple to a comedy show. They were laughing their heads off, but my husband and I just didn't find it funny. It reminded us that we shared not only the same address, but also the same sense of humor. A few weeks later we found ourselves at a Def Leppard concert, standing up, pumping our fists and singing every word at the top of our lungs. It was something our favorite double daters would have never done themselves — and once again, it reinforced our choice to be together was the right one.
9) It can help you get through some rocky times
Double dating is great during happy times, but it can also help to bond a couple when they're faced with life's challenges. Andra, 30, of Denver, CO found herself drifting away from her relationship when she started law school; double dating helped her refocus. "My husband and I have been together for 10 years and married for eight. During rocky times or big transitions, we found that going out with other happy couples — our best friends — made us happier, more appreciative of each other, calmer and more understanding," she recalls. "Being in the company of another couple also shows you that you are not the only couple struggling with daily routines."
10) The other couple can inspire you in unexpected ways
You don't need to choose a perfect couple to go on a double date with; just find a pair with whom you can have some fun and feel comfortable around, says Kerner. After all, their loving attitude toward each other might rub off on the two of you — or you could learn something from their particular style of problem-solving or way of looking at the world that benefits your own relationship.
Remember, double dating is an opportunity to expand your horizons and bring newness and novelty into your relationship, regardless of how long you've been together. So call up and make some reservations, hit a tourist site in your own hometown, or tie on those bowling shoes — and get out there!
*Name changed to protect this person's privacy.
Ronnie Koenig is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Visit her online at www.ronniekoenig.com.