Love & Relationship

Do You Have Time for a Date?


Here is my speed tour through the bottom floors of the Sound Relationship House.  

Continuously learn who your partner is.  

Show them that you know who they are.  

Tell them, often and with specificity, why you like and appreciate them.

To make a relationship thrive, you need to be continuously working through these levels.  I can hear your objections through my laptop screen.  You don’t have time to make a dentist appointment. How on earth can you schedule all that in?


The Micro-Date

Here’s my secret.  Schedule at least a micro-date every week.  What is that?  A micro-date is at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted time with your partner when the goal is to strengthen your connection.

  • At least 10 minutes = It could be longer, but shorter isn’t ideal.
  • Uninterrupted = No cell phones.  No kids.  No multitasking.
  • The goal is to strengthen your relationship = This isn’t the time when you work through conflicts or figure out logistics.  This is time for building Love Maps, sharing fondness and admiration, and turning toward one another.  Explore something together.  Laugh.  Ask your partner questions.  Listen intently and with curiosity.  Tell them what you appreciate about them. 

Date Ideas Depending on Time

So, how much time do you have for a date? Here are some ideas based on whether you’re squeezing in a micro-date or you have all day.  

10-minute dates

  • Walk around your neighborhood
  • Sit on your bed and listen to music
  • Hold hands, look at each other and ask open-ended questions
  • Have a snack and tell your partner what is important in your life right now
  • Backrub swap
  • Have a quick dance party in your kitchen

Hour-long dates

  • Cook or bake a new recipe
  • Exercise
  • Read aloud a magazine, newspaper, book (or listen to a podcast or audio book) and discuss
  • Look through old photos
  • Talk about how you first met and your early dates with one another
  • Play a board game or work on a puzzle

Date Night (a couple of hours)

  • Dinner and a movie (at home with take-out or at a drive-in)
  • Drive to a spot which has a good view of the night sky
  • Take an online class
  • Create a gratitude list: can you come up with 50 things you are grateful for?
  • Spend time on a joint hobby or an enjoyable house DIY project
  • Create a list of what you want to do together in the next 5 years

Day Date

  • Brunch and a hike
  • Visit a local landmark or do a virtual tour of a museum anywhere in the world
  • Explore a nearby town
  • Go to a local festival / farmers market / craft fair
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Go fruit picking

So, when’s your next date?

More than 1 million monthly readers look to The Gottman Relationship Blog for proven advice from mental health professionals to build happy and lasting relationships. Subscribe below to receive our blog articles in your inbox every week.


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