But while staying in isn't always bad, there are good reasons to run a comb through our hair and put on our best threads and not just because we have new outfits we want to try out. New research shows that keeping up a "date night" can be incredibly powerful for maintaining a romance long-term. The science of sustaining the spark: It comes down to growing with each other through new experiences.
Scientists aimed to measure self-expansion, or "the integration of the qualities and characteristics of the partner into oneself," according to the abstract. Self-expansion creates a sense of "group identity," a team-of-two dynamic between a couple. The participants rated statements about their relationship like, "Your relationship with your partner is the source of new experiences," and, "Being with your partner expands your sense of who you are.
Couples who had been together longer generally had lower group identity, since, the study says, we stop trying new things the longer we date. But there were exceptions: Those couples who kept squeezing in new experiences reported more attraction and sensual love than those who felt like their partners didn't help them grow anymore.
Explosive dont never stop dating your wife pron videos
Quality of dates matter: You don't grow much or learn much about each other by binge-watching TV in mutual silence. A study published in Personal Relationships found that spending time on shared activities helped sustain and improve relationships, but only when couples went on mutually satisfying dates as opposed to one person being dragged to see Birdman when all they want to do is hit two-for-one taco night.
Even just one novel seven-minute experience can boost overall relationship quality, another study found. Danica, 26, has noticed how incorporating a weekly date night into her eight-year relationship has been a source of rejuvenation.
Pajamas are comfy, and staying in has its benefits. But that feeling of being a sexy, grown-up couple out on the town can get lost in the day-to-day.
You forget about things like talking as grown ups, flirting with each other New dates can pull us out of the monotony.
For couples who slot in challenging and interesting experiences between Netflix binges and homemade meals, things may continue improving in the long haul.
The best couples may be the ones who never stop dating. The urge to stay in and don sweatpants is strong.
Related stories by this author. Major takeaways in the wake of the midterm elections. Gun control lost in Florida on Election Night, but student activists vow to fight on.
Celebrities went all-in for the midterm elections — but did their candidates win? The Senate would have flipped to Democrats if only people under 44 had voted.