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Date Night Surprises for Couples in a Rut

If your idea of date night has boiled down to dinner and a movie, your relationship may need a shot of adrenaline. Try these 6 injections

Date Night Surprises for couples in a rut (John Fedele/Getty Images)

Double date with another couple for a change. — John Fedele/Getty Images

En español | If your idea of a date night has devolved to dinner and a movie, your relationship may need a shot of adrenaline. 

Many long-term couples need to break out of old habits, a fact proven a few years back when a group of psychologists gave couples in trouble three types of treatment: therapy, doing activities they enjoyed together, and learning new activities and projects. Their observations showed that new activities and projects benefited every couple best.

With that social-science precedent as my guide, I offer a few ideas to shake things up on your next date night. If your partner is the type who likes surprises, feel free to spring them on him or her; if not, it may be wise to announce them in advance.

1. Take time to tango

Whether you’re learning it, doing it or watching it, the tango is a sexy dance. Think about it: Your bodies are erect and close, your legs intertwined — and skirts may be slit to the thigh. Check local dance studios or even a YMCA for lessons. If you have two left feet, however, or tend to step on your partner’s, you might go watch other couples tango, waltz or fox-trot instead.

2. Rub someone the right way

Arrange for a couples massage at home, and “Date Night Reimagined” can mean not even going out. There’s something about the scene, the scent, the act of naked bodies being touched that makes a couples massage sexy. If this isn’t an option for you price-wise or space-wise, visit a massage school that’s open at night, or find a spa that stays open late.

3. Jazz things up

If you never met a rock song you didn’t like, switch music genres for a night. Visit a jazz club, perhaps, for its sultry low lights and mournful horns. And if jazz is already your normal bag, try something else, natch: Irish ballads, reggae, even choral music can be a nice switch. Exploring a new flavor of music may not be a runaway hit for both of you, but it’s bound to spark your ears — and perhaps your lips — the first time you try it.

4. Heads up!

If you live near a planetarium, there may be a heavenly body in your future. There’s something magical about watching (and learning about) the planets and stars we live beneath. No planetarium nearby? How about a university? There’s a good chance it will offer a star-studded lecture you can attend. Or go outside on a cool fall night and snuggle together under a blanket as you study the night sky.

5. Encourage animal magnetism

If your town or city has a zoo, it may hold a “zoo night” at least once a year. It’s a great time to go: The animals are up and the crowds are down. Some zoos tack on concerts, or offer special behind-the-scenes visits to “friends of” groups. All this may make you the pride of your special friend.

6. Go local

Get out of your own bedroom and steal away for an evening at a local hotel or motel. Even inexpensive digs often boast a pool and spa, where you can swim, steam and feel like you’ve taken a mini-vacation. Besides, sex is often sexier when it’s not in the same old place.

Pepper Schwartz answers your sex, relationships and dating questions in her blog.

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