31 Days of Movement: New and Different

Friday's post was about improving our sex life with exercise. I want to talk here about date night (or date day, or date 20 minutes, or what the heck date nookie). 

Tara Parker-Pope reports that doing something new and different will enhance the romance in a relationship. Parker-Pope writes, “New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner. ...Several experiments show that novelty — simply doing new things together as a couple — may help bring the butterflies back, recreating the chemical surges of early courtship.”

Doing something active and different with your sweetie is a win/win/win. The romance goes up. Both of you are primed for sex. The sex itself is more satisfying. 

It’s also not a huge investment in time or energy. Go for a twenty minute run together, slip into the shower, get busy. Sweet. 

If you often run together, simply go to a new place to run every now and then. 

If running isn’t happening, go to the gym together. When my kids were little and money was particularly tight, it was a big deal to get a babysitter and go out. I joined a cheap gym that had free childcare (we totally got what we paid for, too). A couple of times “date night” was dropping the kids in daycare and working out on weights together. We were out of the house (win!), together-ish (win!) and not taking care of the kids (score!). It counted as a date.

If you’ve been going to the gym together for a while, amp up the novelty factor by trying a new class format at the gym. Look up on your phone some new exercises and try those together. If you belong to a gym that has multiple locations, go to a new location. 

If neither running nor the gym is your thing, go for a walk together. It won’t amp up your heartbeat and prep you both for sex in quite the same way; however, it’s great for intimacy and can still stimulate the novelty response.

In the spring, I often ask my husband to walk the dog with me, and a few times a month, he says yes. We look for beavers swimming in the river or acequias. We sometimes talk work or family or politics. Last summer we drove to a neighborhood not too far from home but a place we hadn’t been before. We talked about the houses and the neighborhood. It was stimulating to be some place new and it made going out for a walk together a bit more fun. 

My husband and I have been on hiking dates and climbing dates. In Albuquerque, there’s a parkour gym and a big trampoline gym for the agile and adventurous. Competition also amps us up for sex, so try something like Paintball. Beware that if your activity is too active, there’s probably not going to be any post-workout nookie. A full day of skiing is really fun, but it may be the next morning before either of you is ready to take a roll in the hay. That’s okay. You can give each other a massage or soak in a hot tub together. You’ll be ready for action soon enough.

Get playful together. There’s miniature golf or bowling or archery. Admit it, you haven’t done those things in years. 

Go dancing! Try a dance class or sign up for a series of classes to learn tango, swing, or other partner dancing styles.

Take a walking tour. There’s an Old Town Ghost Tour in Albuquerque, for instance. It’s a night time thing, so maybe put it on your calendar now for May. Really, it will be fun to flip to May and have this great idea for date night ready for you. 

Grab your sweetie and do something besides dinner-and-a-movie.