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Build a Better Date Night

The Active Answer continued...

Dating can be complex for couples like this, as they anticipate an empty house — and a kid-less social calendar. Even people with common interests, like these two, need to expand their dating repertoire, says Aron. He advised them to explore more in the fitness realm. They already enjoy it, and his research shows that couples typically find shared physical activity one of the best ways to bond. Aron actually persuaded spouses to Velcro themselves together and crawl across gym mats — and found that it made them feel more in love than they had before this unusual exercise.

"It's really important that they pick something they're both new to," he says — maybe a swing-dance class or snowshoeing. But they shouldn't worry that every activity has to be a perfect fit, says Schwartz. "Think of yourself as an anthropologist doing research, and remember, if you don't like it, you don't have to try it again," she says. Plus, even a bad date can be a good bonding experience and provide a couple with a shared memory to laugh about later.

After looking at their options, Camille and Kent tried a fitness yoga class at their health club: She had taken a few classes in the past but was still a novice, and he had always been interested in giving it a go.

The verdict: Mixed reviews but headed in the right direction

Her take: "I was surprised Kent was game to try this, but it was really great. The instructor asked us to do some tough poses, and Kent kept shooting me a look like, 'Are you kidding me?' On the one hand, I worried that he wasn't enjoying it that much. On the other, it was funny — and it really felt good to do something besides going out to dinner, especially something physical and healthy. So this inspired us: We're going to do a few sessions with a trainer next."

His take: "Honestly, is this a better date than going out for dinner and sharing a bottle of wine? No way. But that said, it was OK, and I would try it again. I'm looking forward to the training sessions. I'm a treadmill guy, so it'll be good to add weights — and fun to do it with my wife."

 

Originally published on January 15, 2009

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