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Why novelty is the most important factor to a great date night

Posted at 2:56 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 16:56:32-04

There is something to be said about the comfort that comes from predictable patterns of behavior, especially when it comes to the comfort of a stable relationship.  Date Night, however, should be anything but predictable.

Relationship expert Laura Heck explains the science behind novelty while dating your spouse and why it's so important. According to her, if couples want to get the most out of their habitual date nights, do anything but the expected dinner and a movie. A growing body of research suggests that novelty actually alters brain chemistry.  Novelty has been found to create more lasting memories, fan the flames of romance and keep you coming back for more..and more..and more. Laura also explains that novelty does the following:

Creates lasting memories 

The brain is built to ignore the old and focus on the new. While familiarity and predictability may be comfortable in a relationship, it tends to blur into a foggy haze of sameness.  The brain is constantly seeking novelty.  Novelty is probably one of the most powerful signals to determine what we pay attention to in the world.   Psychologists have known for some time that if we experience a novel situation within a familiar context, we will more easily store this event in memory.  The key to making lasting memories with your partner is to make your intentional moments together extraordinary.

Fans the flames of romance

The experience of shared novelty can rekindle the spark of romance. Creating opportunities to share novel moments together can recreate the dopamine surges the characterize the relationship when everything was once new, exciting and unknown.  One study looked at the impact of weekly date nights over the course of 10 weeks.  One group played it safe and familiar for their weekly date nights while the other group attended to activities that were largely unknown and exciting to them.  Couples in the "exciting" date-night group experienced significantly higher levels of marital satisfaction than those who played it safe on their date nights.

May cause addition to dating your partner 

Novelty effects the dopamine center of the brain which most people associate with pleasure, but it is actually more accurately described as the "gimme more" center.  To put into context, relationships that incorporate regular opportunities for novelty are establishing a healthy relationship addiction that keeps them coming back for more..and more..and more.

One date night idea that is novel for sure is the Utah Date Night coming up on April 27 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. You can get more information at