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14 Date Night Fails That Will Kill The Romance In Your Relationship

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Couples that have been together a long time often try to keep the romance alive with date nights.

But certain details can make or break these intimate get-togethers.

What follows are 14 date night fails that are almost guaranteed to dampen the romance in any relationship:

1. Not being present.

With all the responsibilities the two of you have, it’s likely you both multitask constantly.

This may involve folding laundry while watching TV together in the evening, or planning PTA meetings and scheduling appointments over dinner.

Put. The. Phone. Down.

Date night is for the two of you to spend real quality time together, and you can’t do that if your eyeballs are fixed on a screen.

So unless it’s time to call an Uber to get back home, put your phone away.

2. Only talking about the kids (or work).

Do you know what isn’t conducive to romance?

Talking about little Timmy’s chronic diarrhea, or how Debra from accounting keeps making mistakes on the quarterly reports.

A lot of adult life revolves around responsibility and obligation. But date night is an opportunity to leave all those issues at home (or work) and spend time together as a couple.

Keep this in mind, and keep domestic or work-related chat to a minimum.

3. Lack of planning.

Do you take the time to plan something awesome? Or do you let your partner do all the work?

You may feel like it’s just easier to let your partner do all the planning because they’re “better at it”, but ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed.

Or perhaps you’re both so busy, that neither of you puts the effort into planning, and you turn up at your favorite restaurant only to find it’s closed.

A little prep goes a long way to ensure a smooth and enjoyable evening, rather than a date night disaster.

4. Not putting in much personal effort.

You may be accustomed to the comfortable familiarity of seeing each other in sweatpants, but this is date night.

As such, treat it like the two of you have just started dating and you want to make a great impression.

This doesn’t mean you need to go all-out with a full body wax and new outfit, but at least ensure you’re groomed and well dressed.

You’re with this person because you love them, so make each date night as special as the first to keep the romance going.

5. Arguing.

Quibbling over unimportant details is a great way to ensure the date is ruined.

Arguing over where to park can make the rest of the evening tense and uncomfortable, as can blaming your partner for lateness because they took too long to get ready, and so on.

Arguments tend to spiral, and neither of you will have much fun on a night that was supposed to be enjoyable.

6. Criticism.

Another mood dampener is criticism.

This can range from offhand remarks about your partner’s clothes, to critical comments about their food choices.

For example, suggesting a salad instead of a burger is a Very Bad Idea, especially if you know they’re already sensitive about weight gain.

Not only is this immensely disrespectful, but it’ll make them feel like you’re policing their food intake because you aren’t sufficiently attracted to them as they are.

7. One-sided activities.

When it comes to planning a date night, ensure it’s something both of you are keen on doing, rather than an activity that only one of you will enjoy.

If your partner loves to watch sports but you prefer the arts, planning a romantic date at the museum isn’t likely to spark joy for them. And vice versa.

Find a middle ground where your interests intersect, and make those a priority.

Additionally, plan alternating dates that each other will enjoy. You can hopefully drum up enthusiasm to see a baseball game if you know your partner will take you to an art gallery opening the following week.

8. Unwelcome surprises.

One of the only things that’s worse than finding out that date night will involve an activity you despise, is being surprised by said activity.

First and foremost, not everyone is into surprises. They’re great for those who enjoy them, and excruciatingly uncomfortable for those who don’t.

Similarly, if you aren’t fully aware of your partner’s preferences, an unwanted surprise will be awful for both of you. They’ll feel obligated to express appreciation for something they hate, and you’ll feel like a failure for having put time and effort into something “wrong”.

9. Lack of engagement.

We get it, you’re tired and drained from the stresses of everyday adulting, but date night is about rekindling the spark between you.

This can’t happen if you’re distracted, offering one-word responses, or are so checked out that you aren’t paying attention to them at all.

If you don’t feel up to going on a date because you’re tired or irritable, cancel it. That’s far more decent than behaving like you’re there out of obligation rather than desire.

10. Being overly frugal.

It’s admirable to stick to a household budget, but date night is a chance to splurge on one another.

Surprise each other with little gifts, order the steak or lobster, maybe get a bottle of champagne or a fancy hotel room if you’re fortunate to have the means.

Penny-pinching isn’t an attractive trait, especially if your partner feels constrained in what they’re allowed to do.

Getting upset with them for ordering an “unnecessary” appetizer instead of a two-dollar salad isn’t conducive to a romantic interlude later. It just tells them they aren’t worth spending money on.

11. Overindulging.

On the other hand, try not to gorge.

There’s a huge leap between skimping on small pleasures and turning date night into a Dionysian gluttony session.

Overindulgence in food and drink can make you physically ill, which will undoubtedly put a damper on any possibility of romance later in the evening.

And drinking to excess may lead to inappropriate comments or behavior that could cause lasting damage to your relationship.

12. Turning the date into a venting session.

Partners and spouses get used to complaining about anything and everything with one another, but date night isn’t the time or place for kvetching.

And it’s definitely not the opportunity to bring up past grievances.

If the two of you are out together to rekindle the romance, it’s not a good idea to mention something they did three years ago that upset you.

Leave the past in the past, and focus on making the present memorable for all the right reasons.

13. Rushing through the date.

The two of you planned this date night ages ago. Your spouse has been looking forward to it. The sitter is booked, and the time is fast approaching…

But there’s also a special live event on TV that night that you don’t want to miss. In fact, a bunch of your friends are getting together to watch it and have invited you along. If you finish date night early, you could catch some of it with your friends, right?

This is where you need to stop and ask yourself what’s more important. Spending quality time with the one you love, or hoovering down the obligatory dinner so you can get to your friends and personal entertainment?

Think about how this will look to your partner, and what message it sends to them. If you still choose the latter, you’ve got bigger problems than just one date night fail on your hands.

14. Cancelling because it’s too much bother.

Let’s say date night rolls around and you realize you have absolutely zero interest in doing this thing. It’s not that you’re too tired, or that you have something better to do. There just isn’t a cell in your body that wants to go on a date with this person.

This is a massive clue that something needs to change. ASAP.

If you feel spending quality time together is an obligation you just don’t have the “spoons” for, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship or book couples therapy to get to the root of the issue.

Remember why you chose to be with this person and think about all the amazing, fun dates you could go on together.

If your partner is truly important to you, you need to make those dates happen.

About The Author

Catherine Winter is an herbalist, INTJ empath, narcissistic abuse survivor, and PTSD warrior currently based in Quebec's Laurentian mountains. In an informal role as confidant and guide, Catherine has helped countless people work through difficult times in their lives and relationships, including divorce, ageing and death journeys, grief, abuse, and trauma recovery, as they navigate their individual paths towards healing and personal peace.