Your bathing suit is packed away and your summer vacation is long gone, but the passion that comes with summer love doesn't have to end. Whether you're headed out for a first date, or have been married for years, these fall date ideas are the perfect way to celebrate the seasonal weather and get that lovin' feeling. That's because each one of these date ideas is supported by science (nerd alert!).
As a couples therapist and dating coach, I help couples increase their relationship satisfaction by implementing a more strategic dating life. Capitalizing on love research to get the most out of your date night is a surefire way to have a hot and thriving love life. So, if you need more romance in your relationship and are stumped on finding new activities, try one of these seasonal date ideas.
1) Leaf Peeping
Ogle the bright red, yellow, and orange leaves as you stroll hand in hand through a local park, or better yet, go on a hike that gets you out of the city and into nature. Exercise and exploring the unknown activates the pleasure system in your brain and releases dopamine, the chemical that gives makes you feel good and exhilarated.
2) Apple Picking
Pick a sunshiny beautiful day to frolic in the orchards together, canoodle behind a tree, and help each other reach the highest bunches. Plus, sunlight makes you happy, so soak it up before you go into winter hibernation mode.
3) Pumpkin Carving
You may be too old to go trick or treating, but you're never too old to carve a pumpkin! Enjoy a little flirtatious competition: whoever creates the best pumpkin masterpiece wins something (wink wink)! Plus, being creative allows you to relax, and activates parts of the brain associated with emotional responses and the release of dopamine.
4) Haunted House
Boo! Jump into each other's arms as you're startled and reap the benefits — surprise activates the reward center in your brain. Going on a date with an element of surprise, risk and excitement can help you rekindle the romance.
5) Corn Maze
This is the perfect opportunity for teamwork! Does your partner listen to your ideas, get angry when you wind up in a dead end, or praise you for your great sense of direction? Negative communication patterns, such as criticism or defensiveness have been shown to lead to breakups and divorce, so make sure you support each other.
6) Cozy Picnic
Bust out the basket and plaid blanket! Just make sure to touch or snuggle up as you enjoy your wine and cheese. Physical touch is not only a popular love language, but it's also a way we communicate our emotions, such as love, gratitude and happiness.
7) Halloween Costume Shopping
Head to a costume shop or thrift store and laugh together as you try on some whacky outfits. Laughing and smiling cause the brain to release dopamine, making you feel happy. Plus, eHamony found that a sense of humor is the most desirable quality in a partner, so let lose and reconnect. You may just feel the same spark that initially attracted you to each other.
Ultimately, boredom is the silent relationship killer. Prioritize your partner, date your mate and take advantage of all of the fun activities the fall season has to offer. There are so many creative ways to boost connection, intimacy and happiness in your relationship. Just remember you have to mix things up to (pumpkin) spice things up!
Download Samantha's FREE ebook on the secret ingredients to cook up a happy love life!