The Date Night Manifesto provides a practical guide to creating a great Date Night. It’s based on many of my Date Nights and those of numerous couples who shared their experiences with me. It’s a fun read and you’ll see that I learnt most from those Dates that flopped! And rest assured, the Manifesto’s Principles are anchored in science and psychological theory.
Why should couples strive to make the time for date nights?
In these modern times, we are more demanding about fulfilling our relationship needs than ever before. A lack of romance by either party can easily lead to a broken partnership, be it marriage or otherwise. Using the Date Night Manifesto will reinforce the romance in the relationship. It will focus you on the positive, on each other, having fun and crucially putting aside—if just for a few hours—the distractions of parenting, household needs and decision making.
Why is it important to continue to learn new things about one another even if you have been together for a while?
It’s easy to assume, when you’ve been together for a while, that there’s little more to learn. But you’d be wrong; we are continually evolving as people, and we all engage with the world in an individual way. The pay-off, from learning more about each other, is that you’ll connect on a deeper level. Also, curiosity is highly flattering; Casanova was quoted as saying ‘Love is three-quarters curiosity’. So showing interest in your spouse or partner, even when you’ve been together for what feels like a lifetime, can reap enormous rewards in the realm of romance.
What is your favourite date night with your partner?
My go-to Date Night would involve an intimate bar and a glass of bubbly to celebrate something positive about the day. Then moving on to a restaurant with cosy tables, soft lighting and a warm atmosphere. And charming each other with conversation that is far from domestic or boring! Then finally sharing a dessert (preferably something involving chocolate). It would be like one of those evenings you had when you were first dating, before you moved-in, got hitched or had those adorable mini-mes.
Can you give us some insight into the 16 principles for the manifesto?
Each of the Manifesto’s 16 Principles represent a building block towards a successful Date. They are based on common sense and practical experience, combined with psychological theory and scientific evidence. Not all Principles are created equal—there are two underpinning Principles, which are fundamental to the success of the evening. These are Principle 6 – Hang off Their Every Word and Principle 12 – Negativity No-Nos. Believe me, both of these are vital ‘secret attendants’ on your Date. Without them along for the ride, I doubt you’ll be discovering much in the way of romance!
How can date nights increase the fun in a relationship and build a stronger bond?
Using the Date Night Manifesto will take you out of your domestic-rut. It encourages you to employ your sense of humour and to lighten up, even when you’ve got work or household pressures. Whilst it’s easy to take the relationship, and each other for granted, the Manifesto asks that you bring your best self out on a Date with your partner or spouse. Observing the Date Night Manifesto can set you up for many years of romance, helping you to enhance the essential elements of your attraction and commitment to each other. You’ll be injecting some sparkle back into your usual routine and making a regular investment in the future of your relationship.
How long have you been a romantic?
I remember being captivated, as a child, by the stories of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Whilst a romantic, I’m keenly aware that relationships are fragile. Call it an occupation hazard. Even if you’re not a psychologist, you’ll know ill-fated marriages and partnerships. So we need to get ‘real’ and practical when it comes to keeping romance in our lives.
Being a psychologist, have you always enjoyed observing people and the way they tick?
Ever since I was at kindergarten, I can remember pondering people’s behaviours. I’m lucky to have found a profession, being a psychologist, which matches what I instinctively do.
What is next for you?
I’m doing research with City University on how romance in established relationships is socially constructed. And in the evenings, I seek out restaurants that are ideal for Date Night. You can find my top picks— my gold list—at http://datenightmanifesto.com/table-for-two/