Over time, couples can easily develop routines that become ruts and it seems like romance goes out the window.
Partner #1: “What do you want to do?”
Partner #2: “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?”
Then they end up doing pretty much the same thing they have done before.
Couples can also fall into “compromise ruts,” where each gives up what they really want to do in order to find something they can both agree upon. For example, in choosing movies, he might love action-adventure, she might love drama, and they might routinely compromise on comedies. After a while, this might get old! (True story- happened to me!)
What’s the alternative? How can couples keep their romance fresh and exciting?
Try rotating the following four ONE-WAY DATES:
Type 1: Partner #1 creates a romantic experience for partner #2
The purpose of this date is to give a gift and please partner #2 one hundred percent. This doesn’t have to cost anything, and doesn’t even require going anywhere, as long as the time and activities are creatively focused on what would please partner #2.
Type 2: Switch; partner #2 creates a romantic experience for partner #1
Type 3: Partner #1 creates a self-centered romantic experience
The purpose of this date is for partner #1 to please themselves 100%, to have romance exactly the way they want, sharing the experience with partner #2 in the way they wish, but not worrying about partner #2′s experience at all.
Type 4: Switch; partner #2 creates a self-centered romantic experience
To work, this requires planning and coordination. I suggest couples plan their dates and one-way types on a calendar a year in advance. This may sacrifice the spontaneity that some prefer but often can’t sustain, for intentionality that can continue to create romantic closeness and excitement for decades to come.
I have found that trying to reach agreement on everything can hinder creativity and dilute the possibilities. Using these One-Way Dates allows for each partner to freely and creatively choose activities that would truly please themselves or their partner, without eliminating exciting choices trying to please both.
One-Way Decision Making
As much as we value mutuality and agreement, wouldn’t it be nice to get your way sometimes, even when your partner disagrees?
Similar to the “One Way Date” is the GIMME.
A “Gimme” is a request one partner makes of another, when there is something they would really like to have or do that the partner disagrees with.
Let’s say that partner #1 really wants to go to the opera, but partner #2 hates the opera. Partner #1 really wants to go, but doesn’t want to go alone or with someone else, they want to go with their partner!
Partner #1 could ask for a “gimme” which means “please do this as a gift for me, not because you agree or want to, but give this to me because you love me and want me to be happy.”
– A gimme is not asked for lightly or often
– When asked for a gimme, try your best to say “Yes”
– When delivering a gimme, do so with a positive attitude
– The gimme is a gift, delivered with unconditional love, without expectation of a quid pro quo
Sometimes in a relationship, ONE way is the BEST way!
2015 Relationship Coaching Institute, LLC, , adapted with permission.
I am a certified relationship coach with Relationship Coaching Institute. Find out how I can support you and your partner in strengthening your relationship here.
Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.
She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and has most recently completed her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, Orgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.