And by "novelty," we're not talking about the bedroom, though that might benefit from this article as well!
New York Times wellness writer Tara Parker-Pope has written about "date night," the practice of scheduling a regular time out with your significant other or spouse, away from the routines of the household and children. Most of us believe it's simply the act of going out and spending one-on-one time that is the key to a successful date night.
Not necessarily. Parker-Pope has interviewed experts and read studies about brain science that say it's actually novelty that gets our chemicals going again. Instead of the old familiar restaurant, go somewhere that either of you have never tried. Instead of a movie, go do something spontaneous -- take a walk along a lakefront, or pop into a jazz bar you've driven by but never visited.
"The theory is based on brain science," Parker-Pope writes. "New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner."
She then goes on to explore studies and experiments that explore the premise. The experiments themselves are interesting, and the whole concept is fascinating. Here's the story:
How about you?
Do you schedule date nights with your significant other? Do you do different things, or the same things all the time? Has it helped your relationship? Tell us!
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