A candle-lit dinner for two at your favorite restaurant? It sure sounds romantic, right? But according to the latest research, if you really want to spice things up, do this instead: Invite your best couple friends to join you. Really!
Whether you're dating, engaged, or already married, it's no secret that over time, passion can take a nosedive in even healthy relationships. But surprisingly, in the latest analysis from two studies on relationships, experts say that something interesting happens when couples get together for double dates: they experience a measurable jump in passionate feelings for each other.
"Passionate love is one of the first dimensions of love to decrease in couples over time as the newness of a relationship begins to wane," says Keith Welker, a doctoral student at Wayne State University. "Relationships have widely been thought to flourish and develop in a broader network of social relationships, while emerging research has suggested that novel, arousing experiences can increase feelings of passionate love."
There's a catch, though: In these studies, passion only seemed to jump to the next level when couples engaged in "novel, high-self-disclosure interactions." That's code for sharing secrets, opening up, and revealing new things about yourself. That means reaching beyond small talk and really probing to deeper levels with your friends (while the love of your life is squeezing your hand under the table).
Sounds like a good excuse for game night to us!