Can date night really save your relationship?

Dating ideas and trends for older adults — whether you’re trying to meet your match, revive a long-time relationship or something in between.

If you’ve made it a couple of years in a committed relationship and hit a snag, it’s common advice to institute a regular date night to get back on track.

But will it work?

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The National Marriage Project report from the University of Virginia, “Date Night Opportunity,” found married couples reported satisfaction from communication, commitment and sexual satisfaction when they spent time together at least once a week.

“Weekly couple time also offers both married and unmarried, cohabiting couples a chance to de-stress and to engage in novel activities that are fun, active or otherwise arousing — from hiking to dancing to travel to card games – which are associated with higher levels of relationship quality,” according to a news release on the report from UVA Today. “In other words, couples may be particularly likely to benefit from a regular date night if they use it as an opportunity to do more than that old standby: dinner and a movie.”

“Taking time for your relationship – whether outside the home or inside the home – is good for your relationship health,” said report co-author W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at UVA

Still not buying it?

You may want to consider the math.

The established guideline for maintaining a positive perspective in a relationship is a ratio of five positive interactions per one negative interaction, licensed couple counselor Kari Rusnak wrote for Psychology Today.

That’s right: For each spat or unhappy occurrence, you need five positive talks or activities to offset it. Date night makes an automatic entry in the plus column — or more.

It can also allow couples at any stage to share rituals of connection, Rusnak said.

“Shared meaning is the way you define and share things as a couple. Rituals of connection are things you both share and enjoy together — from a morning kiss to the way you celebrate important events to, of course, date nights.”

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December date idea

Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes

6 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, Dec.10-Sunday, Dec. 11

Grant Park neighborhood

$25 in advance, $30 at the door

A cozy-yet-active date for those in new relationships — or for those established couples who need to get out of the house for a change.

This neighborhood is Atlanta’s largest historic district and this tour includes original Queen Anne, Craftsman and Victorian homes built from 1885-1910.

Along with the glimpse of beautiful homes, plan to enjoy a candlelight concert and artists market in the St. Paul United Methodist Church sanctuary, with proceeds benefitting Grant Park’s Parents Network, the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool, and St. Paul UMC.

If mobility is not a factor, consider taking MARTA to the nearby King Memorial station and then taking a 20-minute stroll to the event.

Purchase tickets at candlelighttourofhomes.com/tickets.

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