Eight Dates You Need to Change Your Relationship

Eight Dates

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” status=”published” publish_date=”” class=”@media only screen and ( min-width: 800px ) {padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 5px; }” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”15%” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”15%” admin_label=”Large Screen text” type=”legacy”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_image_id=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” border_radius=”” box_shadow=”no” dimension_box_shadow=”” box_shadow_blur=”0″ box_shadow_spread=”0″ box_shadow_color=”” box_shadow_style=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”0px” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”true” first=”true” border_sizes_top=”0″ border_sizes_bottom=”0″ border_sizes_left=”0″ border_sizes_right=”0″ type=”1_1″][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]
[/fusion_text][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]

Eight Dates by Dr. Gottman you need to go on to change your relationship.

Would you be interested if I told you that eight dates would forever change your relationship? Or that, if you and your partner had these eight life-changing conversations, you would significantly strengthen and deepen your love?

What if I told you these eight dates were backed by science?

Don’t worry, all of these questions aren’t leading up to a surprise, “Not happening!” Quite the opposite. I’m here to give you all the information you need to go on these dates and reap the benefits.

Whether you think your relationship is far from perfect or the most secure partnership in the world, you can still engage in these life-changing conversations.

.

The leading marriage researcher, Dr. Gottman, behind Eight Dates

Eight Dates started as a book written by two of the world’s leading marriage researchers, Dr. John and Julie Gottman (and no, their shared last name is not a coincidence). The couple has dedicated their lives to studying love, marriage, and relationships.

If you’ve heard of Dr. Gottman, you might know that he can predict divorce with over 90% accuracy. (Crazy, right? I can’t even predict what I’m going to watch on Netflix with that much confidence – and I only watch two shows).

His high prediction rate is not a testament to the inevitably of failure, but rather to his understanding of what makes a relationship work and not work. And, while it’s helpful to know the four main reasons relationships fail, it’s equally critical to understand what makes them succeed.

Better yet, it’s critical to know how to make them succeed.

Eight Dates

Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love (by Dr. Gottman)

The book Eight Dates gives couples a guide to ensure their relationship will thrive. The book is divided into eight dates, each with a different theme, questions, and suggestions for what the date should look like.

The order of the dates has no effect. You can start with whichever one feels right to you, but you must go on all eight dates. They will test your vulnerability, but if you have these eight conversations with your partner, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

All of these ideas are taken from either the book or from The Gottman Institute Blog.

Eight Dates

Each date gives you things to think about and, in some cases, exercises to complete before going on the date (so you can’t just pick one and go on it immediately). Also, it gives suggestions for what the date might look like. Finally, it gives you questions and topics to discuss while on the date.

1. Trust and Commitment

If we were to ask people what quality is most important in a relationship, I’d wager that most people would throw out the word “trust.” But what does trust look like, and how do we convey it to our partner? This date is all about identifying how you can display trust and commitment to your partner.

Before the date:

  • Identify what trust and commitment mean to you personally
  • Think about how trust and commitment affected your family life growing up
  • Come up with a few examples of how your partner has shown their commitment to you recently

Date suggestions:

  • A good idea for this date is to go to one of your go-to spots or activities, as it represents the time and commitment you’ve made to each other.

On the date:

  • Discuss questions like:
    • When was the last time you didn’t trust me, and what could I have done differently?
    • What can I do to prove that I am committed to you and our relationship?
    • What are the differences between our definitions of trust and commitment, and how can we resolve them?

.

2. Conflict

One of the greatest myths about happy relationships is that they don’t experience any conflict. Conflict is going to arise when two people try to join their lives together. Rather than viewing conflict as a negative thing, it can be incredibly useful for you to grow as a couple. For this date, you need to be willing to be brave, take off your armor, and discuss the differences between you. Ultimately, it will help you identify areas of conflict and how to work through them more effectively.

Before the date:

  • Individually list the most significant differences between you
  • Consider ways you can accommodate each other’s preferences

Date suggestions:

  • Someplace private, as you might find yourself in a rather heated debate

On the date:

  • Go through the list of differences one by one, explain why the issue is important to you, and explore possible compromises
  • Discuss how each of you experienced conflict in your respective families (as this can directly impact how you handle conflict today)
  • If the conversations results in a fight, wait until the fight has calmed down and:
    • Explain how you felt during the fight
    • Try to figure out what triggered it so you can avoid this in the future
    • Discuss how you might act differently in your next fight
    • Figure out ways you can engage in conflict more productively

Conflict date

.

3. Sex and Intimacy

Having sex and intimacy is proven to help keep a relationship happy and healthy. Talking about sex should be a regular part of your communication as partners. Even if it feels awkward at first, the more you can open up about sex, the better your sex life will be (and it will only become more comfortable the more you do it).

Before the date:

  • Reflect on ways to approach the topic of sex with your partner

Date suggestions:

  • Something romantic: candlelit dinner, secluded beach, etc

On the date:

  • Discuss questions like:
    • What are your favorite sexual experiences that you and your partner have shared?
    • What does your partner do that turns you on?
    • What sexual activities do you want to try, but have never dared to ask for?

.

4. Work and money

When you’re joining your life with someone else, money will inevitably become a significant influencer in your lives. And this date is not just about how much money you have in the bank, but about what quality of life you want, what your values are, and how you both contribute to your shared life.

Before the date:

  • Ask yourself some questions about your family history with money:
    • Did your parents have savings?
    • Did you take regular vacations?
    • How frugal were your parents?

Date suggestions:

  • This date should be as cheap as possible!
  • Consider getting take-out and having the date at home

On the date:

  • Take turns sharing your respective family histories with money
  • Continue by sharing three ways your partners contribute to the relationship (monetary or otherwise) that you really appreciate
  • Be open about your hopes and fears regarding money and the future

household chores

.

5. Family

Deciding to have children is a major life decision and something you both want to be on the same page about. According to Dr. Gottman, approximately two-thirds of couples have “ a sharp drop in relationship satisfaction shortly after a child is born, and this drop gets deeper with each subsequent child.” (Yikes… my family friends with eight kids must be downright depressed). This dissatisfaction can be avoided, however, if you are on the same page and anticipate potential conflicts – which are topics this date addresses.

Before the date:

  • Keep in mind the strategies to avoid this satisfaction drop:
    • Both parents need to involve themselves with the pregnancy and childbirth
    • Parents need to prioritize their intimacy, whether through date nights or continued communication

Date suggestions:

  • This date should take somewhere frequented by children
    • Consider a public playground or family-friendly restaurant

On the date:

  • Discuss the questions:
    • What is your idea of the perfect family? Does it include children?
    • How many children do you want to have?
    • What sort of problems might you encounter while raising children?
    • How can you prevent or tackle these problems?

.

6. Fun and adventure

It’s extremely easy for us to be caught up in our adult lives adulting about serious adult matters. What we actually need is to make time for play and fun. To maintain a healthy relationship, couples need to find time for play in their relationship. You also have to respect each other’s sense of adventure, even if it’s different than yours. This date will have you discuss these topics and have a little fun in the process.

Before the date:

  • Think through all the possible fun things you could do with your partner, particularly things you haven’t done in a long time or haven’t ever tried together
  • Individually create a list of possible activities

Date suggestions:

  • Plan a fun date – try to be as creative and spontaneous as possible!

On the date:

  • Discuss the questions:
    • What does adventure mean to you and your partner?
    • What’s the last thing you can remember doing that was only about having fun?
    • What adventures do you want to embark on before death?
  • Compare your list of ideas and discuss:
    • What activities are on both of your lists?
    • What are some of the things on your partner’s list that you can imagine trying?

Eight Dates.

7. Growth and spirituality

We will continue to change as individuals throughout our lives. Therefore, in relationships, we must respect and support our partner’s growth (as individuals, we also must be self-aware of our own growth). This date is about checking in with your partners about their goals in life, views on the world, and spiritual beliefs.

Before the date:

  • Figure out what goals you share with your partner:
    • Do you share the same goals?
    • Does your partner respect your accomplishments?
    • What do you want to have achieved when you reach old age?

Date suggestions:

  • This date might become philosophical, so find a comfortable place to chat!

On the date:

  • Discuss your goals and consider:
    • Where do you share goals?
    • Where can you support each other for different goals?
  • Discuss your partner’s spiritual upbringing and current beliefs:
    • What do you consider sacred?
    • How do you find inner peace when times are hard?
    • What sort of beliefs do you want to pass on to your children?

.

8. Dreams

Our dreams can tap into our scariest, most vulnerable places. This is why we must acknowledge and support our partner’s dreams in life. To maintain a lasting relationship, we need to tell our partner about our hopes and aspirations. This date will get you talking about your dreams, as well as how you can support each other in your pursuits.

Before the date:

  • Individually write a list of all your dreams, the stories behind them, and how your partner can help you fulfill them

Date suggestions:

  • The location of this date should be inspiring – perhaps a beautiful sunset.

On the date:

  • Get deep and discuss the questions:
    • What dreams did you have as a child?
    • Did your parents help you fulfill your dreams?
    • Which dreams are most important to you?
  • Once you know about your partner’s dreams, discuss:
    • How can you help support and honor each other’s dreams?

couple in love.

Purchase the book to learn more how you can set your relationship up for success

Like what you read? Want to learn more from leading relationship and marriage experts Dr. Gottman and Gottman about these eight dates? Check out the book to read more in-depth explanations about these dates and how to use them to set yourself up for a lifetime of love. Click here to learn more about the book!

 

Conclusion

Relationships are not always easy, but leading researcher Dr. Gottman has developed a guideline to bring you and your partner closer together. These eight dates each center on a theme, and they inspire life-changing conversations to help strengthen your bond with your partner.

  1. Trust and commitment
  2. Conflict
  3. Sex and intimacy
  4. Money and work
  5. Family
  6. Fun and adventure
  7. Growth and spirituality
  8. Dreams

If you want to deepen your connection with your partner, share this list with them. It can be a fun journey to embark on, and one that you won’t regret.

Seriously, why not go on these dates? Start thinking about some of the themes and “Before the date” questions and comment below.

 

Note: This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link, which means if you click the link and make a purchase on Amazon based on the link, I make a small commission. It is NO extra cost to you, but the little amount helps me to continue to provide you high quality content! And I never recommend something that I don’t 100% endorse! Thanks for reading!

.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_global id=”3654″][fusion_builder_container admin_label=”Large Screen follow-up” hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” status=”published” publish_date=”” class=”” id=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”25″ padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”25″ gradient_start_color=”” gradient_end_color=”” gradient_start_position=”0″ gradient_end_position=”100″ gradient_type=”linear” radial_direction=”center center” linear_angle=”180″ background_color=”#000000″ background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_blend_mode=”none” video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” filter_hue=”0″ filter_saturation=”100″ filter_brightness=”100″ filter_contrast=”100″ filter_invert=”0″ filter_sepia=”0″ filter_opacity=”100″ filter_blur=”0″ filter_hue_hover=”0″ filter_saturation_hover=”100″ filter_brightness_hover=”100″ filter_contrast_hover=”100″ filter_invert_hover=”0″ filter_sepia_hover=”0″ filter_opacity_hover=”100″ filter_blur_hover=”0″ type=”legacy” border_sizes_top=”0px” border_sizes_bottom=”0px” border_sizes_left=”0px” border_sizes_right=”0px”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_image_id=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” border_radius=”” box_shadow=”no” dimension_box_shadow=”” box_shadow_blur=”0″ box_shadow_spread=”0″ box_shadow_color=”” box_shadow_style=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”true” first=”true” border_sizes_top=”0″ border_sizes_bottom=”0″ border_sizes_left=”0″ border_sizes_right=”0″ type=”1_1″][fusion_title hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” content_align=”center” size=”1″ font_size=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”3px” margin_top=”5px” margin_bottom=”-40px” margin_top_mobile=”” margin_bottom_mobile=”” text_color=”#ffffff” style_type=”double solid” sep_color=”#0220ff” margin_top_small=”” margin_bottom_small=””]

FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS

[/fusion_title][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=””]

Comment below with answers, ideas, and more questions, or contact me to collaborate on a future post!

[/fusion_text][fusion_builder_row_inner][fusion_builder_column_inner type=”1_2″ layout=”1_2″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” border_radius=”” box_shadow=”no” dimension_box_shadow=”” box_shadow_blur=”0″ box_shadow_spread=”0″ box_shadow_color=”” box_shadow_style=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”false” first=”true” border_sizes_top=”0″ border_sizes_bottom=”0″ border_sizes_left=”0″ border_sizes_right=”0″ type=”1_2″ spacing_right=””][fusion_title hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” content_align=”center” size=”4″ font_size=”30px” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”1px” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”-10px” margin_top_mobile=”” margin_bottom_mobile=”-10px” text_color=”#ffffff” style_type=”single dashed” sep_color=”#022cff” margin_top_small=”” margin_bottom_small=”-10px”]

EXPLORING YOURSELF

[/fusion_title][fusion_checklist icon=”fa-question-circle fas” iconcolor=”#0216f2″ circle=”no” circlecolor=”#e0e0e0″ size=”18px” divider=”yes” divider_color=”#ffffff” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility”][fusion_li_item icon=””]

What is your reaction to the possibility of going on these eight dates?

[/fusion_li_item][fusion_li_item icon=””]

Which date would you be most excited to go on?

[/fusion_li_item][fusion_li_item icon=””]

Which date would you be most nervous to go on?

[/fusion_li_item][/fusion_checklist][/fusion_builder_column_inner][fusion_builder_column_inner type=”1_2″ layout=”1_2″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” border_radius=”” box_shadow=”no” dimension_box_shadow=”” box_shadow_blur=”0″ box_shadow_spread=”0″ box_shadow_color=”” box_shadow_style=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”true” first=”false” border_sizes_top=”0″ border_sizes_bottom=”0″ border_sizes_left=”0″ border_sizes_right=”0″ type=”1_2″][fusion_title hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” content_align=”center” size=”4″ font_size=”30px” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”1px” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”-10px” margin_top_mobile=”” margin_bottom_mobile=”-10px” text_color=”#ffffff” style_type=”single dashed” sep_color=”#0220ff” margin_top_small=”” margin_bottom_small=”-10px”]

EXPANDING YOUR WORLD

[/fusion_title][fusion_checklist icon=”fa-question-circle fas” iconcolor=”#0216f2″ circle=”no” circlecolor=”#ffffff” size=”18px” divider=”yes” divider_color=”#ffffff” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility”][fusion_li_item icon=””]

How is Dr. Gottman’s predict rate for divorce so high?

[/fusion_li_item][fusion_li_item icon=””]

What are the essential qualities and/or habits that a successful marriage must have?

[/fusion_li_item][fusion_li_item icon=””]

Why do satisfaction levels drop so significantly when couples have children?

[/fusion_li_item][/fusion_checklist][/fusion_builder_column_inner][/fusion_builder_row_inner][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Scroll to Top