Depending on how long you’ve been in the dating scene, you might already have a pretty good idea of what your partner expects from you during dates.
During a date, it’s your job to woo your love interest, convince him or her that you’re the perfect match, and overall be on your best behavior.
Right? Well…that’s dating as a newly single person. But what about dating in a relationship?
Dating in a relationship is a great way to continue to spark romance and love between you and your partner.
Dating in a relationship is much the same as dating as a single person.
However, you’re free to explore with your partner and are able to truly be yourself during dating in a relationship.
Dating has come a long way from its original purpose.
Back in the 19th century, dating was also known as “courtship,” which was the process that a suitor (usually, if not always male) would court a woman in her own private residence.
During this process, a mother and the woman’s siblings would be present to determine if this man was suitable to marry their daughter or sister.
However, dating began to evolve during the early 20th century as women were given more freedom.
As women began to work on their own, most employers thought that women were only supplementing their husband’s income, rather than working for their own income.
As a result, many women were paid less than what they deserved, and far less than a man doing the same type of work.
What did this lead to? For starters, it leads to the expectation women now have of men during dates.
These expectations include:
- Buying dinner
- Paying for entertainment
- Paying for transportation
- Paying for the movie
- Offering the date without any expectations in return
Sadly, historically women were seen as prostitutes if they dared to date men in order to obtain a free dinner.
Yes, dating was a fun way to explore people and a fun way to hook up.
However, in the eyes of the law, a woman expecting chivalry and companionship out of a man (with some added free meal perks) was seen as a prostitute.
Fortunately, we are far from the times when women had to depend on dates in order to feed themselves.
With more and more women entering the workforce and having the freedom to date men as they see fit, there really aren’t any “expectations” per se during a date.
In fact, social scientists say that chivalry is actually harmful during dates.
Too much chivalry can lead to women being viewed as inferior while on dates, lead them to question their own selves, and can actually do more harm than good.
If it’s your first time on a date as a single person, it’s best to ask your partner what level of chivalry they feel comfortable with.
There’s nothing wrong with asking about their expectations. Would they like you to pay for meals?
Would they like you to pay for their movie ticket, or order them an Uber to your location? These are all questions that you should feel comfortable asking your date.
The same goes for dating during a relationship.
You’ve already swooned your partner, made love to them, or you might even already be in a committed relationship with them.
Why then, is there a need to continue to date your partner?
Dating during a relationship is also known as “date night.”
Your parents or even your friends might have used this term to express nights that are used to date their husband, wife, or significant other.
Date nights are not just a luxury, they are needed in order to keep the romance and spark alive in a relationship.
Dating your partner can help make the relationship feel fresh, increase your emotional connectedness with your partner, and it can also help you two increase your friendship with each other.
Putting in the extra effort during dates can also show your partner just how dedicated you are to them.
Feeling as if you are “drifting apart” is one of the many reasons why couples divorce or break up.
From feeling like you’re never getting any attention from your partner to viewing them as a stranger in your own home, drifting apart from your partner can be detrimental to your relationship.
Fortunately, dating in a relationship can be a great way to build up emotional connectivity with your partner and help you two bond again.
When was the last time you and your partner did something as simple as cuddling on the couch?
Or, when was the last time you truly expressed yourself to your partner, such as letting yourself dance freely at a concert or appreciating your love of art at a museum?
These things can all help you feel connected to your partner again.
Dating can be an excellent way to show your partner your true self, even after you’ve been dating or in a relationship for years.
It’s important to remember that no one stays the same person forever.
As you change, bring your partner along for the ride and enjoy some emotional bonding time together.
Dating during your relationship is also a great way to remain friends with your partner.
According to studies, many couples find that being friends with their partner is the biggest part of sexual intimacy and comfort.
How can you build up a friendship with your partner while dating?
It’s important to listen to your partner and dedicate your date nights to doing what they love.
You wouldn’t drag your friends with you to a boring night out, and you wouldn’t want to spend a night out hurling insults or just being terrible to your friend.
Why do the same to your partner?
When going out for date nights, share some common interests.
If you both love to go hiking and like the outdoors, take a date night (or date weekend) and go for a camping trip.
You can also both attend a wine and dine dinner, watch a movie you both like, anything really.
Sadly, a lack of effort is one of the biggest downfalls of a relationship.
Not only can a one-sided relationship make your partner feel abandoned and depressed, but it can also be a sign of a toxic relationship.
Fortunately, there are many simple ways you can make your relationship balanced again and show effort and dedication.
For starters, you can start initiating communication, initiating sex, and of course, initiating date nights!
Putting in even a little bit of effort during date nights goes a long way in helping your partner feel special again.
Even if it simply means cooking your partner a meal and setting up a picnic, this thoughtful gesture might be the love language your partner is looking for.
Other date night ideas that you can use to show your effort include:
- Buying tickets to an opera
- Planning a day at the beach
- Planning a party or game night ahead of time
- Setting up a romantic dinner
- Planning a surprise party
Of course, dating your partner is way different than dating a total stranger. You know what they like and don’t like when it comes to food and entertainment.
You can be honest with them about yourself. However, it’s best to stay away from topics such as bills and work when out on your date.
Unless you two particularly enjoy talking about work or other friends, use your date night as a way to unwind and appreciate each other.
Even if you have children, there are always babysitters available to help care for your kids while you two can have some alone time.
If it isn’t possible to hire a babysitter, perhaps put the kids to bed early and enjoy some alone time during the night.
You can even plan a date night with the kids! Such activities can include:
- Visiting the park
- Visiting an ice rink
- Going to the farmer’s market
- Going on a cruise or fishing trip
Whether you have children or not, dating during your relationship should be a chance for you to both relax.
In addition, you should also discuss the financial details of your date with your partner if necessary. If you spend $1,000 on a date and you two have no money, this will not help your relationship!
Instead, plan a budget for date night with your partner. You can even switch date nights every week.
For instance, one week you choose the venue or activity, and the next week, your partner chooses it for both of you.
If you’re both strapped on cash, there are lots of other ways to enjoy dating in a relationship. For instance:
- Find a free movie and have a movie night at home
- Make a budget-friendly meal, such as a tasty tuna salad or cheese platter
- Buy a bottle of wine or liquor and enjoy a drink instead of going to a bar
- Make a day out of hiking
- Find a free museum to visit
- Volunteer together at a local charity
Dating has come a long way from when it was first used to find suitors and marriages.
Nowadays, dates can be used to simply hook up with people and have fun, or even to strengthen a marriage or relationship.
Don’t forget to treat your partner to a date night and continue to show them you care.