Hitting up your tried-and-true date night spot may have its benefits, but there are reasons to consider staying in, too. With the right approach, a night spent at home might be exactly what your relationship needs, says licensed marriage and family therapist Robyn D'Angelo. Read on to find out why she's such a fan of planning a low-key night at home, plus her tips on how you can make the most of yours.
Your brain will thank you.
"You know what your brain loves more than fancy dinners out for date night?" asks D'Angelo, "Novelty. Your brain loves newness, which means if your go-to date night is dinner and a movie, your brain isn't craving a different restaurant, it's craving a new experience." Every time you try something new, your levels of dopamine are stimulated which has a multitude of benefits, including creating a stronger sense of passion. So, in a way, staying in and ordering delivery might be more exciting than putting on your heels and hitting the town. Isn't science the best?
It's a moment to hit pause.
When you constantly feel like you're rushing to get somewhere—the gym, work, happy hour with friends, home after a long day—there's not a ton of time to enjoy the journey. "In a world where most couples are extremely busy, the last thing most of us want to do after a long day is go back out," says D'Angelo. Staying in for a night with no pressure and no distractions is often the best way to help you recharge and catch-up with your significant other.
It's a chance to score brownie points.
If the thought of an at-home date night makes you want to weep with boredom, fear not. D'Angelo suggests choosing an activity you wouldn't typically do together. "Ask him to do something that he usually couldn't pay you to join him in doing: Video games, watching an action movie, or getting a six-pack sample of his favorite IPA and drinking on the patio," she says, adding that volunteering to do something you know he loves will likely score you major points. Plus, taking an interest in your partner's passions isn't just nice, it's key to long-term success.