Going on a double date may be more successful at igniting passion in your relationship than the traditional candle lit dinner for two.
According to research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in February 2014, the formation of a friendship between two couples can greatly increase closeness and feelings of passion. Striking up a relationship with another couple in which you discuss personal details of your life can bring you closer to your partner.
As the newness of a relationship begins to wane, passionate love is one of the first areas to diminish in couples over time, according to Keith Welker, a doctoral student at Wayne Sate University in USA. It is widely thought that relationships flourish and grow in a broader network of social relationships, and new research suggests that novel, arousing experiences can ignite feelings of passion.
Welker, with his adviser, Rich Slatcher had previously studied how self disclosure increased closeness within couples. They extended their research to investigate how self disclosure affects feelings of passionate love too. They knew that the formation of a friendship between two couples can increase closeness and relationship satisfaction but were surprised to find how strong the effects of such a relationship on passionate love was.
They conducted two studies in which the first group of couples exchanged general questions, such as “What is your idea of a perfect day? to “What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?” or asking advice about personal problems. The second group of couples just asked general non-emotional, small talk questions. The first group reported higher feelings of passionate love than the second group.
The second study observed that how responsive another couple was to personal disclosure had an impact upon passionate love. Welker found that the more the other couple responds to your self disclosures in a validating and caring manner when on a double date, the more passionate you feel about your relationship. This may be due to having another couple respond positively to you and your partner can provide a fresh, positive view of your partner and your current relationship.
Welker suggests having a double date within the home environment is more conducive to disclosing personal details than in a restaurant environment due to the intimate nature of your home.