You probably already know it’s important to get out and breathe some life into your relationship. But while the same old dinner-and-a-movie routine might seem relaxing, will it really set your hearts aflutter? Experts say couples who challenge themselves together, stay together.
“Everybody has a fundamental motivation to grow themselves,” says Dr. Gary Lewandowski, Jr., professor of psychology at Monmouth University. “The primary way to accomplish self-expansion is with a close romantic partner.”
Trying novel and stimulating activities together helps you, and thus, your relationship grow. “When people are growing, it rekindles passionate feelings,” Lewandowski says.
Take the Sustainable Marriage Quiz to see whether your relationship helps you have new experiences and achieve goals. If the results show that you could stand to add some excitement, don’t worry—start small and tailor ideas to both partners’ strengths and interests. You may just find that your hearts beat faster for each other when you’re trying something challenging.
“Better than any cushy trip or luxe date are the adventures you have survived together,” says April Masini, relationship expert at AskApril.com. “Those are the stories that are your marriage.”
Shake up date night with some of the engaging experiences below. And the next time someone asks you, “What have you been up to lately?” you’ll both have an enthusiastic reply.
1. Take to the Skies
Take your breath away with a 360-degree view of our beautiful city. Sunset tours capture the magic of Chicago in the gorgeous twilight hour. Evening tours glide over the twinkling lights that set our city aglow at night. Get the ultimate, exclusive experience with a private helicopter tour.
Try: Chicago Helicopter Experience, 2420 S. Halsted St., Chicago, 855-414-8687, starting at $148 per person
2. Dance It Up
Bodies touching, eyes locked, music flowing—there are so many sensual reasons dancing can set sparks flying in your relationship. Personal instruction is perfect for busy couples wanting to focus on each other and build their smooth, sexy skills.
Try: Chicago Dance, 415 W. Huron St., Chicago, 312-337-9503, $47 per couple for one 45-minute private lesson
3. Go Skydiving… Safely
Indoor skydiving is an exhilarating experience that almost anyone can try. Get the high of free-falling without the risk of jumping out of a plane. Safely float on a pillow of air in iFLY’s vertical wind tunnel. The rush will have you seeing your spouse with adrenaline goggles.
Try: iFly, 5520 Park Place, Rosemont, 779-368-4359 or 1752 Freedom Drive, Naperville, 779-456-4359, beginner-level packages starting at $70 per person
4. Laugh Out Loud
Test your comedic chops together at a drop-in class, available every Saturday and Sunday night at Second City. “The beauty of improv is that it’s in the moment,” Masini says. “It’s creative, it’s interesting, and it pumps your adrenal glands. It’s a bonding adventure way better than getting coffee together.”
Try: Second City Improv Class, 1608 N. Wells St., Chicago, 312-664-3959, $15 per person
5. Share a Secret Supper
Experience exquisite clandestine cuisine with this underground culinary team. Eight to 10 gorgeous, sustainable courses are assembled with seasonal ingredients from Green City Market and served in a surprise, pop-up location. You’re sure to try something new and delight in the mystery of this unique dinner service.
Try: Goose & Fox, location emailed 24 hours before meal, $100 per person, BYOB
6. Swing into New Heights
Climb up to an adult playground and zip through the air. “Trapeze class is not just an adrenaline activity, but a bucket list item,” Masini says. “The combination of doing something exhilarating, scary and once-in-a-lifetime means you have forged a memory together, important glue for relationships.” Outdoor classes soar at South Belmont Harbor through October. Flip over indoor classes in Edgewater year-round.
Try: Flying Trapeze School, 5917 N. Broadway St., Chicago, 773-484-8861, starting at $47 per person
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