The Micro-Date Revolution

Rethinking Date Night

When I ask my couples clients what they do to nourish their love, I usually get something like: We’ll watch a movie or go to our favorite restaurant over the weekend. The next thing they will tell me is why they haven’t had a date night in weeks or even months. There is nothing wrong with making date night, but when couples stress over making it happen and feel tethered to “waiting” before they can enjoy some connection time, I like to introduce what I call the micro-date.  

What is a Micro-Date? 

When I introduce the micro-date to couples, I usually get a mixture of relief and surprise. “Could it be so simple?” Is written on their faces. I like to think of the micro-date as your ‘relationship harmonizer.’ 

A micro-date can happen anywhere and anytime in as little as five seconds. The most important thing, I tell my clients, is to “intentionalize” your micro-date. 

A micro-date is like having a mindful practice, in which you get to build into your every-day routine “connection-pauses” and take the time to smell the roses; in this case, notice your partner. So what exactly constitutes a micro-date? 

It’s a deliberate conscious act of focusing on your partner in a loving, supportive way. It could be giving a “rockstar” compliment – you know, the kind of compliment that ripples through your Joy Zone – or showing genuine interest in some “moment” of your partner’s day. 

Don’t forget to set the intention right before having a date! Remember that you are injecting a felt quality into the moment, ensuring that you and your partner feel closer. 

Let's Talk. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.

How to Have a Micro-Date

When Adira and Richard came to me, they were both feeling depleted from being in “survivor-mode” for weeks on end. Richard faced mounting stress from losing his business in the pandemic while trying his best to accept the new reality of working from home and having to consider vocational opportunities that, according to him, were not ideal options for his entrepreneurial-driven career path. Adira looked after their three small children together, which involved a lot of special care for their two children with longstanding chronic health issues. 

Adira and Richard complained of not having any time for each other. They both felt like their intentions were in the right place, but their days seemed ruled by things to get done. Taking several hours off from each of their hectic schedules to be together was met with a growing sense of futility. 

During our sessions together, Adira and Richard gained a much greater understanding of a set of gridlocked issues that continued to surface in their relationship. They learned to process old and new pain forming emotional blocks in their relationship and keeping them from feeling motivated to grow together. But even when the relationship infrastructure felt a lot more secure than it had for a long time, Adira and Richard both felt they were still struggling to prioritize relationship care.  

Together we brainstormed a micro-date relationship care plan if you will. Adira and Richard decided to create a love jar as a kind of talisman for their micro-dates. Each day, they would add things to the love jar – a thoughtful wish, a compliment, a vulnerable confession, a flirty note, funny share, silly picture, open-question, hand-picked rose, inspiring quote, surprise (e.g., I’ve got dinner tonight!) – even a request for a good hug. 

The more positive feelings that flowed into the jar, the more they felt inspired to build on their micro-dates. They also created a morning coffee ritual and made it a no-phone-just-each-other-for-five-minutes micro-date, setting the intention to be present for their day and each other. 

They emptied their love jar each evening and set the intention to wake up with a “tabula rasa” or fresh slate and nourish their love all over again. 

(Anyone can make a love jar with a Mason Jar and non-sticky notes or non-adhesive memo notes. If you prefer to order a ready-made jar with blank cards that come with it, I like the Love Jars from: Gratitude Glass Jars)

What Micro-dates Can Do On the Bigger Scale

Richard recognized that losing his business seemed to stir up deep-seated emotions he had been holding in for years. He expressed that he had an “addiction” to receiving approval from others. Richard said that he felt like he had been releasing the “identity rope.” 

Adira recognized how often she dismissed her own feelings, which came from experiencing a sense of “undeserving”  – an inner wounding that originated in the past. Adira practiced feeling “deserving energy” by receiving compliments and refraining from her knee-jerk tendency to dismiss praise and flattery words. 

Adira realized that she was still treating her feelings how her feelings had been treated when she was younger and subconsciously activating this dismissive pattern – against herself. Adira practiced accepting her partner’s expressed admiration and saying, “thank you.” 

The micro-dates not only cultivated a more positive emotional climate in which Adira and Richard were able to foster greater shared meaning in their relationship but a ripe space for growth and understanding, both individually and in the “we-ness” perspective they were stepping into more readily. The micro-dates helped maintain and fortify the healing anchoring work in our sessions together. 

(Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.)

Click Below for Your FREE Download of Amy-Noelle's Micro-Date Ideas.

14 Micro-Date Ideas + More!

micro-date revolution date night
Amy-Noelle Shih, MA, LPC - Houston, Texas Marriage Counselor _ Houston, Texas Therapist

Amy-Noelle Shih,M.A., LPC is a powerful, dynamic, couples counselor, individual therapist and life coach with a direct, authentic approach to personal growth. Her style is as affirming and positive as it is effective, and all about helping you create alignment and joy in yourself and in your relationships.

Real Help For Your Relationship

Lots of couples go through challenging times, but the ones who turn "rough-patches" into "growth moments" can come out the other side stronger and happier than ever before.

 

Working with an expert couples counselor can help you create understanding, empathy and open communication that felt impossible before.

 

Start your journey of growth together by scheduling a free consultation.

Related Post

Love After Loss

Love After Loss

We have all been through so much this past year, and are hopefully on the cusp of rebuilding. My guest today is author Eileen Hamra, who has a powerful message reminding us that within every loss are the seeds of renewal and rebirth.

She's here to share her story, and her wise advice for how to heal through grief, how to rebuild your life after setbacks, and most importantly, how to love after loss.

Join Us,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

What Are You Communicating Non-verbally?

What Are You Communicating Non-verbally?

Is non-verbal communication helping or hindering your most important conversations? Find out how to communicate better here! Texas Therapist and Communication Expert, Kaily M. shares her non-verbal communication advice on the Love, Happiness and Success blog.

Boundaries in Relationships

Boundaries in Relationships

Happy, healthy relationships are built on healthy boundaries. If you struggle to establish boundaries, understand your boundaries, or even define your boundaries to others, this episode is for you!

I am talking with Denver Therapist, and Boundary Expert, Kathleen Stutts and we are going to cover the basics of boundaries and then dive into the nitty-gritty of establishing your boundaries in relationships so that you too can feel empowered in your most important relationships!

Love is Respect

Love is Respect

Ft. Collins, Colorado Therapist and Marriage Counselor, Hunter Tolman, M.S., MFTC is discussing the fundamental support for every relationship – respect. A healthy relationship requires respect in order to thrive. Learn more about how you can begin implementing greater respect into your relationship here!

Trust Yourself

Trust Yourself

It can be hard to trust yourself, particularly if you're struggling to tell the difference between your intuition and anxiety. Your confidence will grow when you learn the difference between worry and inner wisdom. Learn how, on this episode of the podcast.

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence

When you improve emotional intelligence, everything in your life feels easier: Your relationships, career, emotional wellbeing, and more. Learn strategies to increase your emotional intelligence, in this episode of the podcast.

Gay and Lesbian Relationship Advice

Gay and Lesbian Relationship Advice

Love is love, and transcends identity. At the same time, gay and lesbian relationships face unique challenges and stressors. On this episode of the podcast, LGBTQ+ affirming couples therapist Kensington Osmond shares compassionate strategies that promote growth and healing for gay and lesbian individuals and couples.

Loading...