'You don't need more date nights' claims relationship therapist - instead, these two things are the most important to keep intimacy alive

Making time for your partner doesn't just mean organising dinner dates or trips to the cinema - there's a different way to keep the intimacy alive

Couple sitting on the sofa
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A relationship therapist has shared their 'unpopular' opinion that date nights are not what couples should be focusing on to keep their intimacy alive. Instead, they should rely on 'tiny, insignificant' moments to keep them close. 

It's easy to get caught up in all the social media trends promising to improve your relationship, like the viral quiz that promises to prove if your partner really is 'the one', and it's even easier to compare your relationship to those you see online. Your friends and favourite celebrities are jetting off on couple's holidays or filling their weeks with date nights, prompting you to do the same. But, according to one relationship expert, you might not want to jump on the bandwagon. 

It's often the go-to fix when you're trying to figure out how to spice up your relationship or figure out if you are actually 'in love'; you plan some exciting date nights to look forward to. But relationship therapist Maria G. Sosa, known as HolisticallyGrace on Instagram, says you don't actually need more date nights. Instead, there's two far more important things to focus on when you want to keep intimacy alive. 

"Unpopular opinion," she wrote on Instagram; "You don't need more date nights. We've been taught that frequent date nights are the gold standard for a good relationship. Except they don't take into consideration the quality of the connection or level of intimacy between partners." 

So what does consider the quality of connection and level of intimacy between couples, the two things Sosa believes are the most important elements of a relationship that keep intimacy alive? According to Sosa, it's 'the hundreds of tiny, almost 'insignificant' moments' in which 'we turn towards or away' from our partners.

So what does she mean exactly? It's quite simple. Instead of scheduling a date night during which your partner has your undivided attention for a few hours, give them that attention as often as you can in those small moments you can carve out everyday. 

She explains, "[Intimacy] is in sitting at the kitchen table, sharing a coffee, no phones. [In] going for a walk, listening to the same podcast and asking each other, 'What did you think about that?' [In] being creative, building, fixing, making something.'

She also finds intimacy in, "Having hard 'elephant in the room' conversations. Playful touch (without expecting sex). Taking interest in each other's interests as authentically as we can. Speaking each other's love language."

Still, Sosa doesn't think date nights are a complete waste of time. "Date nights are great, a break from the routine," she said. "But if we're not intentionally dating and continuously learning our person, we're just having an accompanied meal. And that's not the same thing as intimacy." 

In other relationship news, did you know that divorce after a baby is more common than many people think? We've also explored why these four behaviours can spell disaster for any relationship as well as detailing the five signs you're parenting your partner

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.