How to Bring Back Date Night by @LTintheCity

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We are excited to welcome new writers to the #BossBride community! L’Oreal Thompson Payton has been a supporter since we started and shares how she and her husband are keeping date night alive with busy careers.

The Boss: A media and marketing professional with a passion for people and a penchant for purple, L’Oreal is a Charm City Girl in the Windy City. When she’s not busy blogging at LTintheCity.com or freelancing for various girl-powered publications, she can be found mentoring young women, reading, dancing and eating her way through Chicago. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

The Bride: L’Oreal and Jeff said “I do” in November 2014 at the National Aquarium in Baltimore after three and a half years of dating, two which were long distance. They enjoy rooting for rival football teams, binge watching Netflix series and eating their way through Chicago.

Between demanding careers and jam-packed social calendars, my husband and I had recently found date night falling by the wayside. Interestingly enough, I felt as though we had gone on more dates when we lived in different cities before we got engaged than we do now as a married couple living together.

So what happened? Life happened. When we were dating long distance, we were essentially able to put our day-to-day lives on hold and prioritize quality time with each other. Now that we’re married and we see each other every day, we’ve grown comfortable (perhaps a little too much) and started taking each other for granted. That may be par for the course for a couple who’s been married for some time, but we’re technically still newlyweds and if we’re having trouble prioritizing #DateNight now, it’s only going to get worse, especially when you add kids to the mix.

I mean, if the leader of the free world can schedule a date night every once in a while, surely we can do the same.

In an effort to “get our groove back,” my husband and I agreed to more dating and less marriage. Of course, we’re still married. But rather than only doing the mundane things that come along with marriage (essentially binge watching Netflix and constantly meal planning), we’re proactively scheduling at least one date per week.

We started our self-imposed “52-week date night challenge” at the top of the year and so far, we’ve seen The Lion King on Broadway in Chicago, painted pottery, dined at a restaurant we’ve been meaning to try (Chicago Restaurant Week for the win!), taken a beginner’s salsa class (thank you, Groupon), watched a cabaret show and indulged in a Valentine’s Day staycation.

By making date night a priority, we’re putting each other first. Not our to-do lists or the household chores, but each other. It can be as simple as a picnic in the park or as special as a weekend getaway, as long as it’s intentional.

Earlier this year, there was a Humans of New York post featuring a high school couple who’d been together for 10 months and were trying to “keep the passion alive.” Sure, they may have been young, but they had the right idea. Love is an action, not a word. It requires work and commitment. It’s a choice. It’s waking up every day and choosing that person over everyone else. So here’s to keeping the passion alive and putting the dating back in marriage.

9 Ways Love Helps You Live Longer

Yes, falling in love can help prolong your life. Here’s how.

1. Happy Heart: People in loving and committed relationships have lower blood pressure than those who are single. (We should note, though, that people in troubled marriages have higher blood pressure than either of these first two groups.) Plus, happy couples experience less stress over all, which improves cardiovascular health.

2. Longer Life Span: Even when they’re driving you crazy, know this: Loving spouses keep you alive longer! They encourage better self-care and reinforce healthy behaviors, while dissuading bad habits. This is especially true for married men, who live longer than their single counterparts. Moral of the story? Ladies, let some of his quirks slide. And, fellas, she nags because she loves.

3. Clear, Glowing Skin: Sebum – the oily substance that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog hair follicles – feeds on stress-inducing hormones like cortisol, and that can cause acne. When you’re in a happy relationship, you have less free-floating cortisol, which means fewer breakouts and pimples!

4. Better Mental Health: Feelings of love trigger the release of dopamine in your brain. This powerful neurotransmitter affects pleasure and motivation. Other displays of affection – like hugging and handholding – emit the hormone oxytocin, which lowers stress, reduces blood pressure, improves your mood and increases tolerance for pain.

5. Boosts the Immune System: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that happy and relaxed people are more resistant to the common cold than those who felt anxious, hostile or depressed. So if you’re currently in a happy relationship, consider this – your partner is keeping you strong and healthy!

6. Keeps You Fit: Couples who break a sweat together have better fitness results than those who work out on their own. We also work out 12 to 15 percent harder when we’re training with a romantic partner. (Someone to impress? Healthy competition?) Reap the healthy rewards by scheduling fitness dates with your honey.

7. Reduces Pain: Holding your boo’s hand can minimize feelings of pain. When studying people who experienced electrical shocks, researchers found that holding someone’s hand eased discomfort. The results were even more positive when the female subjects held their husbands’ hands. All together now: Aww…

8. Regulates Your Cycle: A Planned Parenthood study found that women who have sex at least once a week have higher levels of estrogen – and that makes them more likely to have regular periods. So now you have it: an excuse to hit the sack. As if you needed one.

9. Helps Kill Cancer: According to researchers at the University of Iowa, ovarian cancer patients with strong emotional connections had more resilient cancer-killing white blood cells. And researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center found that affection between couples can bring positive change to health, even if one of the partners is fighting disease.

So yes. Love is its own medicine. What say you?

Shared by Veria.com