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Why Active Dates Are A Must Have In Your Relationship

Scientific research shows active dates are a gamechanger for successful relationships today, creating an environment ripe deeper communication.

These Show Notes are a ChatGPT summary of the episode transcript (with brief additional editing)

In the latest episode of the podcast, Kim and Rog delve into the science behind active dates and why they are key for maintaining a healthy relationship. These aren’t just fun-filling activities but a tool for deepening your emotional bond with your partner, backed by neuroscientific principles.

To kick off the podcast the hosts highlight the experience of a friend who, along with her partner, decided to add regular walks together to their routine. The couple had been through a time in their relationship where they felt stuck and she was worried that he didn’t like to talk about plans for the future with her. This couple had reached a stagnant point in their relationship, with lingering concerns about their communication, particularly about future plans. Initially, their walks were aimed at promoting physical fitness, but unexpectedly, these strolls became a catalyst for profound discussions that had been absent for years. According to them, these walks provided a much-needed space for uninterrupted conversation where they could talk about marriage, buying a house and creating a family together.

Kim and Rog then move onto the 3 key pieces of evidence that underpin the benefits of couples doing active dates – including a simple walk – together. They introduce the concept of ‘optical flow’. When couples engage in activities that involve constant forward movement like walking, running, or even biking, it stimulates an optical flow in the brain. This is fascinating because it acts to soothe the amygdala – the part of our brain responsible for detecting threats. By calming our internal guard dog, we tend to feel less defensive or overwhelmed, paving the way for deeper and more meaningful conversations. This is how active dates can provide a safe environment for couples, enabling them to communicate and connect on a deeper level.

The power of synchrony forms the second scientific reason why active dates are beneficial. Referencing a research study, Kim and Rog highlight that couples who are physically and biologically in sync with each other experience higher levels of relationship satisfaction. The study involved strangers riding stationary bikes at the same pace and revealed a stronger connection between them. This synchronicity can be achieved during active dates where couples naturally fall into step with each other. This harmony enhances empathy and rapport, thus contributing to a strengthened bond.

Lastly, there’s a potent cocktail of chemicals at play during active dates. Kim and Rog point out four critical chemicals namely serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Participating in shared activities and enjoyable experiences triggers a release of serotonin, which helps stabilize moods and foster emotional stability. Quality time spent together during active dates releases oxytocin, popularly known as the ‘love chemical’, which promotes an intimate bond between partners. Vasopressin, that plays a crucial role in men forming bonds, gets released when couples set and achieve goals together during these activities. And not forgetting dopamine, the ‘pleasure chemical’, which enhances the sense of pleasure and motivates couples to keep engaging in such activities.

It wouldn’t be a true Kim and Rog podcast without a dash of personal experiences thrown in. They share how active dates were pivotal during a difficult phase in their lives when they had to make significant decisions and rearrange their future. Regular walks proved to be the perfect environment to have profound conversations and explore possibilities in a relaxed manner.

In a nutshell, scientific research shows active dates are a gamechanger for successful relationships today, creating an environment ripe deeper communication. They help soothe the amygdala, leading to a conducive environment for meaningful conversations. They foster a sense of synchronicity, enhancing empathy and strengthening the bond. They even trigger the release of certain chemicals that promote emotional stability, deepen the connection, and boost pleasure and motivation.

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To learn more about Kim & Rog's story and what inspired them to start their podcast.