Maybe we'll call this relationship self-care? It's a dedicated experience together that makes a difference and has impact beyond the time spent doing it (much more so than dinner and a movie - cheaper, too!). Imagine combining a little of each of these: the insight of talk therapy, the thrill of play, the closeness of a cuddle, the intimacy of being seen, the beginner's mind of those relationship early days, the grounding of mindfulness, and the hopefulness of finding new ways to connect.
Somatic Date Night builds on the material from Polyvagal Partnership, Relative Movement, and Conscious Voicework, but you do not need any experience with these or any other somatic modality. You just need a partner, some floor space, and a dose of curiosity. You may prefer a somatic date morning if that works better for you. I sometimes recommend different props to use but try to keep it limited to average household items. Each date has a list of these kinds of items, so you know before you buy.
Somatic Date Night is a pre-recorded video that you can watch whenever you like, however many times you like. In the video, I introduce and lead you through a variety of somatic practices for you and your partner to do together from start to finish with built-in space for you to work through the material. Approximate running time is forty minutes. It's nothing too weird and nothing physically demanding. No steps or specific skills to learn.
Through this process:
-You learn to receive valuable information from your body and your experience together to help you better understand each other, as well as the dynamic between you. Even very simple movements often reveal patterns that have evaded the conscious mind.
-You two are able to practice co-regulation and feel how to calm each other's nervous systems.
-You create new, healthy relational pathways in the brain that support empathy, connection, and more effective communication.
-You create a mutual felt experience of safety and trust. Even if it only lasts for as long as the video runs, it matters.
-You. have. fun. together.
I think it's especially cool to just be able to press play and "have to" do the exercises. You can both roll your eyes and think it's dumb ...and then do it anyway! The labor and vulnerability of bringing an idea to an uninterested partner can feel kinda overwhelming, whereas "I signed us up for this weird thing with this weird lady." can become the best way to introduce something new without having to take responsibility for how it lands.
(Disclaimer: I said "have to" in quotation marks because I don't want you to actually do things that make you feel unsafe or unwell. Skip those parts. Annoying, cheesy, groan-inducing, even a little nerve-racking? Yes!)