2/2/2 Date Night Framework for Partners to Build a Healthier Relationship with Saami and Nathan Jaeger – Love Vitamins for Relationships
Sammi & Nathan Jaeger are the Co-Host of The Date Forever Podcast. And they are on a mission to empower couples to create thriving relationships. Because with better relationships we can create a better world. Sammi & Nath fell in love as housemates and have now been married for over a decade and love sharing relationship insights from couples and experts on their show.
This is the second part of our conversation. If you haven’t listened to the first episode, you can check the episode on Let the air out of the balloon to prevent resentment. Our conversation with them was filled with fun Activities, Practices and Rituals that Partners, can take away and practice in your relationships to add fuel to your love Tanks. First they share about a Gratitude Practice that they use for MANAGING RESENTMENT. Then, we get into one of their rituals of 2 COFFEE AND A TREAT and I love it not just because it has 2 coffees in it but also a treat. At the end, we get into their practice of 2 x 2 x 2 DATE NIGHTS.
What comes first – Success or Happiness?
A big part of being happy in a relationship is managing resentment. Saami and Nathan share about how they implemented their Gratitude Practice. Before going into bed, they ask each other what are they grateful for today? Sammi shares “Sometimes gratitude flows thick and fast, other times it’s so easy to come by. But what that’s meant is that all day I’ve trained my brain to be looking for the things to be appreciative for the things that I’m grateful for. Like this glass of water on my desk, like I’m so grateful for that.”
This ritual of intentionally practicing gratitude does 2 things – It increases the good credit in your emotional bank account or as you refer to – is refueling your love tank for your relationships. The second, this is checking to make sure that all the parts are functioning as expected to do a “check” on the whole system.
2 Coffee and a Treat
One of the ritual that they have is something they practice pretty much every week. Nathan says “We would go for two coffees and a treat. So we would go, and find a new cafe around the place, have a coffee each and then have something, little to share, share a little treat.” With a practice that costs less than 20 AUD, it creates new shared experiences for them. Nathan adds on what they noticed as an effect to this practice, “the conversations that we have when we’re outside of our own home, when we’re actually out somewhere together are so different than when you are in your home together.” At home there are many distractions like the dog, doing household chores, the Television, and much more that can slowly chip away at your attention and the quality time with your partner. Whereas when you go somewhere new, you senses are activated to up different cues from your surroundings. The environment around you is what often prompts conversation, and a new one. This is what they were noticing as well. “The conversations and the deepness, I guess that level of connection that we were having when we were out somewhere else was so much better than when we were in our home, even if we were doing the same activity”, adds Nathan. This ritual which involves Coffee and Treats sounds like such a fun idea, something that we will definitely be trying out ourselves.
Looking each other in the eyes when sharing a drink
Another activity that they shared with us was about a really intentional practice of looking each other in the eyes when sharing a drink. They learnt this apparently from some Airbnb guests, a Korean couple who stayed with them around four years ago. They though this practice was just beautiful and implemented it into their life as well. It just adds that additional layer of a silent – I love you, I appreciate being able to share this moment of eye contact with you. Such a beautiful, free, enhancing way to add to something something that we already do, which is drink. Nathan adds how this is kind of PDA (Public Display of Affection) without any PDA, “No one else will probably even realize what you’re doing. If you’re out at a restaurant or a cafe, it’s just that micro moment of connection.”
2/2/2 Date Nights
This Framework, which they found on a Reddit feed sometime ago and adapted to their liking, is that
- Every 2 weeks we go on a date
- Every 2 months, we go on a weekend away
- Every 2 years (or twice a year), we’ll go on a bigger adventure or a bigger holiday
This Framework, they share, “really just helped us kind of set that benchmark or that baseline for our romantic relationship, and really just helped us to actually find the time to prioritize it.” Previously they had a very ad-hoc approach to what they were doing. Date nights were unstructured and not very intentional as the weekend would roll around and they wouldn’t have a clue as to what to do.
They talk about how this need to have some structure around Date Nights was one of the challenges they had to face early in their relationship. The fact that only 1 of them was planning and organizing most of their relationship and social activities got overwhelming at some point leading to a really big fight, probably their worst.
Now they divide the month into two half and plan their date nights for their halves. Sammi explains some of the many benefits, they found when doing it this way – “we get the opportunity to both give and receive. We both get the opportunity to create a moment or an experience, something that I really wanna do and Nate’s just now invited to come along with me or something that I know that he will really love. We both get those opportunities now. And it’s a framework that it’s allowed us to have some predictability, rhythm, heartbeat, pattern around its priority. You’re a very important part of my life and I treat it that way. I treat you that way.”
A lot of people could benefit from just a little bit of structure to set them free to plan things, like they said, to give and receive that love and it’s all about creating opportunities for connection. A framework like this takes something we do anyways, plan things for each other and just puts a little bit of structure around it.
This is definitely another exercise that we are excited to try out in our relationship. Our cadence might change to different numbers but the idea remains the same. What do you think would be an ideal frequency for your date nights – 1/1/1 or 2/3/2 or something else? Let us know in the comments below
Saami and Nathan share their story about how they started working on the 8 different tanks. Listen to the episode or check the resources below to learn more about the types of tanks and the full story.
The 8 different tanks are
- Romantic Relationship
- Relationships & Network
- Humming Household
- Career & Business
- Wealth & Lifestyle
- The World
- The Future