Aphrodisiac Power: Double Dates?

double dates
Love

A study from the University of Maryland revealed that going on double dates can actually increase partners' attraction to one another. Planning a romantic date night with your partner? Make it a double!

Geoffrey L. Greif and Kathleen Holtz Deal, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, have found that couples who maintain friendships with other couples are more attracted to each other and have stronger relationships. They published their findings in the book Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships.

No doubt, it's important for each person in a couple to maintain friendships outside of their romantic relationship. But the benefits of double-dating might be less obvious. Group outings sometimes get a bad rap for being less intimate than a one-on-one date, but they're actually more likely to reignite the spark that attracted you to your partner in the first place.

"On double dates, our energy's higher, because we're performing for the group," explains YourTango Expert Pamela Madsen, a sex and intimacy coach and founder of the Back to the Body sensuous retreat for women. After a while, you and your man don't have to keep up appearances — you love each other for better or for worse. But sometimes this acceptance grows into indifference or apathy. You don't bring your A game to a date, because you don't feel that you have to. The good news: Neither you or your partner is as comfortable (or complacent) on a double date.

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Learn more about the Liberating Side of Being Together:

With other people involved, you and your partner won't just try harder to be your best selves, you'll have more people to appreciate your efforts. Being with another couple gives each partner the chance to see the other in a different light. "Our partner sees our desirability through the eyes of other people," Madsen says. "It makes us more wanted, more exciting and more desirable to him or her."

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Double dates also give us a peek into another couple's relationship, from behaviors like touching to communication strategies. It's an opportunity to learn what works — or doesn't — from two other people. A double date with a bickering couple might be a cautionary tale, but a happy couple can serve as a relationship role model.

So what are you waiting for? Nights out with another couple can add camaraderie, novelty, and excitement to your relationship. If all goes well, a double date will even reinforce why your partner is The One.