There’s no denying COVID-19 has brought forward disruption. But while it has cancelled a lot of travel plans, team building activities, and outdoor adventures, it’s also gifted us with the opportunity for positive disruption – for positive change. And what’s more, with some of us finding more available time on our hands without the usual long commutes, it’s provided us the time to make change happen.
And now with COVID-19, some of us are spending more time with our partners, without setting aside the time to properly connect with each other. This is an opportunity for date nights to be done differently – in the form of Strength Dates.
Have you heard about Strength Dates? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.
What are Strength Dates?
Strength Dates are activities that let you bond with your partner while celebrating all of your positive qualities, together. Going on regular “Strength Dates” which James Pawelski, Ph.D. and Suzann Pileggi, MAPP present in their book, Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts, can help refocus your mind and bring back your healthy relationship.
If you’ve never done this before, let me show you how strength dates work. I’ve listed an essential step-by-step guide to planning the perfect strength date with your partner.
Step 1: Ask your Partner Out
So, how will you frame this idea with your partner? Well, you can start with a lively invitation. It could be, “Hey, can I take you on a Strengths Date? I want to celebrate your strengths!” If your partner is anything like my husband, Josh, you may be met with an astonished reply along the lines of “What? You finally want to do something that involves athleticism, betting, and beers?!” Mayhaps.
Or, how about you flick them this article and ask, “how about it? Are you up for something different?” I bet you’ll get a yes in no-time!
Step 2: Uncover Your Strengths
Knowing your strengths will help you understand where your emotions are coming from. Learning your collective power as a couple will help you cope with the different challenges you’ll encounter.
VIA Institute of Characters has listed the twenty-four character strengths that each of us has to varying degrees. These character strengths fall under six broad categories: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.
There are a lot of ways to uncover your strengths, but a fun and evidence-backed way is to take the VIA Institute on Character’s free 15-minute strengths survey here.
Step 3: Reveal your Strengths
After taking the test, it’s time to reveal your strengths to each other. But how? You can take turns in stating them or play a guessing game or simply email the pdf of your results. As you share your strengths, you can keep the conversation flowing by telling an account of the moments you’ve seen these strengths in action.
This is the best part of your strength date preparation as it opens up yourself to your partner and makes you mutually valued.
Step 4: Plan your Date
Once you know each of your strengths, it’s time to plan your date. Find time to nurture your strengths as a couple. Now the question is, what kind of date should you do? Use your identified strengths to come up with some ideas. For example:
My strengths are kindness, love, and love of learning, perspective, and appreciation of beauty and excellence, while Josh’s strengths are humor, hope, teamwork, honesty, and kindness.
Recently, our local kindergarten couldn’t run in-person tours because of COVID so we offered to use our drone and take footage of the campus and worked with the marketing manager to put the footage online so people could get a feel for what the kinder was like. Breaking free of the confines of our house (kid-free) and walking around the corner, stopping only at our local cafe to fuel up, the sun was shining and we held hands. It was magical. Josh played to his strength of humour while controlling the drone and felt fulfilled knowing the kinder would be in a better position to secure enrolments for 2021 (strength of kindness). I was able to use my strengths of appreciation of beauty and excellence to direct the shots.
A bit different to dinner and a movie, but it was a great opportunity to spend time together, so something different and essentially helped us feel closer together. We were also using the opportunity to give something back to our local community, acknowledging our own – and each others’ – strengths in the process.
What’s next? With the confines of COVID, there’s plenty of room for at-home date nights. Now that we each know our strengths, we’re going to be approaching it differently.
Are you looking for more strength-based activities to do? How about making a blanket fort for a movie night, painting portraits of one another, turning your house into a spa, teaching each other something new, creating COVID journals, or having a picnic in your garden.Remember to take turns in planning your strength dates and make it your goal to have fun and exercise those strengths rather than compete against each other.
Step 5: Go on Your Date!
Hooray! You’re all set for a fantastic strength date with your partner! Go on your strengths date and enjoy it. Savour the experience and admire your partner’s qualities.
Of course, this recipe doesn’t just apply to romantic dates; you can go on strength dates with your friends, family, and colleagues, too. Recently, my friends all discovered their strengths and shared them with one another. Wait, that’s a story for another time…
When Positive Psychology And Your Love Life Meet
Chances are you know a few of your strengths, or you’ve taken some strength assessments at work. Many leaders and managers practice the art of leveraging the unique strengths of each person in their organization for the success of their careers.
At The Intime Collective, we totally agree with this idea. When you feel loved, and everything is going well with your partner, your wellbeing is enhanced and this impacts your career and performance at work too. But the opposite is also true!
According to Barbara Frederickson, who is known for her “broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions,” “Love is our supreme emotion: Its presence or absence in our lives influences everything we feel, think, do, and become.”
So how do you support your team in attaining success both in their career and personal life? How about we show you how? At The Intime Collective, we give antidotes to the increasing prevalence of loneliness in the workplace through highly interactive sessions, masterclasses, modules, and fun activities where everyone is encouraged to reflect and share.
We’re excited to know your stories! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at 0417-066-702 for a quick talk!