Double Dating Can Actually Enhance Attraction Between You And Your Partner

You've been with your significant other for a while, and the chemistry you once shared has fizzled out. Now what? A missing spark might not be a relationship dealbreaker — in many cases, it's normal for your feelings to mellow out in a long-term romance. Still, if you miss the days when you and your partner were googly-eyed for each other, it might be time to bring another couple into the picture — and not in a non-monogamous, open-relationship kind of way (though if that floats your boat, why not?).

Tagging along with other couples on a double date might be the key to increasing attraction in your relationship. You may have gone on double dates as a teenager to ease early-dating anxiety or in college to ensure you and your friend both got home safely. Now that you're already coupled up, double dates might look a bit different but are still just as worth having. In fact, they can seriously boost relationship chemistry if you know how to make them work for you and your boo.

The science-backed benefits of double dating

When it comes to dates, sometimes the more, the merrier — and there's research to explain why. A 2014 study published in the journal Personal Relationships discovered that couples who engaged in personal discussions with other couples experienced more passionate love toward their partners.

Keith Welker, one of the study's lead researchers, explained to ScienceDaily, "Relationships have widely been thought to flourish and develop in a broader network of social relationships, while emerging research has suggested that novel, arousing experiences can increase feelings of passionate love." Welker adds that when couples open up to other supportive couples, they may continue to mimic those positive feelings in their relationship, even after the double date is over.

The book "Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships" also reviewed research on socializing and double dating. Kathleen Holtz Deal, one of the book's editors, shared with HuffPost, "We found that there was a number of benefits to having couple friends. One of them is people actually use their couple friends as a model to emulate and a model to say, 'Let's never do that.'" In this way, couples can grow closer by deciding what kind of relationship they do and don't want. Holtz Deal also noted that partners may be more attracted to each other in front of other people because they get a glimpse of personality traits that may rarely come out behind closed doors.

How to make double dating work for you and your partner

Hanging out with other pairs may boost passion once your relationship's honeymoon phase is over, but not just any couple — or any double date — will do the trick. Geoffrey L. Greif, one of the editors of "Two Plus Two," told HuffPost that some couples can be a bad influence on others' relationships. "[W]hen you're with another couple and they're doing things that unconsciously or consciously make you and your spouse have a fight — that's not always good," he remarked. Some couples may act in ways that you and your S.O. disagree with, and as long as you're on the same page, this could strengthen your bond with one another. However, if spending time with another couple causes friction, it might be best to take a break from that pair until you and your partner come to a consensus.

There isn't one "right" kind of double date — anything from bowling to grabbing drinks to attending a movie together can be a fun way to connect. However, be sure to make some time for self-disclosing conversations, where you reveal your personal feelings and opinions. These interactions go a long way in fostering attraction, according to the aforementioned study. "Any setting where couples can talk, exchange information about each other, and respond to each other in a validating, thoughtful manner could apply," researcher Keith Welker told ScienceDaily.