The right place will make all the difference in rekindling the flame.
It’s easy to get stuck in a dating rut. When you first start going out as a couple, you likely went on a variety of dates, trying out new places in town and exploring each other’s interests.
But when you’ve been together for a while, and maybe with a kid or two, dating can seem like a foreign concept. A night out might be comprised of pizza and wings, a movie, or the same steak dinner at a local restaurant.
Then one night you look across the table at each other and wonder how you go to this place.
You might have a good idea of what you’d like to do on a date with your partner. But do you know what he or she would give anything to do?
Couples who try to understand each other do better at sustaining intimacy, according to research from the Gottman Institute. So, if you want to create a closer bond, take a step back from your situation and see your partner with fresh eyes and get to know their personality type.
One way to tell what your significant other would like to do on a date is by sizing up their Myers-Briggs (MBTI)® personality type. Each type is made of 4 preferences, each with contrasting characteristics. For example, your significant other may get their energy from introspection or quiet times alone or with you (Introversion) or he or she might get energized from interacting with others in a social setting (Extroversion). In making decisions, your partner might prefer to be objective (Thinking) or they may prefer to consider the feelings of those involved or the unique circumstances (Feeling). Your spouse might prefer to gather information by way of facts and details (Sensing) or by using intuition and seeing the big picture (Intuition). Lastly, they may prefer to plan things out and get closure (Judging) or leave room for more spontaneity and keep things open-ended (Perceiving).
Each facet – Introversion (I) or Extroversion (E), Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) – influences how your other half interacts with the world, including how they relate to you! And, depending on his or her four-letter type, they will he’ll either love how you’ve been spending your time together lately, or else they’re craving a whole lot more.
You can make the difference in your relationship by giving some extra thought to making your partner feel loved and understood. Carve out some time for just the two of you and follow this guide to pick the best date idea based on your loved one’s personality type.
ESTP: This is the easy-going, spur-of-the-moment type. They want newness, so if you journey together to find your way to the right place, you’ll recapture their heart.
The key to planning a date is not to plan too much (this type doesn’t even like the word ‘plan’). Take a drive and see where it leads you. Pop into one of your city’s unique restaurants – and have patience because you might end up popping into a few before their senses take over and scream “yes” to one particular place. Just go with the flow and you’ll end up somewhere neither of you knew existed.
ISTP: This person keeps a lot to themselves and they’re bolder than they come across. They probably won’t tell you, but secretly they’d love to do something thrill-seeking. Go somewhere where you can reach some physical heights or take on a memorable challenge that you can engage in together. Think The Amazing Race or Fear Factor.
ESFJ: Harmony is critical to your mate. They’ve probably been going along with your date ideas for a while, when really, they’d much rather be doing something else. They may be spending a lot of time with the girls or guys, but they’d love to invite you in.
Suggest a get-together with their friends where they can be the centre of attention and by your side, or a sporting or musical event at a more intimate venue where they can draw on the energy of those around them.
ISFJ: ISFJs are dutiful, faithful types. Your partner will be old-fashioned in their date ideas but considerate – sometimes to their own detriment.
If you want to make your spouse feel special, treat them in the place that’s most near and dear to them: their home. Wake up early and get some fresh organic produce from your local farmer’s market but bring it all home and cook up something that will delight their keen senses. Your love will see how much effort you’ve gone to and they’ll only have eyes for you that night.
ENTP: It’s no secret that your significant other is a very social being; maybe even a total flirt! Don’t worry, they don’t even realize they’re doing it.
For your next date, plan something super physical and exciting like a night of salsa dancing. No doubt they’ll want to impress you with their moves, and you can bet all their attention will be on you!
INTP: The INTP is an absolute perfectionist. Their inner world is rich and full of emotions, but they guard their feelings so well. Your mate needs all the stars to align to open up their heart to you.
It’s up to you to seize the moment and plan a date that will put they at ease and appeal to their exquisite taste. Try out a jazz club where you can enjoy a mellow conversation, sip something smooth, and dance a little slow. Who knows? The walls might come down and they may open up to you about all their hopes and dreams for your future together.
ENTJ: ENTJs are self-assured and competitive. Select a date that will test their skill and wit and show them that you’re up to a challenge yourself. Organize a game night with your friends or family, or challenge him to a run. He does like a good chase!
INTJ: If he or she is an INTJ, they’re brain is on overdrive, constantly taking in new information and processing it. A perfect date for your INTJ would include an intellectual dialogue, a book reading, or a speaking engagement. Or if you’re both homebodies, get out the popcorn and curl up for a documentary. Your partner will be holding your hand the whole time, so smile through it even if it’s not exactly your thing.
ESFP: ESFPs are passionate types who are loyal to a cause (and to you), so you’re going to be pretty sure what’s important to them. Suggest a fundraising event to fight a disease that’s been in their family or for an environmental or social issue.
Stand back and enjoy seeing your mate work the room, giving themselves to the cause fully, an having you by their side, too. You’ll be bound to feel good about this date, and they’ll feel even more connected to you.
ISFP: The ISFP has a gentle soul and an adventurous side at the same time. If you want to know how it feels to hold hands again, take them on a nature hike that will appeal to their sense of exploration and natural relationship to the Earth.
ESTJ: This type is dependable, and you’ll feel secure in your relationship. They tend to thrive on demonstrating their leadership skills, so try out an escape room or murder mystery show. If you get spooked, you can jump right into their arms.
ISTJ: Your ISTJ mate is classy and old-school. They believe in courtesy and tradition, so a museum is right up their alley. Pick one that that speaks to their interests, such as a specific art museum, sports or music hall of fame, or even a cultural centre.
The ISTJ’s feelings run deep but quiet. Suggest a date like this and your lover may be encouraged to be a little more impulsive!
ENFP: ENFPs are loyal and fun loving. They make the ideal dinner host and revel in pleasing others. No need to take the party outside! Steel a few kisses in the kitchen while you and your partner create a masterful dinner for you and friends. They’ll enjoy making everyone’s night and they’ll have just enough energy to spare for you when everyone leaves.
INFP: The romantic and uncompromising INFP will have a vision of the perfect date in his or her head. Plan a picnic (indoors or out) with their favourite delicacies and gaze up at the big bright sky as you take a walk down memory lane. This date will be all about bridging the past with the future.
ENFJ: ENFJs are giving, passionate, and demonstrative. Your spouse is the first one to volunteer for the little league and they cheer you on at whatever you do.
It seems they have boundless energy, so suggest a date in which they can burn off some energy while giving back. Perhaps your mate would love running around with some pups at a dog rescue or climbing a skyscraper for charity. They might be chatting up everyone you run into, but since you appreciate his innocent charm, you won’t mind! Besides, your lover has plenty of magic devoted just to you.
INFJ: The INFJ wants their soul stirred. They appreciate romance and feelings more than the average person, so a movie, play or poetry reading is going to be high on the list of date options. If the ending is a happy one, you can be sure that those positive emotions will carry over to you and you will enjoy a passionate part 2 of the evening.
If you’ve recognized your significant other’s personality in these descriptions, you’ll be one date away from showing them how much you understand and appreciate them. Rekindle the spark between you, then keep the flames burning with even more dates you’ll adore.
If you’re still stumped, ask your partner what’s their idea of a great date and tell them you’d like to make it happen. They’ll love you for it.
Lisa Petsinis is a certified coach and certified Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator practitioner who works with individuals who want to create a life they love. Contact Lisa to find out your Myers-Briggs® type, learn about her other services, or sign up for her newsletter for even more advice.