How do you keep your relationship strong in grad school?

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(Or any stressful work environment, really…). I’m still looking for good answers to this question but am super thankful for my amazing boyfriend, who puts up with my babbling about school and paper ideas, and the fact that I am exhausted pretty much all the time. Recently, I discovered the idea of novelty dates. Because I’m a grad student I was excited by the science that says that couples that go on dates frequently do not experience as much relationship satisfaction as couples who go on dates to new places frequently, because the feeling of novelty activates the same feelings that exist in new love.

With that in mind, I basically got to work making a list of new things for Trevor and I to do. So far, we’ve gone to a pottery class, hiked in a new location, gone to a fantastic plant sale, tried a new breakfast spot, and browsed a new record store. I don’t think I can comment on the brain science yet, but 1) it’s been really fun, and 2) making a list and actively making a plan to go on new dates has stopped us from just staying in and continuing to binge The Wire (which we still enjoy, of course).

I’m going to keep adding to our list. Do you have any fun novelty date ideas?

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