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Double Dates Are Aphrodisiacs: How Group Outings Can Save Your Relationship

Update Date: Jun 26, 2013 03:30 PM EDT

If your relationship is on the rocks, try going on a double date.  A new study reveals that double dates act like an aphrodisiac by increasing partners' desire for one another.

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Social Work found that planning a romantic date with another couple may actually boost intimacy in your own relationship.

Researchers Kathleen Holtz Deal and Geoffrey L. Greif found that couples who are friends with other couples are more attracted to each other and have stronger relationships. The latest findings are published in the book Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships.

While the benefits of double dates are less obvious as group outings are generally believed to be less intimate than one-on-one dates.  The latest research revealed that going on dates with other couples could actually reignite the spark that initially drew you to your partner.

Researchers explain that couples in a long-term relationship tend to stop "keeping up appearances" because they don't see the necessity of bringing up their "A game" since both parties have decided to love each other for better or for worse.   However, the bad news is this contented "less than best" attitude will often grow into disdain or indifference. 

But on group outings, people tend to put their best on the table.

"On double dates, our energy's higher, because we're performing for the group," Pamela Madsen, a sex and intimacy coach and founder of the Back to the Body sensuous retreat for women, told yourtango.com.

Not only will couples on double dates try harder to be their best, they will also have more people to appreciate their efforts.

Double dates also offer couples a window into another couple's relationship, and give each partner a chance to appreciate the other more. Given the opportunity, people tend to see their partner's desirability through the eyes of other people, and this altered perception will help them appreciate each other more.

"Our partner sees our desirability through the eyes of other people," Madsen said. "It makes us more wanted, more exciting and more desirable to him or her."

Seeing other couples can also offer an opportunity for two people in a relationship to learn behaviors and communication strategies that work and don't work.  

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