Spring is in the air and if you’re anything like me, you’re ready to get out of the house again.  Just like our closets and our gardens, sometimes our relationships need a little spring cleaning.  The dreary weather of February and March often keeps us stuck inside and uninspired to do much- the perfect recipe for a late winter relationship slump.

But with the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms comes fantastic spring dates to put the spark back into your romance.

Love Bloom

Wine Tasting

This a great date because it combines some of my favorite ideas for couples like learning something new and doing something sensual.  Whether your palette can distinguish between dark cherry and notes of stone fruit or is better suited for comments like “yummy” and “bold”- wine tasting holds plenty of opportunities to always learn something new.

The process of learning is something that we crave as individuals and is crucial for your relationship becomes it keeps things novel and fresh.  We humans love new and exciting things, and the best way to keep your long-term relationship from feeling old and stagnant is to learn things together.  Not only will you gain a deeper appreciation for grapes, you will have opportunities to have a new perspective on your mate.

And the bonus- wine tasting engages almost all of your senses (touch, taste, smell, sight) making it sensual and potentially arousing.  When you tune in carefully to what your tasting and smelling and how it feels in your mouth, you open yourself up to experiencing each other in more sensual ways as well.

Local tip: I’ve had a lovely time at LaGrange Winery, so lovely in fact that I will be hosting two luncheons there in June, one for couples and one on dating.  The wine is delicious, the staff incredibly friendly, and the grounds are beautiful.  Be sure to try the Sangria too!  Not into wine?  Check out any of the local artisans for a chocolate, olive oil, or coffee tasting instead.  Same benefits, no alcohol.


Get Out on the Open Road

I can’t think of a better date when you’ve been snippy and grouchy cooped up inside, than hitting the road on a motorcycle.  The feeling of the wind in your hair, the freedom of the open road, and {most importantly} the simple joy of just being in each other’s company all make motorcycles a great date night idea.

What makes this a great date is its reliance on touch and physical connection with few words.  Simply hold on and point when you see a particularly beautiful stretch of scenery.  There’ll be plenty to share post-ride, but during it’s key to enjoy the experience of connecting without words.

If motorcycles sound a little too ‘Easy Rider” for you, try a convertible or go green and get on your bikes.  Whatever your mode of transportation, put away the cell phones and immerse yourself in the ride.

Local tip: If you aren’t the lucky owner of your own motorcycle, consider renting one.  Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax rents them by the day (motorcycle license required). Or check out up and coming new service, Relay Rides, for a fun rental car around town.


Go For a Nature Walk

For me, spring is the most beautiful time to be in DC, and so any outdoor date is a good idea.  The trees are budding and the tulips will be blooming soon… and the humidity hasn’t kicked in just yet!  Beyond the beauty of the season, a date in nature is good for some other reasons too.  Research has shown that walking in nature, particularly with someone you enjoy, is good for your mental health as well.  In fact, walking in nature with your partner can significantly reduce stress, help you manage depression and anxiety, and get you a little closer to shedding those extra winter pounds.

And then there are the endorphins!  Feel good brain chemicals that boost your mood and your libido.  Endorphins are neurotransmitters responsible for a host of brain activity but we often focus on their role in our experience of pleasure.  So not only will your walk bring a sense of calm and satisfaction in the moment, but it can boost your feelings of pleasure and arousal later in the day.  That sounds like an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon to me.

start 2016 with a fresh outlook on finding, keeping, & enjoying the love you want; join me for Cocktails & Conversations on Love in DC

Local tip: Rock Creek Park, Roosevelt Island, and (for those who prefer a little concrete with their nature) the W & OD trail all offer lovely spaces for a romantic stroll.  If you prefer a little more rigor to your walk, check out the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls.  Rainy day?  You can still get your nature walk inside the U.S. Botanic Gardens.

Check out our guest posts on TheDCLadies.comThis post first appeared on TheDCLadies.com; click here to read more and subscribe.