This New York Times article about reinventing "date night" for old marrieds reminds me of a scene in the Tom Perrotta book Little Children. One of the peripheral characters, a painfully high strung and judgmental helicopter mom named Mary Ann, brags to the other mothers at the playground that she and her husband have sex once a week like clockwork, and always on Tuesdays. And what a shocker, the Times thinks this kind of super-regimented romance is bad for your union! Instead of giving the obvious emotional reasons why this is bad, they drop some science instead: trying new things revs up your brain chemistry.
"The activity can be as simple as trying a new restaurant," Tara Parker-Pope writes, "The theory is based on brain science. New experiences activate the brain's reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner."
All this pop science is well and good, but if you're so stuck in a rut that going to a new restaurant is progress, you've got bigger problems than a dopamine deficit in your brain. I'm guessing that you also have a penis deficit. In your vagina.
Reinventing Date Night For Long-Married Couples [New York Times]