Next time you're feeling a little disconnected from your partner, ask her out for a date. But don't just settle for the routine dinner and a movie. Instead, resolve to spice things up a bit, by doing something a bit out of the ordinary.

"Date nights are an important part of strengthening a marriage," says Lisa Rene Reynolds, Ph. D., author of Parenting through Divorce: Helping Your Children Thrive During and After the Split. "But many couples feel like a failure when these nights don't fit some preconceived romantic ideal."

All too often, a married couple's date night can become rote: dinner, a movie, and that's it, she says. Here's how to have a meaningful, fun night out with your spouse.

1. Agree to do something out of the ordinary. "For many couples, it's easy to get into the habit of mind reading," says Simon Rego, Psy D, ABPP, ACT, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. "You think you know what the other person is thinking and what they want. But this type of thinking diminishes communication and creativity."  Tastes and preferences evolve over time, he says, so don't make assumptions that you know the perfect formula for a great date night with your spouse.

2. Make a "fun deck," Rego advises. Both individuals write down on index cards what they think would make a fun date night. "Then you look at each other's cards and see if there is anything you would change or modify," he explains. "Once you are in agreement, shuffle up the cards, pick one, and have some fun."

3. Identify the elements of a night out together that are important to each of you, Reynolds suggests. For one of you, this may mean "no cooking." For the other, it could be, "not spending a lot of money." One of you may want to go out on a Friday night while the other one is just too exhausted after a week at work. Before the night arrives, work together to find an activity and a time that are good for you both.

4. Do something a bit of the ordinary. One of the couples Reynolds worked with would get their two kids set up on a Sunday afternoon play date at friends' houses. Then they would get coffee at Starbucks, browse through the new DVD releases at their local library, and go home to watch together.

5. Take the opportunity to flirt, advises Marcy Miller, JD, author of Rebooting in Beverly Hills: A Wise and Wild Path for Navigating the Dating World. "It can take a man by surprise because he is not used to having his wife flirt with him," she says. "You can forget to flirt when you have been married for awhile." Dress up a little for your night out, maybe even wear something a bit provocative, and wear perfume.

6. Try something new, Miller advises. "Go to a department store and have your makeup done," she suggests. "It will be noticed and appreciated, and it sets the mood and the tone for your date."

Simon Rego, Psy D. Psy D, ABPP, ACT, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, reviewed this article.