I remember being newly married and the “honeymoon phase” quickly wore off (mainly because we opted to NOT take a honeymoon because my teacher husband was in the middle of the school year) and the hustle of day-to-day life quickly set in. My husband and I had a few hit or miss date nights “in” but rarely did we make a plan to go “out.” I never thought to make it a goal, but it is a goal worth considering BEFORE you get married. If you are in the planning stages of your wedding, make a pact then when you get married you and your spouse will stick to one date a week no matter what! There’s nothing that helps create those positive, happy experiences and memories together like getting out and having some fun together.
Think about it.. in the early stages of you and your fiance dating, what moments make you smile the most? For me, it is the random dates my husband and I went on to Barnes and Noble or walking through the park in search of the perfect picnic spot.
If you haven’t been having regular date nights, don’t stress! It is okay to start small. Plan on going OUT to dinner (without children if you have them) and put on “date night” clothes to get the ball rolling. This can be once a week or once a month, whichever works better for you two, your budget, and your schedule. Plan ahead to avoid life pushing date night around, too. Just like exercise, if you don’t plan for something, it’s probably not going to happen. At the beginning of each month, schedule your date night in sharpie (don’t forget to tell your spouse). During the conversation you may discover tiny changes between you two that inspires future date ideas. Ask questions:
What are 5 passions you have and why?
Who has influenced you lately?
What 5 things make you happy?
What do you hope to be remembered for?
… after a few dates switch up dinner with something new. Be a tourist in your own area by finding a place you have never been to, drive to a neighboring city and try a cuisine you have never experienced before. I know the latter is still “dinner” but looking up new places creates a needed freshness and amps the “unique” factor. Don’t forget to set a budget, these date nights can even be free, the goal is to have fun and going into debt is NOT fun for anyone.
Take turns planning, and agree to do whatever the other person plans. Also plan ahead to minimize other “life” getting in the way of your date night goal. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would not only be going to Comic Con-style conventions but enjoying them I would have rolled my eyes. But I gave it a shot because it is something my husband wanted to do and I may have had more fun than he did!
If going out every single time doesn’t sound appealing, it is okay to stay in for a night but stick with the idea of keeping one night a week/month open to a unique, fresh idea. Staying in might look like this:
Pull out the board games. There are so many great options out there!
Learn something new together. From painting on canvas, baking a new dessert, or daringly building something Youtube has so many tutorials for almost everything!
Dance together. When was the last time you did that? The benefit of being at home is no one is watching so dance as silly as you want!
Think of your first date and try to re-create it at home. Perfect for couples that have been together for years.
Now I want to hear from you: Do you and your spouse have a regular date night? How often do you make a point to spend quality time together? Give me your best date ideas!