When we were in our pre-marriage classes, one of the things my husband and I noted was of utmost importance in a marriage was a weekly date night. We spend time together a lot more than some of our peers, but having an intentional date night is so much different! We found out quickly, though, that babysitters are pricey (and a good one is worth their weight in gold!), and weekly was just not happening… heck, monthly was a miracle, and we’re happy to have a good, long date every 3 months! But the expense of it aside, it is VERY important to have frequent dates with your spouse. It keeps that “loving feeling” alive, and while a great marriage isn’t made up of good feelings, they still help 🙂
So anyway, last week I participated in my first legit at-home date. I mean, we’ve grabbed a card game after the kids went to bed, snuggled on the couch and watched movies, etc., but to me, that isn’t a date. Maybe I’m a snob, but to me a date requires planning and intentionality. Well, after 3 weeks of being told by my dad (our #1 free babysitter!) that he’d watch the kids “Tuesday, no wait Friday, maybe Saturday afternoon” and getting tired of being disappointed, Collin decided we’d have a drive-in movie date. It was amazing. We got some big fluffy blankets, dragged them into the back yard, he moved the TV and AppleTV to the back porch, and we laid together and watched 50 First Dates (one of my all-time favorites) in the back yard. It was really something. I felt loved, cherished… I felt like we were friends again. It was very special to me. I decided that at-home dates really shouldn’t be a last-ditch resort when we’re tired of waiting for a “real” date. They can be real dates – planned, intentional, and very fun. (I’m sure this is a realization everyone else came to a long time ago, but I’m stubborn!) So I set out to make a list. I scoured the internet, and found 10 here, 5 there, on all sorts of sites, and compiled them, along with some suggestions from friends, to post here. My plan is to print them, laminate them, and work through them in no particular order. And if you have other ideas, please feel free to post those below!
(I separated out the things that only married couples should participate in… they’re at the bottom! But married ladies, don’t leave these out if you decide to enact some of these date nights with your hubby!)
- Order in from a favorite restaurant, dress up all fancy and turn on some romantic music you’d hear in a nice restaurant ie: Sinatra, Michael Buble, etc.
- Make your bed all pretty and eat a fancy dessert (cheesecake, anyone?) together while watching a favorite (or new!) movie.
- Have an all-out game night, just the two of you. Take turns choosing your favorite board/card games.
- Theme night! Enjoy the music, food, and drink of a culture of your choice. (Italian, Western, etc.)
- Music night! Go back & forth playing your favorite romantic (or fun!) songs for each other.
- Drinks on the back porch. Gaze at the stars, sit together, and just enjoy.
- Read to each other. Pick a favorite article, some quotes, or a book you’re reading and let each other in on your world!
- Casual dance night. Pick some favorite songs – or even some of the awful newer stuff – and dance together in the back yard (weather-permitting)
- Break out the Wii (or other gaming console). Play some favorite video games together.
- DDR, anyone? Get out the PS2 and bust a move.
- Laugh it up. Get out a comedy CD or DVD or find something on YouTube. Laugh till you wet your pants, then take a shower.
- Make a pallet in the living room, pop some way-too-buttery popcorn, and watch a movie you’ve seen a million times.
- Have an indoor picnic. Get (or make) a fruit or cheese tray and sit on a blanket in the living room. No tv, phones, or computer allowed – just talk
- Movie marathon. Buy some special treats, and pick a movie theme. (An actor, an era, etc.) Watch two or three movies if you can stay awake!
- Taste test. Pick a favorite food that has many types and tastes (different meats, cheeses, candies, ice creams – you name it), and take turns blindfolding each other and trying to guess what you’re eating.
- Cook a gourmet meal together. Enjoy laughing, dancing, whatever while you cook, then eat it together like it was served at a 5-star restaurant.
- Bake something sweet. From a box, from scratch – who cares?! Enjoy feeding it to each other.
- Send someone else out on a date! Put the kiddos to bed (theirs and yours), and enjoy the night away from home, just being together.
- Relive your first date at home… Or at least have cheesecake and watch that first movie together again.
- Put the kids to bed early (like 7:00). Make stadium food (nachos!!) and enjoy the game on TV.
- Make brinner and enjoy a “morning” in bed together.
- Karaoke night! Break out your favorite movie musical classics and serenade each other till your heart’s content! (I’m thinking Grease, Newsies, and several Disney classics until our throats hurt!)
- Take the TV (or iPad or laptop) to the back yard and have a “drive in” movie. (It’s worth lugging the TV out there. Especially if it’s a flat screen haha)
Married couples only!
- Fill the kiddie pool with water, put on that swimsuit *ONLY* he can see you in, and soak together under the stars.
- Snuggle up on the couch and watch your wedding video together.
- Watch a movie in bed. Naked. No touchy till it’s over! (Okay, I guess you can hold hands.)
- Play twister in your lingerie. See how long it takes to make him lose on purpose
- Pamper each other. Take turns giving massages, maybe even take a long shower together and let your spouse bathe you.
- Make out. You used to set aside nights just for this purpose and it was always fun. It still is. Go for it.
- Poker night! (Strip optional)
I hope you enjoy enacting some of these at-home date nights! What are some of your favorite stay-at-home dates?