In this season of life, my husband and I have a hard time going on dates as a couple outside the home for three main reasons.
- We have young children with particular bedtime routines. A change in routine can throw them off for days, so we try to keep things consistent as much as possible.
- We don’t live close enough to either set of our parents to ask them to babysit, and we don’t have a regular babysitter.
- Even if we had a great babysitter on call, the price of having a babysitter eats into what we feel comfortable spending on a date. Expenses get out of hand quickly!
So what are we to do? First, we take advantage of grandparents when we can. Second, we plan at home dates!
Why schedule date nights?
I make it a point to schedule regular at home dates with my husband after we put the children to bed. Planning for them is the most important part. If I don’t have a plan for a date night, my husband and I inevitably stare at our computers, sit in front of a television, or sit with our noses in books until bedtime.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but I love connecting with my husband in a more meaningful way. That connection reminds me why I love my husband. It makes me a happier person in general. Planning for it is the best way to ensure that we get that special time together.
My goal is to have a date night at least every other week. We do not always make our goal of every other week. Life happens. Someone gets sick and needs attention. Something new pops up on the calendar that wears us out that day. Even so, we have more date nights since starting to schedule them than we did before we started scheduling them!
My favorite at home dates:
Movie & popcorn – Sometimes it’s nice to catch up on semi-current popular culture together. We’ll make popcorn the old-fashioned way, and use a code for a free Redbox. (TIP: Google Redbox codes to find codes for free/discounted rates.) Sometimes we break movies up into two nights because we are tired and want to go to bed early. Sounds a little lame, but hey, what can I say? We are in a tiring yet joyful season of life!
Game night – Some of our favorites include: Boggle, Scrabble, You Don’t Know Jack, Life, Yahtzee, and Checkers. We love to play cards – Rummy is a favorite. We also like Monopoly Deal card game and UNO.
Spa night – One of my favorite things about my current house is the giant whirlpool tub. Having a night at “the spa” is a great way to relax together.
Cuddles and chats – Sometimes our date nights are nothing more than just cuddling up in bed to chat about the future, about current life stuff, and about goals. In warmer weather, we cuddle up outside on our screened in porch for our chat. These are some of my favorite date nights because they are easy to plan and easy to implement.
Household projects – Can I really consider this a date?! Killing two birds with one stone? Working as a team on a mutual goal is a great way to strengthen bonds. And how awesome is it to finish a project that’s been dragging. Of course, some projects may cause more stress than connecting. Keep that in mind if you go this route. Ha! Personally, my husband and I have done some small sanding and painting projects together, and we had fun doing them. 🙂
Taste tests – Buy different versions of the same type of food, and do a taste test to see which version is best. Recently I bought three different brands of salsa to try them against our current brand. Seemed like a fun idea to try for a date night. Maybe create your own sampler flight of wines, beers, cheeses, or chocolates? I’ll have to put one of those tastings on the agenda for our next date night!
If you’d like more ideas, check out The Dating Divas. That site is full of ideas, some corny and some great 🙂
I’d love to hear any of your awesome date night ideas in the comments!