What does your date night consist of?
I am interested in hearing date night ideas. DH and I don’t have planned ones, and rarely do we we have any that could be considered a date.
So, if you have a planned date night, how often is it? Is it as consistent as your weekly Bible Study? How do you decide what you are going to do?
I am especially looking for ideas to do at home. We have various ages of children, so to feed them early and put them to bed, doesn’t work here. One teen gets home late from work, so I like to be around for that.
However, since children have been home from school for months, DH and I miss our regular coffee together. Also, they like to be with us, so we rather hate to send them packing. But, other than going to bed, nowadays DH and I have almost no time together. DH kind of bucks at doing a date night idea every week, but I would like to fit something in weekly, even if its very small. Likely, it will have to be me planning it and keeping us both accountable. We are far from restaurants, so neither of us could be bothered to make the trek just for a meal.
We committed over a decade ago to trying to maintain weekly date nights. We don’t manage it every week, but pre-COVID we probably averaged 3x per month. During COVID it’s been a little less, with more at home “dates” (dinner ordered in after kids are settled in for the evening, with Netflix or the like).
Our normal date nights tend to be dinner out and sometimes wandering around Target or Kohl’s, or wherever we might enjoy shopping without kids in tow. I know that doesn’t meet your criteria Brynna, but that’s what we’ve done typically.
Since COVID, dates have more likely been takeout food eaten in the car at one of a couple scenic vistas in town. We enjoy uninterrupted conversation and the break from our kids (who are thankfully old enough to be left home alone for a few hours). One thing we’ve done a lot lately is gone through lists of questions to ask your spouse. There’s deep questions, funny ones, would you rather, sexy questions, etc. We’ve had lots of good conversations that way lately. Google for lists, or look on Pinterest (after opening a few there, I started getting emails with recommendations from them that had other question lists to try). They could also easily be used during a date night in!
- movie at home with homemade popcorn!
- play table games
- watch one of her fav shows on tv
- going through photo albums (yah, we have them!) or watching old family videos
- go for a drive or a walk and enjoy a meandering conversation
- attend a musical performance – sacred or non-sacred
- go shopping for something for DW
- hit one of our favorite restaurants
- do something with another couple
- visit a site – like a museum, historical place, zoo, quaint shops, art stores, etc.
- see some show homes or open houses for sale
- dreaming about and planning our next vacation
So, if you have a planned date night, how often is it? We have a weekly date on Tuesday nights.
Is it as consistent as your weekly Bible Study? We have church every Sunday, so yes.
How do you decide what you are going to do? Normally, we just go out to dinner. Sometimes, we go on walks afterwards. We used to go to movies regularly before the pandemic.
“rarely do we we have any that could be considered a date.”
It’s all a matter of perspective and attitude 😉 We have considered almost everything a date if we do NOT have the kids! We have grocery shopped, gotten tires changed, gone to hardware stores, etc, etc. I have to say it started out mainly as my husband’s good attitude with wanting to spend any time he could get with me, without the kids. So, he happily joined me on shopping trips or asked me to join him on his errands. Often when turning these errands into “dates”, we would treat ourselves to a little something, like a special drink, an ice-cream, something sweet, or even grabbing a bite while out.
I am sure highly romantic people wouldn’t be satisfied with our dates, but look at how many we have and we learned to turn the time we had into something better for us as a couple. Again, it’s a matter of perspective and attitude. We are also the type of people who find just about anything to celebrate so that we can have an excuse to treat ourselves and step out of the norm 🙂
A few ideas to add to others….
• pack a lunch or snacks and find a place you like to sit to enjoy the scenery or the quiet.
• make up something to drink that you all enjoy, and go watch the sunset.
• I had a friend who set up a “drive-in” in her drive way/garage. She took her laptop out, set up some sleeping bags or a mattress in the back of their vehicle, and watched a movie (and made out), while their kids were inside.
• go for a drive around your area, look for deer or other wildlife, and be intentional to hold hands, or if possible, slide into that middle seat like we did when we were young and he could but his arm around you and you can put your hand on his thigh (or nearby areas). Sitting side by side is often a great opportunity to talk.
• make a playlist of songs you both have loved throughout your marriage to listen to while playing cards, sitting and watching the sunset, taking that drive, taking a walk, and then sneak in and ask for a dance or two.
• go sit in your car, with plans to do some neckin’ and maybe more…. act like teenagers 😉 Also dress accordingly, a skirt sans panties, makes easy access and easy cover up.
On many of these things, take along some questions to ask. I have found some lists with great questions from different places.
We have to plan our date night into the calendar so that it happens. Sometimes though with my wife’s work schedule we have to move it. COVID has wreaked havoc on our schedule, again, primarily because of her ever changing schedule and because restaurants have been closed. Our date night has been to go out to eat at which we just spend the evening talking about us, work and church (which is work for me). Every date/topic is different. Limited resources means we only get out on a date once a month, sometimes twice. Several months ago we found the Dating Divas and they have some very creative low cost dates that can be done at home. They also have activities for the family, birthdays and holidays. Having a teen at home also makes the “home dates” challenging. We have done some creative things at home when we have had him spend the night elsewhere. Dating ideas are endless as are resources for putting them together. Sometimes we plan a night, but the event or location is a surprise.
I told DH last night that I thought we needed to spend more time together, just by ourselves. Pre Covid, we had many more chances and now we have simply gotten out of it. I sometimes wonder just where to draw the line. Having a teen who never liked to spend time with us, and now the younger ones do, we hate to just say they can’t be with us. Hey, they even like to come with to get the mail and that’s far out of walking distance. I can’t say I blame them, LOL. Everyone wants to get out for a change. DD will offer to make coffee for us and she will join us, too. So we don’t feel comfortable saying no, to that.
However, DH and I discussed it for just a bit. Maybe making sure that we have a little extra time to ourselves every week, regardless how we do it.
We’ve been struggling with this too. I mentioned in another answer that our DD likes being with us and for now we are just looking at it as a season and enjoying that because I know sooner or later she will be off doing her own thing and we will miss her! BUT, you are right, we do need couple time every once in a while.
I’ve been thinking that we should take advantage of our DD’s transformation into a Covid Vampire–stays up all night, sleeps all day–and just spend a morning frolicking in bed. (Realistically, we’d have to get up and do something then go BACK to bed because of hungry pets and my inability to O in the a.m., but when she sleeps til 4, there’s plenty of time! Maybe a special breakfast together before going back to bed.) I don’t know why I have the sense that you guys live on a farm, but maybe he could be convinced to come inside during the hottest hours of the afternoon and cool off with a together shower. Or a walk under some shady trees.
Ages ago, when we used to go out on dates, our standard was to go out to eat and then make a tour of all the bookstores in town. At one time there were three and we’d hit ’em all! Now the bookstores are the very places DD would be furious if we went without her.
We have been doing some deep deep clutter purging, involving old keepsakes and DD’s school papers. That’s been productive AND sentimental.
OH! Do you and DH have any talents you can share with the kiddos without rehearsing? Plan a family talent contest for the evening, assign your kids something they have to rehearse for a couple hours and send them off on their own saying you are doing the same (only you don’t have to rehearse, so you can do anything you want; somehow I morphed into thinking this was about how to sneak in sex, but really ACTUALLY rehearsing a talent to spring on your kids could be fun too.)
To add interest to at-home movie dates, you could assign themes–do a marathon of a certain franchise, watch all black and white, pick a favorite actor and watch his/her whole canon, etc. You could video each other giving reviews on various movies or even watching, like that moment when he sees your favorite scene for the first time. (Granted, we did this with our DD, so maybe that’s why it was fun and it won’t translate for couples!)
Get a jump on Christmas and buy the kids stocking stuffers. (So they don’t feel so bad about not being with you.) Really anything you can do together and have fun doing it that either is a chore that will naturally run the children off OR is a thing FOR them to enjoy later, like constructing some sort of yard game they will enjoy. Do your kids like to show off for you? Will they go off and create art for a family art show? It’s a big gear shift for me to think multiple kids; I’m always searching out tips for how to handle things with only one. (Ever try one of those nifty chore games where ‘the WHOLE family pitches in’ when there’s one lone kid? They are all designed for a whole tribe where you can tap the crowd energy. One child has no crowd energy!)
And don’t forget to snuggle in front of the kids. Let them see you love each other. 🙂