Are you stuck when it comes to thinking up date night ideas? All the marriage advice books and websites say you’ve got to have scheduled date nights with your partner. You hear it everywhere you turn. I’ve been with John for 18 years, married for 9, and totally agree that connection is crucial and having a planned, standing date night makes it easier to stay connected. But don’t let it get stale! You don’t want to start avoiding date night’s because it’s become too routine and boring.
I told you years ago about our date night’s getting lamer than ever. Well, happy to report we’ve stepped it up a notch (or 2) since then. We love date night, and now that we have help with the babies and can actually do them regularly we started to feel like they were getting a bit….routine again. We have recommitted to jazzing up our date nights and adding in a few different types of dates into the mix.
Here are the 10 date nights your marriage needs to spice up date night:
Super Fancy Dress Up Date
On this date you put on the fanciest dress you own and go somewhere extra elegant. These dates are usually reserved for anniversaries or other special occasions but we should sprinkle them into our general date night repertoire. It makes the date feel special when you’re gussied up and dressed to the nines.
Netflix & Chill Date
#Realtalk – this is about 50% of John and my date nights. But the “netflix and chill” date is necessary. It’s comfortable (no dressing up), it’s easy (you’re home), it’s efficient (no sitters, etc) and it’s fun. You just snuggle up with your boo for a movie (or binge-watching Stranger Things) and then… well…you’re grown! #havefun
The DIY date is underestimated. Doing a project together is both an awesome bonding experience, plus there’s a wonderful sense of satisfaction after completing it. It may not be the most romantic date all the time, but it can be very intimate (Think: cooking a meal together vs cleaning out the garage together). The DIY date leads to a lot of talking and connection which is the point of the date night anyway!
Every marriage needs the surprise date. I suggest each partner choose one date each month to plan fully without letting the other partner know. The surprise date gets to be a really special gift from the planner to the other partner. If you’re the type A, obsessive detailed planner, (::raises hand slowly::) it may be hard to give up control, but please try. It can be fun to let go of the reigns sometimes.
Get out and get wild! Try something adventurous with your mate. (Whatever that means to you.) Do a mud run or a scavenger hunt, hit the shooting range or paintball. If you have it in your area try bungee jumping, ATV riding or a ropes course. I wish I had gotten to try the trapeze lessons at Chelsea Piers before we moved out of NYC. Check out Viator (my fave) or a place like Groupon for ideas and discounts!
Teach Me Date
If you and your partner have different hobbies and passions this date is perfect. One partner is the teacher and the date revolves around sharing your hobby with your mate, teaching them how to do something you love to do or all about something you are passionate about. Bonus: this is a perfect at-home date when you’re saving your pennies.
New to Both Date
It’s so much fun to discover something new together. Try a new restaurant, or type of cuisine. Head to a nearby town you haven’t explored yet (or try one of the ideas from the adventurous date). Maybe try a sport or activity neither of you have tried. Groupon and Living Social has lots of classes and date night ideas that you may not have even heard of. Take a dance class together and learn how to twerk! John found jiu jitsu lessons for us to try out soon.
The competition date is always fun, but can be dangerous if you’re highly competitive people. My husband and I love each other very much but we will make anything a competition. (“I bet I cut these onions before you cut up that green pepper.” <—actual quote from my husband) Go bowling, head to the gym or for a hike, play mini golf…anything that you can have a friendly challenge. If it’s an at-home date, whip out the cards or chess set. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Double or Group Date
Adding friends to the date night routine is a great way to shake things up every now and then. More people = more fun. No coupled up friends? You can meet some via Meetup.com or on the Bumble dating app (there’s a BFF feature). You may meet an awesome couple nearby for more group dates…. Or, if they’re awful, you can make knowing eyes at your partner during the date and then crack jokes about the other couple later on.
This is a fun one. Have you ever recreated your first date? Go to places you went when you first started seeing each other. If you now live in a different area you can wear something you would’ve worn, and play music you were listening to back then. On the nostalgia date you can reminisce and feel like ‘kids’ again!
Try these for more date night ideas: