Sleep, eat, work, play. Repeat.
Life with your other half starting to feel predictable? Partner feeling more like your roommate or business partner? Get out of the relationship rut with these date night ideas.
A few months ago, my husband Brent organized a fancy home-cooked meal and got our kids to dress up as servers to play “restaurant”. The kids really got into their serving roles and we all had so much fun! After the kids went to bed, Brent and I stayed up with a bottle of wine, enjoying each other’s company, completely distraction free. It was such a simple way to enjoy our time together, and be present in the relationship.
Your Partner is Your Number One
Beyond anything – kids, parents, best friends – the relationship between you and your partner should be the primary relationship. Recognizing this and prioritizing your partner long after your honeymoon period is over will help you stay a rock solid couple, a united front, and a good example for your kids and peers.
Honouring Your Relationship
We get busy with work, outings, and shuttling kids from place to place… Conversations revolve around bills, social commitments, “what’s for dinner?” and which things need to be done around the house. Slipping into this zone, it’s easy to begin taking your other half for granted, treating them as more of a roommate than a romantic life partner. You get used to them always being around and don’t feel the need to make as much effort to show them affection, attention or appreciation.
Then there are times when prioritizing your partner means making a decision. If you promised your partner a romantic dinner, but your friends invite you to see a great band the same night, what do you do? Cancel on your partner, thinking they won’t mind if you reschedule? They’ll still be there tomorrow, won’t they? Are you honouring your relationship and treating your partner as your number one?
Committing to a Distraction-Free Date Night
A great way to ensure your partner remains your priority is to set non-negotiable weekly or bi-weekly date nights – without distraction (phones, tablets, kids, chores, work emails etc.). These are special “just because” nights that aren’t driven by obligatory occasions such as Valentine’s Day, birthdays or anniversaries.
Regular date nights are an excellent way to honour your relationship and give your partner several hours of love and attention in one sitting. It’s a good chance to check in, practice active listening, nurture and strengthen the bond you have, and rediscover the passion that brought you together in the first place.
Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
Money does not correlate with level of love or happiness. Date nights don’t have to be expensive, just take turns being creative. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Free or Inexpensive Date Night Ideas:
- Camp out in the backyard with a blanket and wine and gaze at the stars
- Volunteer together for a cause you both care about
- Go berry, cherry, or mushroom picking. Organize a trip to your local farm and pick whatever is in season
- Take up a new hobby – an instrument, photography, dance or art classes
- Recreate your first date or another memorable date
- Pack a picnic and head to the lake or park
- Go on a brewery or winery tour
- Host a candlelit dinner at home, or try making your partner’s favourite dish
- Pick your partner up from work and whisk them off to your favourite restaurant
- Go on a romantic walk or hike together
- Head to the beach or up a mountain to watch the sunset
- Catch a firework display together
- Head to a local art show
- Find an open-mic night at your local coffee shop/bar
- Hit up a free outdoor concert or event in your town
- Head to the cinema (Tuesday nights are usually discounted)
- Get on your bike and tour around your local park
- Take a scenic drive and head out to your favourite lookout spot
- Work out together – hit up a free or affordable yoga/spin class or go for a run together.
Date Night Ideas (For Parents of Babies and Young Kids):
- If you have a baby, go somewhere where you know your baby does well. For example, if your baby likes to be in a stroller, go on a walking date with your partner. If baby likes the car seat go for a romantic drive to a lookout spot to watch the sunset
- Put the kids to bed, get cozy with popcorn or wine and pick something on Netflix. If you always decide on the movie, try letting your partner decide (no complaints!)
- Dine out – find a baby friendly restaurant close to home. Have dinner then put baby to bed and continue the night with wine or a passionately “early night”
- Get a babysitter/family member to watch the kids for one night per month so you and your partner can head out for date night
- Host a board game night with the kids for the first round, then put them to bed and bring out the more adult games.
It really doesn’t matter how you choose to spend your date night. The most important thing is dedicating quality time to nurturing your primary relationship. The ideas above aren’t rocket science, and you probably know most of them already – but when was the last time you actually did them?
If you’re looking for new ways to understand and strengthen your relationship with your partner, check out these 8 Ted Talks that might just save your relationship. Or discover your personal love language with the 5 Love Languages quiz.
Which date night ideas get your relationship firing on all cylinders?