The best way to keep a marriage healthy is to stay connected. The most important part of staying connected is by actually spending time together. That doesn’t have to mean expensive vacations or fancy dinners out on the town; there are plenty of fun things that you can do for free or with very little money! Here are some simple ideas for date night:
Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant and try ordering something new. Whether you’re both picky eaters, or just want to try something new and different, this is a great way to go out on date night! Rather than trying to guess what the other person wants, ask your server for recommendations or suggestions. If they seem hesitant or unsure, it can be helpful to give them some ideas of what types of dishes might appeal to each of you. You could also consider making reservations at one of those restaurants that has an “appetizers only” option where you get several different small plates in lieu of full meals—this gives each person more room for exploration!
We have a lot of couples who love to cook together and they always say it helps them connect. They say they learn more about each other’s cooking styles, favorite foods, and favorite restaurants because they can share their own with each other. For example, one client told me that her husband once took her to his favorite restaurant in New York City—she had no idea he even knew such a place existed!
Our therapists suggest you find out what your partner’s go-to recipe is and get together to make it together. This will give both of you an opportunity to be helpful in the kitchen and create something delicious together!
“I like to set up a romantic picnic during the summertime,” says Dr. Brian Siegel, a couples therapist in Durham, North Carolina. “We bring blankets and pillows to sit on and make lunch together.”
As an alternative, you can go to a park or other outdoor space where you can enjoy a meal on the grass. “This is great for making it feel like you’re really away from it all,” he says.
“Eating with your hands makes it feel more playful,” he adds.
One of his favorite things about this kind of date is that when people are eating off plates, they tend not to be as focused on each other. But, when they’re sharing food off their hands (or from one plate), they tend to have eye contact more often and get closer physically as well.
“Go for a hike at a nearby state park, or take turns planning nature walks around the neighborhood,” says Samantha Ravitz, LMFT. “If you have kids, plan ahead so you can get them babysat for a couple nights a month and then enjoy an evening of relaxation in the garden or park.”
It’s important to spend quality time with your partner during the day—and even more important to create moments where only the two of you exist. But, you also need time together that doesn’t involve children or other distractions. If your love life has been taking a backseat to your responsibilities as parents, this is where it’s going to pay off: By setting aside date nights alone as often as possible (ideally once per week), couples therapists say that many marriages see their relationships grow stronger thanks to open communication and constructive criticism among spouses who feel like they’re partners in crime rather than adversaries working against each other from opposite ends of their own needs list.
Get your kids involved in the planning! They will be excited to help you find ideas and make decisions about where you should go on date night.
Don’t wait until the last minute to arrange child care. You should discuss this with your partner as much in advance as possible so that he or she has time to organize it before date night arrives. It’s best if both of you (or all four of you—if there are other children) can take turns arranging childcare so that one parent isn’t left home alone with everyone else’s responsibilities while the other parent is out having fun without them.
Ask friends and family for help: Maybe one of your neighbors has an extra room where they could board your kid(s) at no charge? Maybe someone from church would be willing to watch them once every few weeks? If not, consider hiring a babysitter or asking a relative whose house is nearby yours if they want some extra money on occasion. They may be able to watch over your kid(s) while they’re at their house instead of yours during those two evenings per month when it’s just mommy/daddy time! Don’t worry—you’ll get plenty more quality bonding time together after work. Since neither partner works the swing shift anymore as we did back then before we had our son who now goes through school during those hours instead, our schedules aren’t incompatible anymore!
Couples therapy is a great way to learn about your partner. But you can also take an online couples course together that has homework assignments. This will help you both to learn more about each other, improve communication skills and trust, as well as increase the intimacy between the two of you. It’s important that both partners are open-minded and willing to try new things in order for it to be successful.
Card and board games are a great way to spend time with each other. They’re also a great way to spend time with friends, whether you live near them or not! Cards Against Humanity is a fun party game that can be played by 6+ people at once. Players take turns drawing cards and using the word or phrase on the card to complete their sentences. The goal of this game is simply to make as many funny, silly sentences as possible while being as politically incorrect as possible (and without getting caught).
Card games like Uno are another option if you’re looking for something less messy than Cards Against Humanity. This card game has been around since 1971 and it’s still going strong today! So whether you’ve been playing since the 70s or just want something different from your regular Friday night routine, Uno could be right up your alley!
If finances are tight, have an at-home spa day with face masks and milk baths. If you can afford it, treat yourselves to professional massages.
Picnics are a great way to bring romance back into your relationship and make it feel more like a date night. Grab some blankets, pillows, and maybe even some wine or champagne (depending on how fancy you want to get), and enjoy dinner outside under the stars. If it’s still warm enough for summertime picnics outdoors, this is one that can be easily achieved without leaving home! If not, that’s okay too. You can still create an intimate atmosphere with candles around the room as well as soft music playing softly in the background. You may also want to consider adding some rose petals or flower petals around where you’ll be eating. By doing so, you can ensure that there are extra touches of romance involved in whatever setting you choose for this relaxing evening together!
If you’re looking for ideas on how to rekindle the romance in your relationship, here are some fun activities that will get you out of the house and give you a chance to spend quality time together.
We hope these ideas have helped you discover new ways to keep your relationship exciting. Remember that the most important thing is to remember why you fell in love with each other in the first place. If you find yourselves getting into a rut, try one of our activities!
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