always be dating your spouse

When we first started dating, my husband and I went on a lot of date nights.

We were young(er), childless, and could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, wherever we wanted.

From classics like dinner + a movie to weekends away in exciting cities – we had the time of our lives together.

Fast forward five years and now we have two children, two dogs, a house, and ten thousand other things going on at one time.

Now we line up a babysitter, get dolled up, and set out on a date to dinner + a movie, but by the time dinner is over.. we’re so tired that we can’t imagine sitting through a movie without falling asleep.

Because of this, I have had to get a little bit more creative in planning our date nights (and yes, I plan them because I have anxiety + OCD, leaving the planning up to him stresses me out), romantic eh?

For my husbands birthday a few years ago I put together ‘a year of dates’. This included twenty four date nights – twelve IN and twelve OUT.

With so many reasons to celebrate – anniversaries, Valentines Day, birthdays, etc. I decided that I HAD to share my DIY gift idea with you.

After purchasing twenty four folders, I created a front page for each of them. The page included key information he would need to know regarding the date i.e. length of time, distance from home, if anything particular needed to be worn, in or out, and so on.

Then I began creating my flyer for each date.

I tried to make some of the dates coordinate with seasonal activities, upcoming events, weather, etc.

Below I have listed for you, my twelve date nights out.

  1. Brewery tour. Men love beer, some women love beer. Exploring a local brewery plus snacks + tons of cool new knowledge seems like a win to me.
  2. Paint night. Create some beautiful (or just very amusing) paintings to hang in your home commemorating your night together.
  3. Volunteer. Find a local food bank, homeless shelter, make a wish foundation – whatever pulls at your heart strings – and help. There is something sexy about watching the man you love selflessly helping others.
  4. Shooting range. Whether you’re pro or anti gun, there is a lot of rage released when you shoot at a target. Make it a competition to see who has the best aim.
  5. Arcade. Hanging in a place as colorful and exciting as an arcade will really make you feel like a kid again. No matter how silly the games may be, winning always feels good.
  6. Drive in movie. Believe it or not, drive in movies still exist. Being able to cuddle up in the comfort of your own vehicle with the seats reclined makes you feel like a teenager in the 1950’s.
  7. Cooking class. We took a sushi making class once and it was one of the most fun experiences we have had together. You get to hangout, learn something new, and it is something you may use again in your own kitchen. A cooking class is something we will definitely do again in the future.
  8. Indoor mini golf. If your husband loves to golf like mine, indoor golfing is always a good option in the winter. He gets the golf urge out of system (ok, not really) and you get to enjoy a playful round of golf.
  9. Ice skating. Outdoor ice skating rinks are always so beautiful. The lights, the bright glittering ice beneath your skates, it is breathtaking. You do not have to be a professional to go a couple rounds before you stop (and avoid breaking your bones) and grab some hot chocolate.
  10. The spa. One of our favorite things to do is a spa day. We love relaxing in the sauna, hot tub, steam room, etc. before getting a couples massage. Releasing the stress we both carry plus a quiet afternoon together – it is blissful.
  11. Museums, art galleries, aquariums. Any kind of site seeing is usually a fun time. Being able to explore things like this in your own area makes it convenient and interesting. Go shop for some art for your home, read endless wall plaques about the first airplane, or browse through the thousands of types of fish you did not know existed.
  12. Live entertainment. Whether you like comedy shows, live music, broadway, or any of the numerous types of live entertainment – it is a perfect date night. Getting to listen to that band you love, seeing that book you read come to life on stage, or just laughing at the jokes of a comedian. You truly cannot go wrong.

Now, let me tell you about my twelve date night in ideas.

  1. Game night. Grab your favorite card game, board game, or video game and have an all out battle against them. A little competition always feels so good and people sometimes forget how much fun these kind of games can be.
  2. Fancy dinner. Get dolled up in your fanciest threads and spend the evening together cooking a five star meal. Be sure to wear your aprons because no one wants to ruin all that hard work getting ready!
  3. Themed dinner + movie nights. Grab a mob movie and make an Italian spread, a Jackie Chan movie and make Asian cuisine, Mexican drug lord movie and a Mexican fiesta. Whichever one is your thing, make it a theme night!
  4. Back porch camping. Camping out under the stars is amazing. But when you have kids and no sitter, it isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish. So why not camp out (or at least lay outside together) and stare at the stars for a while. Add in some s’mores and you have the perfect date night.
  5. Spa night. Having a spa day can be costly and difficult to do so why not have a spa night at home? You can take turns giving each foot rubs, back massages, even facials. It is relaxing and easier on the budget.
  6. Cozy fireside. Pop a bottle of whatever you drink, turn on the fireplace, and just cuddle together. Sometimes the best dates are the simplest.
  7. Dance party. Play your song and enjoy an uninterrupted slow dance. Then play some of your other favorites. You never know where dancing will lead.
  8. At home paint night. Set yourselves up across from each other and paint each others portraits. It is always fun to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.
  9. Read. Find a book you would both enjoy and take turns reading out loud to each other – sort of like a book on tape, but you can hear it in your loved ones voice.
  10. Play 20 questions. Google the important questions you are supposed to know about your spouse, then ask, and see if you do in fact know any of them. Chances are they are questions you would have never thought of, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know the answers.
  11. Dream vacation. Make a list of all the places you would like to visit. If any overlap, search them together for future vacation ideas. See if there are dreamy as you think they are.
  12. Binge watch. Pick a new show you have both never seen and binge watch it. Netflix, popcorn, and couch cuddles. I know that sounds like a stereotypical night in my home, but if we do it with intention – it seems more romantic.

Champagne and a box of chocolates usually gets me through a regular day, who says the holidays will be any different? But chances are my husband and I will be picking something off of this list to help us celebrate our anniversary this year and hopefully you found some ideas too!

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