Date nights are such a refresher for my marriage. We don't have them all that often, but whenever we do take the time out to focus on enjoying each other's company, doing something out of the norm, we both end up feeling rejuvenated in our relationship. The conversations, the focus on each other rather than our phones / child / work, even being in a different setting rather than on our living room sofa - it all knits our two person unit just a tiny bit tighter together.
With a new baby on the way, it may be a while before we start going on regular date nights again but I decided that I would create a wishlist of sorts - the dates that I really want to go on with M, at some point this year. And with Valentine's Day approaching, what better time than now to share these ideas? :) If you don't have plans already, feel free to snag one from the list!
- Have an afternoon at the zoo. Stop for ice cream at a roadside stand on the way home.
- Go to a show at a Planetarium. If there's not one near you, borrow a book on constellations from the library, wrap up, and star gaze from your own back garden. Pick a night where there's something special to be seen such as the solar eclipse on Mar 20 or the Perseids meteor shower (best view on Aug 12). (2015 calendar of celestial events linked here). Bonus points if you make a wish together on a shooting star!
- Get dressed to the nines and attend a concert by the philharmonic orchestra, or a play by a local troupe.
- Watch an old movie at a drive-in theater. Load up your vehicle with blankets and takeout dinner. Don't forget the candy!
- Go to a farmer's market & pick out something fresh and local to make for dinner. Cook together, then take an evening stroll afterwards. Point out all the things you love about your neighborhood to each other. (And if you're like me, all of the ideas for home renovation that you see!)
- Pick up new books at the library or bookstore. Enjoy browsing the shelves together, then find a comfortable and quiet coffee shop, kick your feet up in side-by-side chairs, and read together. Tell each other about your books over your 2nd lattes.
- Take in a new exhibit at an arts or science museum.
- Find somewhere to rent canoes or kayaks, and explore a canal, river, or lake together.
- Check out a little-known band at a small music venue.
- Go for a morning hike. Take a picnic lunch and a blanket and enjoy the fresh air when you get to your destination.
- Be tourists! Go to one or more of the 'sights to see' in your area or a nearby city, get pedestrians to take photos of you, read the historical plaques, and learn something new about where you live! (This is especially great if you've moved recently!)
- Have a competition of who can pick the most fruit at a berry or apple orchard, or pick out a big pumpkin together. Then either bake a dessert and enjoy it together, or carve something in the pumpkin!
- Play 2-player board games, make some homemade hot cocoa, and then toast marshmallows over a campfire outside.
- Go to a flea market together. Set a low price limit - $5? - then scour the stalls for the strangest/funniest thing you can find in that price range for the other person. Grab a drink and exchange your 'finds'!
- Be 16 again - go to the closest amusement park and go on ALL the rides together! (If there's a water slide park, even better!)
- Bonus Round: Reenact your proposal, or a special moment/date. For us that would be going up to Niagara Falls again. Take in the things you didn't see the first time, and savor the memory of that special moment. Say 'yes' to each other again - and take pictures of your day! :)
Hopefully some of these will inspire you for a date night of your own this year! Even if none of these appeal to you, the important thing really is to focus your attention on your partner and savor the moments together (keep phones tucked away if you can), talk and listen to each other, and have fun. The best dates that M and I have had are the ones where we ended up laughing throughout the whole thing!
I am going to try and do all of these with M at some point this year - wouldn't it be great to have date nights every month (or more)?! Let me know if you use any of these date prompts yourselves, and how they go - and if you have others to add, please leave them in the comments. I love hearing new ideas!
I also love sharing the posts I've enjoyed throughout the week with you all! Meagan's Blogger Love linkup is so great for highlighting wonderful writing - here are a couple I loved:
1.Bridget at Tales of Me and the Husband has just had another little baby and writes rather eloquently about what those early days with her new boy are like. I'm looking forward to experiencing a crazy, sweet life of my own in the next few weeks!
2 & 3. As part of the Better Blogging Blog Tour, Alycia at Crazily Normal shares her top 10 tips for using instagram more effectively and Tawnya at All of Life's Little Adventures gives us her take on the things bloggers *must* know about Pinterest. As someone who is not adept at all social media outlets, I always appreciate useful tips such as these!
4. Cassie at Sage talks about the Blogging Kisses of Death - aka the top reasons why she and possibly others won't return to your blog. As bloggers we all wonder what brings people to our sites, what makes them engage, and what brings them back again. And as someone who has made some of these mistakes in the past, it's great to have them highlighted as critical. (She also inspired me to come up with my list of Date Nights for the year - thank you, Cassie!!! Such a fun prompt!) :)
What have you enjoyed reading this week?