By Joy Ballard
Date night should be something you look forward to as a couple. But, what if you don’t? We have 10 home date night ideas for you today.
When Date Night Doesn’t Work For You
Sometimes the traditional dinner-out type of date doesn’t fit with your marriage. Whether because of work schedules, season of life, budget, or monotony, maybe the typical weekly date night just isn’t for you.
Traditional date nights might even bring more stress and conflict into your marriage due to their being a cultural expectation to live up to rather than something that genuinely connects you and your spouse as friends.
My husband and I dated long distance for the majority of our pre-marriage relationship, so a weekly date night out never became part of our relationship routine. Also, we married young and had our first child a couple years into our marriage. In other words, we had a tight budget.
The stress at that time of finding and paying for a sitter, for dinner and sometimes parking, made the actual experience of a date night unenjoyable. I’ve heard people argue that you budget for what matters to you. However, I would like to kindly differ because sometimes that is simply not financially wise.
Our experience of having a tight budget in the early days of our marriage helped us think outside the box. Over the years we have come to realize that while we do love a great meal out on the town, there are other and perhaps more significant ways that we connect as a couple.
What Date Night Needs to Be
Ultimately, a weekly date night is not about restaurants and high heels. Date nights are about the connection and friendship between us.
Each couple has a completely unique dynamic that doesn’t always fit the status quo. So for you who are…
- Frustrated with the flow of (or lack of) good conversation at a noisy and expensive restaurant
- Unable to find reliable babysitters
- Homebodies because of the pandemic
- Not able to have date night for many other reasons
Here is a list of unique home dates that might bring more laughter, connection and enjoyment than the average date night out.
10 Home Date Night Ideas
All you need is a plan, a date on the calendar, and your kids in bed. You could try a different date each month for a year. Or you could find your favorite to repeat weekly.
- Cooking Class
You can learn how to cook just about anything online. My husband taught himself to poach eggs the other day while I learned to make hollandaise sauce. Then we had some amazing eggs benedict! Pick one of your favorite restaurant meals and learn to make it together at home.
- Fancy Party for Two
Throw together an amazing charcuterie board (again, look online if you don’t know how) and learn to make some fancy drinks. Consider dressing up too!
- Old Movie Night
There is definitely a lot of value in not always just sitting in front of the TV, but sometimes that’s just the kind of cozy date we need. So turn on the fireplace, get the movie snacks ready and watch a really great old favorite.
- Book Club
Get an audio book you both agree on and listen to it together while working on a puzzle or swinging on the porch swing. Then talk about it.
- Game Night
Learn a new board game or card game. Find the game that you both enjoy enough to still play when you’re in your 80’s.
- Research Meeting
Decide on a topic of interest and get books from the library to learn more about it. Have you always talked about traveling to a specific place? Buying a camper? Moving to a homestead? Opening a small business? Remodeling part of your house? Learn more about it together and maybe make a plan for it.
- Blast From the Past
Pull out that old box of memories or letters, play the music you listened to when your relationship first started and get some of the food you used to like, just for fun. I can’t believe we used to buy strawberry milk when we were newlyweds! Do they even sell that anymore?
- Fixer Upper
What home project have you both (emphasis on both) been wanting to tackle together? Get to it. Make it fun, get sweaty and enjoy the process.
- Wellness Focus
I can’t say I ever imagined my husband and I practicing yoga or doing Whole30 together, but we do and it’s awesome. Commonly, one spouse might tend to be more into healthy habits than the other, but make an effort to join your spouse in their healthy interest and experience the benefits of becoming healthier together.
- Dream Big
What is a seemingly impossible future dream you have together? Maybe taking your family on an overseas trip, making a difference in your community in a specific way, or going back to school? Price it out or create a plan in phases that would tentatively get you there. Maybe you’ll find out it’s not as unrealistic as you think. But even if it is, you may discover there is an alternative option you could pursue. Give yourselves permission to look at it seriously and consider the options.
Find your own rhythm as a couple. Find your own fun. The point of date nights is to sincerely connect as a couple and to intentionally take time out of the busyness of life to refocus on your relationship, which is the most important relationship you have on earth.
Wife Step: Figure out if there are any obstacles or issues in your current date night pattern and use these or other ideas to re-energize your connection with your husband.
Joy was born and raised in a multicultural, bilingual family in the country of Mexico. Although she loves a good taco, her love for a Minnesota guy won out. 14 years of marriage, 4 kids and many geographical locations later, they now reside in Indiana where her husband is completing a doctoral program. Together they love helping couples discover the incredible adventure marriage was intended to be. They have led many marriage small groups, ministries and retreats, but their favorite way to connect with other couples is by simply sharing life together. When not deep in the throes of homeschooling and parenting, Joy enjoys devouring books, stringing words together, dabbling in watercolor, and sipping coffee with friends. Photo credit: Woodford Sisters Photography