If your relationship is anything like ours, the main thing stopping date night from happening is (surprise, surprise) money. Going to dinner and a movie once a week (or even once a month) adds up, and our tendency is to skip date night all together in an effort to save money. AJ and I are definitely guilty of postponing or just flat out cancelling dates simply because our budget is too tight, or we spent the money elsewhere. However, while we are saving our dollars, we are simultaneously straining our marriage. Time alone is VITAL for any healthy relationship. Whether you have kids or not, it's so important to make dates a priority.
This post is as much for my benefit as anyone elses- I've witnessed firsthand how even a few hours alone can revive your connection.
So, in hopes that "date night" will once again become a regular staple in our marriage, I've been brainstorming some free (or *very* cheap) options for outings we can take together, sans children. Hopefully they give you some good ideas too!
1. Have a picnic: this one is fun because it can be super versatile. You can pack an easy dinner, drive out to a park or river, throw down a blanket and eat- or you can go the fancy route- candles, wine, a string quartet...you know the drill.
2. Go antiquing/thrifting: AJ and I might just be very gracefully aging 78-year-olds, but antiques are some of our favorite things. We love searching thrift stores or antique shops for unique finds, imagining what amazing stories are behind each item. Even if you don't buy anything, it always feels like time well spent.
3. Have an at-home movie night: even though this is basically every night at our house, setting aside a specific night for a kid-free snuggle session on the couch with popcorn and a movie can be just as fun and much cheaper than going to a theater.
4. Hit range balls together: If you're with an avid golfer, like I am, this will earn you major brownie points. A guy will never turn down an opportunity to watch his wife "try" to do something he loves to do. It might be worth the embarrassment (if your golf swing is anything like mine).
5. Find a fun DIY project to do together: I know, I know, you could technically fit "working on the house" into this category- but that takes the romance out of it. Choose a project that you can hang on your bedroom wall, or something for your yard. Paint some furniture. Personalizing your home together will automatically bring you together.
6. Cook an adventurous meal: Is there something you've both been wanting to try? A restaurant you've been eyeing? Pick a few things from the menu and try making it together. Pinterest is a great resource for finding unique, doable recipes.
7. Volunteer your time: spend the evening at your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Nothing brings two people together more like serving someone else.
8. Train for a 10k or fitness goal together: because what guy doesn't want to watch his wife work out?
9. Have a backyard cookout: grill some burgers, have a few drinks, sit around the fire pit. Sounds like a perfect night to me.
10. Get out of your comfort zone together: is there a class you've both been wanting to try? Go do it. Aj and I are both terrible dancers, but we would love to learn. Couples who are embarrassed together, stay together.
I hope this gave you some fun inspiration! I'm excited to try them out myself.
What are some dates you'd add to the list? I'm always looking for ways to spice up our typical date nights.
Happy Monday, friends!