The rise of ‘date night’ in recent years shows that couples of all ages are struggling to make time to enjoy themselves and reconnect in the midst of their busy lives.
Cheesy though it may sound, taking the time to plan a special date with your partner – like you would have when you were first getting to know each other – is a simple way to get out of the house and step away from the everyday pressures of work, family and home life.
If you’ve grown tired of staying in and watching TV or the tried and true dinner and a movie, shake things up by planning a date night that gets you out of your comfort zone.
Need inspiration? Here’s four easy ideas to try on your next date night.
Take a class
Leaning something new together is a great way to spend some time together, bring each other closer and reinforce your bond. Pick out something you’re both interested in and ideally something neither has any experience in.
For a challenge, take on a new language or sign up for an academic evening course at your local university. For something more relaxed, photography, pottery, drama or swimming offer the chance to spend some quality time together and doesn’t require much prep in between.
If there’s a cause that touches both your hearts, why not spend a day or an evening getting involved in volunteer work? It’s a way to give back to your community or a group or organisation that has benefitted you in some way – by planning a date to do some volunteer work you can feel good about doing something positive and feel proud of each other as a couple.
Choose a cause that you both feel excited about so it’s a good experience for you each individually – going for a coffee in a café nearby afterwards to share stories, things you liked and didn’t like offers the opportunity to connect with one another.
Sample new cuisines
It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a food rut when you’re eating the same things day in and day out – if you find yourself visiting the same restaurants over and over, make a point of trying somewhere new once a month on a date night. Use a restaurant guide or online booking engine like OpenTable to find new and interesting restaurants in your area and try a different cuisine each month. Forget about old favourites like Italian and Indian; Korean, Japanese, Lebanese, Moroccan, Spanish and Mexican are just a handful of delicious international flavours you can try to help shake things up and try something out of your comfort zone.
Make the evening more fun by each choosing a mains for the other – it’s a great way to sample something you wouldn’t normally choose, and by picking a restaurant you wouldn’t normally eat at you’re free to experiment without missing out on your favourite dishes.
Doing something active together is a great way to stay healthy and have fun together – when we exercise it stimulates the production of endorphins, helping us to feel good and when we do it with a partner studies show we feel happier and more motivated than just on our own. Try setting a health or weight loss goal and taking it on together; your mutual encouragement will help with any dips in motivation and keep you accountable when the going gets tough.
Exercise together doesn’t need to be all about fitness or weight loss – physical activity can also be about having fun, and planning a date night to play tennis or squash, go hiking or canoeing, or even something more extreme like bungee jumping will help break you out of the ordinary and enjoy something fun and new together.
Have you ever planned a date night? What are your favourite ideas?