Take The Date Night Idea Challenge

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February 14th is Valentine’s Day and I don’t know about you but now that I’m married I sort of take that date for granted. When I was single that date was a whole “other” story… a hit or miss story of sorts and I think I’ll save it for another post.

I love the idea of what Valentine’s Day represents. Who doesn’t love red, pink, cupid, chocolates and LOVE? The honest truth is that I really am a hopeless romantic. I do consider myself and my hubby as a modern day “Lucy and Desi”. Desi was tall, dark, handsome and Cuban…my hubby is tall, dark, balding and Puerto Rican. Lucy has red hair and is always getting into trouble. I have blond hair and am always getting into trouble. See the similarities? OK I know the sad fate for this couple (divorce) but remember when they were in LOVE? Perhaps Desi and Lucy needed a few more date nights to have kept the fire burning in their relationship?

Date night, a wonderful idea, right? Oh how I have longed to incorporate a date night into our schedule but it seems by the time we’ve taken care of our jobs, son, dog, selves, house, yard…there is never any “us” time left over. Do you feel the same way? We talk about “doing” a date night, I’ve even proposed we take turns planning them, but still nothing is in place.

Today I’m taking the first step towards making date night at my household a reality. I also hope that by the end of this post I have motivated you to take the Date Night Challenge. It starts with coming up with some great and creative ideas and keeping in mind the guidelines below.

I want to hear from all of you. What is your favorite date night idea? Whether it’s one you have been on or dream of going on, post away! I want you to DIG deep and get creative. Not the run-of-the-mill dinner and a movie idea please. I mean if the wonderful and creative ladies who read Oh My Handmade Goodness can’t come up with a most original, thoughtful, romantic and fun list of date night ideas, who can? I plan to write my favorites down on a piece of paper for my very own date night idea jar. Consider this post your source for date night ideas.

I saw 8 of these guidelines at Good Housekeeping and thought adding the idea jar was a good compliment to the list. Here’s the breakdown from GH along with some of my own commentary…

Make an idea jar – I plan to use my favorite ideas you have posted here to fill my own mason jar and I hope you do too.

Pencil it in – Or type it into your smartphone, hire a plane to fly over your house, whatever it takes. I find a date is more likely to happen if we both plan around the date in our calendars. I also think monthly date nights are ideal, but if weekly work for you, knock your socks off!

Schedule smart – The idea of date night turns off many early-bird couples. If mornings suit you better, make plans earlier in the day — like a leisurely breakfast out or a sunrise walk in the park.

Keep it light – Conversations about housekeeping (whose car needs new tires) money or problems (“What’s up with Mikey’s math grades?”) are off-limits.

Double date – Personally I feel double dating on occasion is nice, but not for every date night. When you make it a foursome and share deep conversation — real self-disclosure, not just small talk — you grow closer to the group, but you also feel more deeply in touch with your partner, finds new research from UCLA.

Minimizing the multitasking – It’s tempting to call a trip to the garden center a date, so you can cross two tasks off your to-do list. But don’t. The whole point is to concentrate on each other, not your chores. While on this topic you should also leave your phones, iPad, iTouch, laptop etc…in the car. You don’t want to be “that couple” you see who are engrossed in their electronic devices and not each other.

Relax about reciprocity – Yes, ideally you and your spouse would share the date-planning responsibility, but face it: If you want date night to happen, it may be faster and easier to set it up yourself, but just don’t make it a habit. If your partner doesn’t have any skin in the game, well he/she doesn’t have any skin in the game.

Sex is optional – Contrary to popular opinion, every good date doesn’t have to wind up with a frolic in bed. But do remember to end on a high note by thanking each other for making time for the date.

Avoid rain checks – While there will be times when you’d really like to cancel a date, try to resist that urge, put on your game face, and go. That lets your spouse know how much you value your time together.

I can’t wait to see all the ideas you come up with!