Take The Date Night Idea Challenge

Photo Source

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 β€” 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 β€” real self-disclosure, not just small talk β€” 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!

  • http://www.hopelovescards.com Kimberly

    My idea of the perfect date night is one that takes place in the actual evening! My husband and I have a babysitter that sometimes comes over and we have a Sunday 10-2 date where we end up going to Wal-Mart or Target because that’s all that’s open! IT’S TIME FOR A DATE NIGHT JAR.

    • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thank you Stacey! I needed to read this! I am so blessed that my mother visits with the kids almost every Friday night so Chris and I can go out…we typically run errands, go grocery shopping & plan meals/life for the week. It is good time (any time I get a night off cooking dinner is good time!) but definitely not romantic time. Chris loved the date night jar and I can’t wait to fill it up with our readers ideas. Here are 4 ideas for my perfect date:

      Pretend to be a Tourist Date-I seriously love window shopping & people watching, its absurd and silly but my dream date ever since I was a teen was browsing little shops, trying on ridiculous outfits, going for coffee & making up strange stories about people we see. My love is not nearly as into this as I am but he tries valiantly.

      Nesting Date-Another silly love but I adore puttering around the house with Chris on the rare occasion we are home with no kiddos. Playing house & making a nice dinner + curling up for a movie sans bebes=bliss.

      Choose Your Own Adventure date-I love to set out with no agenda but adventure-pack a lunch of all kinds of goodies, a blanket + bottle of wine and see where the day takes us.

      Self-Love Date- Why do girls do this but not couples? I couldn’t get my love to a spa if it was the end of the world but it is fun to get haircuts & a new special something (ahem, I always need new shoes right)then go out dancing/adventuring.

      Thanks again for this awesome idea Stacey! Cheers to more loving dates in 2012:)

  • http://www.poppysparkles.co.uk Viv Smith

    I am so in need of a date night….. not easy with 2 young children, but I feel inspired to make it happen! Thank you for such great advice πŸ™‚

  • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/stacyaltiery/ Stacy Altiery

    Jessika, I love your ideas! I especially love the adventure date!

    First I thought taking a cooking class together would be great then I quickly realized my husband is good at many things however food/kitchen (other than cleaning) he’s horrible and would not enjoy. I think taking turns planning an adventure date is the key:)

  • Karen

    My Β dream date is an entire day just with my husband. Before we had kids we would get in the car and just take a random a day trip. My husband loves to drive so we’d just drive out of the city to where ever the road took us. We’d get breakfast at a some side road dinner, grab a coffee at some small unknown coffee shop, sit on the curb while we ate the lunch we bought from a chip truck, get lost, find new places, get lost again, find new things and maybe end the day with questionable hot dog and greasy popcorn at a drive-in. I would love to have one of those dates again.

  • http://thebowtique.com Jill B

    I am about to follow a friends’ idea of an Alphabet date night. You go through the alphabet starting with the first date night as “A” night, and you try to do things/go places that start with A.
    Such as go to an AMC movie theatre. Then on “B date night”- go out for burgers and bowling, etc.
    I think its a great way to try some new things together.

  • Rach

    Have you checked out website http://www.datingdivas.com ? It’s got some awesome ideas and inspiration. I would just love foru hubby to lock in regular date nights. I don’t actually care whether they are out or at home – just a date would be great

  • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/stacyaltiery/ Stacy Altiery

    Thanks everyone! There are some good ideas starting to brew here and some great resources too!

  • Chara

    I agree with Karen. My favorite date is a day of adventuring sans kids. My sweetie and I used to do lots of road trips, spontaneous with a bit of an end point but no ‘have-tos’. We stop where we want (flea markets!!), eat what we want, and if we want to get out and walk, we do. A little smooching is always on the menu;)

  • http://just-me-writing-to-you.blogspot.com/ Krystle Wainscott

    One of my favorite date night activities is to see a play. Hubby & I both love the live theater, and if you are near a community college, then this could also be a very inexpensive date πŸ™‚ Our local CC only charges $5 a person & they put on a good show.

  • http://www.singleparentmeet.com/ Kali

    I love the date night jar idea! My husband and I have only been married for 8 months but that is something I worry about. I don’t want our relationship to end up on the couch watching tv with our kids EVERY night for the rest of our lives. We were actually talking about this last night. Our next date night is to the Zoo and I decided by the end we have to figure out which animal we would want to be. Makes it fun too!