Rethink Date Night.
We have several married friends who have made it a priority in their marriages to spend time dating one another. That's a great thing to do, for sure! But here's the thing... when I ask what they're planning on doing, the answer always seems the same- "Dinner and a Movie."
The same thing is true for my sister and her boyfriend of three years- they're going out on a Friday night? What are they doing? You guessed it! "Dinner and a Movie."
Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with going out for the good old D&M combo, but it's not really the best way to grow as a couple. There's no real experience to it.
If Zeke and I go out for dinner and a movie, a year from now, I may remember parts of the movie (unless I fell asleep during it... which is pretty likely...) or maybe some of our dinner conversation, but it won't be a date I'll clearly remember. I most likely won't learn anything about myself or about my husband.
It comes down to this- why do we do date nights? Are we just checking it off our to-do lists, or does date night actually have a purpose? For us, that purpose is to connect and grow as a couple. Watching a movie together doesn't really help us to do that. In short, dinner and a movie is really kind of lame.
Why not try something a little more... adventurous? Have an experience, not just a date.
1) Go for a walk or a bike ride or attempt to roller blade together (carefully.)
2) Drive out to a lake and go fishing (or kayaking or canoeing).
3) Learn something together- like a language or kickboxing or how to reupholster or ballroom dancing or flower arranging or fencing!
4) Go check out garage sales or thrift stores- cheap and interesting
5) Plan a road trip- figure out places you'd like to stop along the way, the things you'd like to see. Then actually do it!
6) Cook together, or try something completely new in the kitchen (The other day, Zeke bought a jerky shooter online... we broke out the dehydrator and learned how to make jerky!)
7) Do one of those guided painting classes
8) Make a list of places around your town that you'd like to visit (ours includes a Frisbee golf course and a tiny museum dedicated to... trains, I think?)
9) Visit a random town (we went on a weekend trip to Milwaukee)
10) Go swimming- even if it's winter. Go to the gym, or check out local hotels- lots of them will let you use the pool for cheap
11) Check out open house listings around your area and go dream about your future while checking out other people's houses
12) Play cards or get a group of friends together to play games
13) Go camping- even for just one night- and make s'mores. Because s'mores are always good. Or heck, just make s'mores in your backyard.
14) Have a stay-cation- check in to a hotel nearby (or just turn your house into a "hotel," or just don't worry about laundry and housework for a weekend) and spend a weekend pretending to be tourists
15) Farmers Markets! Get some sunshine, do a little walking, and pick up some sugar snap peas.
Of course, sometimes you're just gonna want to do dinner and a movie. And that's okay- we just need to remember to make some memories, too!
Linked up with Marriage Monday, MMandM, Titus 2 Tuesday, Wise Woman, and Wedded Wednesday.