Sounds random right? I guess once you’re married you’ve left the ‘dating’ stage of your relationship behind, but I’m thinking more along the lines of going out on a proper ‘date’ the way you would have when you first met.
Scott and I got together when I was 17, our first date was to Greenwich – we went to the cinema to watch Pan’s Labyrinth, walked through the park drinking milkshakes and for dinner to a little Italian restaurant. After that first date we were always going out – bowling, to parties, gigs, weekends away, meals, cinema etc – of course we stayed in together too *how do you think we got Lily ;)*
I remember the excitement of getting ready to go on our dates – picking out an outfit, curling my hair, applying the glittery eye shadow that was super on-trend back in the days *this was pre the existence of contouring*, calling my friends to discuss every minute detail of my outfit and our plans and all of that nice buzzy feeling waiting for him to knock on the door.
It’s been ten years, one wedding and one beautiful daughter later and whilst we do go out it’s not labelled as a ‘date’ but I’m starting to think it should be. And so I’ve planned out a list of ways to ‘date’ my husband – it doesn’t have to be expensive nights out but I’d like to get dressed up intentionally to go out together. One of the most wonderful nights we had recently was for our anniversary last year when Scott took me to Opium Bar in Soho – we had cocktails, dim sum and I’d got dressed up (even wearing heels) for the occasion. It was exciting and fun and we both had such a good time – it’s been 7 months since then and we’ve not really done anything similar and I think it’s important that we make more time for ‘us’ as a couple not just as a family or individuals.
Sure, making time for the two of you can be nearly impossible between work responsibilities, raising the kids and the neccessary “me time,” but prioritising time as a couple is really important.
You know how you had friends at school who meant the World to you but as you grew up you just stopped hanging out, spending time together or both got so consumed with your own lives that you eventually aren’t friends any more? Well that can happen in a marraige too – I’ve seen it happen and I don’t want that to be us – I still want Scott to be my best friend when we are old and grey; I want us to enjoy each other’s company and for us to have conversations that aren’t about the house, or Lily or chores.
And so I’ve put together this list of ‘date’ ideas – some that require investment of money and time, but others that are fun and free. Let me know if you can think of any ideas I should add:
- Cinema – Ok so it’s not the £5 a ticket it was when we first got together but a night at the cinema is a relatively inexpensive way to get out of the house and there’s pretty much always something new on.
- Movie Night In – For an even cheaper movie night stay indoors – rent a DVD (take a look at this list for some romantic and funny movies that would be perfect for a date night! Pick up a bag of popcorn, a couple of beers and snuggle up on the sofa.
- Read a book together
- Dinner Date – are you a real foodie like me? Sign up to get local alerts from Book A Table – there are always tonnes of offers on there and you can get some really great restaurant meals for cheap as chips for example today near me there’s a 12 course tasting menu and champagne for just £30 a person at Crazy Bear (trust me that’s an excellent deal for a meal there)
- Go for a Coffee
- Go fruit-picking in the Summer
- Cook Together – Plan a fancy dinner in doors – i’m talking 3 course meal here; go for food that you both love and prepare and cook it together. Make sure you light the candles, put on some background music and keep the technology switched off. Oh and washing up is more fun when you do it together too!
- Can’t cut it in the kitchen? Go for a cookery lesson together. I booked Scott a Dim Sum class that we are going to go to together soon – he loves Asian food so i’m sure we will enjoy learning that new skill together – oh and you get to eat what you cook too
- Visit a local Museum or Tourist Site
- Take a walking tour of your area
- Learn Something – Everybody has skills that they can share; share a skill with each other (remember to have patience!) or go to a class. I’d love to learn how to box properly and luckily Scott has that down to a tee so hopefully he will teach me
- Dance – I love to dance. I’m not particularly good at it but I enjoy it and I think that’s what counts. Stick the music on indoors and have a dance off in the living room, or go to a dance class together – even if you make fools of yourself at least the laughing will be done together!
- Get drunk in a kareaoke bar
- Build a Den – Yeah I know you’re not 6 anymore. But remember how fun it was to build a den and snuggle down in it as a kid? Do the same together – fill it with pillows, add fairylights and cuddle up for the night
- Plan your Dream Holiday (even if you can’t go)
- Find an old fashioned arcade and take each other on!
- Pull a ‘sicky’ together
- Work Out – Scott has always been fit and active and I’m starting to get into the swing of working out (not gonna lie it’s still a chore!) – maybe i’d enjoy it more if we were doing it together. A quick HIIT workout in front of the TV at home, a run around your area or a group fitness class – whatever it is that floats your boat. You never know – getting hot and sweaty might inspire some other hot and sweaty action 😉
- Stargazing – Pack a blanket, find a comfy spot and lie down looking at the stars overhead
- Go play at the park *swings are still fun*
- Picnic – Get outdoors, enjoy the sunshine, and pack a picnic to share – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but spending the time together will be fun
- Spa Day – I’d love to be treated to a proper spa day – couples massages, sauna and steam room and plenty of relaxation would be perfect!
- Can’t afford a spa day? Set up an at-home spa! Hot bubble baths with bath salts and plenty of bubbles and candles *if you can fit share the bath*, followed by massages and face masks all lit by candlelight. If you’re feeling brave give each other pedicures – there’s something so nice about doing something physical to show your love
- Bake together
- Go for a walk – I’d love to live nearer the sea or countryside so that we could walk along the beach or really get back to nature, but as we are in central London it’s a bit of a trek to the nearest beach. I ordered this book – it’s full of scenic walks around different areas of London and so I’m planning a few jaunts we could take together
- Build a Snowman
- Board Game night – this might not be one for those who are super-competitive but breaking out the board games will be fun for most people. It doesn’t have to be boring – you could always buy a special ‘adult’ game, or play ‘strip scrabble’, or even place bets for different things you could do for each other!
- Crazy Golf – cheap, fun and the perfect excuse to sip a couple of beers and laugh at each others skills (or in our case – lack of)
- Go for a bike ride
- Comedy Night – Head out to your nearest comedy club, there are usually special offers on tickets, or buy a DVD of a comedian you both like to watch – it’s fun and I think being able to have a laugh together is important!
- Create a scrapbook – get out the pritt stick, print off all your old photos and get scrapping together. The photos will bring back memories, you can laugh over the stories you’ve shared over the years (not to mention the awful hairstyles and clothes choices!) and writing it all down will help preserve that for the future. If you’re not into that kind of crafty thing then go through your old photo albums or wedding album.
- Find an outdoor movie theatre
- Take a brewery or distillery tour
- Water Fight/ Nerf Gun Fight – If it’s hot out then a water fight will be fun, if not load up your Nerf guns and ‘go to war’ – set up a flag that the winner has to catch and set up some bets – you can get the kids involved in this one too!
- Netflix and… Chill? – Pick a series that you both like the look of and watch it together – no netflix cheating ok?! Make a weekly time when you watch an episode together, chat about it and add a bit of ‘chill’ too if you are so inclined
- On that note – sex… It’s 100% an important part of a marriage (I don’t care what anyone says!) – I won’t go into ours because let’s face it some things are private even for oversharers like me! Spice it up, buy new undies, set aside some time to enjoy each other’s company… I’ll leave it at that!
- Try out geocaching
- Pick a home project and work on it together – I have a habit of taking over when it comes to our decor but letting Scott make decisions might actually make him more likely to decorate!
- Volunteer together – I used to volunteer in a charity shop and it was always a good feeling knowing that you’ve done something to help others – doing it together will give you both that positive feeling. There are loads of charities that need assistance – pick something that means a lot to you.
- On that note sign up to a fundraising event together – anything from a sponsored challenge, to an obstacle course or a marathon – training together will give you some time together and it will be a shared goal – plus you can push each other and motivate each other on the days when you really need the extra support!
- Try out a new local place
- Go to a local market
- Go to a gig – I’m not talking expensive tickets (although if you’ve got the money and a band you both love is playing then definitely go!) – there are loads of live music venues in any city – find one that serves up your style of music and go see some new bands
- Go Ice-Skating or roller-blading
Of course these are just ideas – pick things to do together that match your own interests – the important thing is dedicating that time to each other. Put your phones on silent, switch off the wifi and enjoy each other’s company. Let me know what you love to do for dates!