After we got married we lived in Romania for a year. I was still in school to finish my Bachelor’s degree, and Sam was preaching and evangelizing, as well as studying for his Master’s degree, so we spent most of our time together. We sat and studied together, we went to Bible studies, and we went out and passed out flyers or talked to people we met.
It was a sweet time in our marriage and I loved doing everything together, especially as everything was so new. But I was still lonely. While we were side by side nearly all day, we didn’t always have time to visit and talk as much as we thought.
So one day after we had been married for a few months, Sam announced that he was taking me on a date. We hadn’t eaten out anywhere yet while we lived in Romania (other than the homes of others), so the prospect was exciting. He took me to a restaurant he had seen while out on a run and we enjoyed interpreting the menu and enjoying a meal together, followed by a walk and coffee.
We decided then to have a date night every week if possible. A night to focus on each other and take time away from school and work, even if we were doing them together.
Eating out once a week could get expensive, however, so we began to think of different creative ways to spend a date night.
The past few weeks of quarantine have forced us to have all of our date nights at home, and it’s been great to think of more creative ways to spend time together.
Cook Dinner Together
We do this one a lot! Usually we will choose something special to make that I don’t usually make during the week, and it usually ends up being pizza or breakfast.
You can also include kids in this and let it be a whole family activity! Mae loves to stand in her learning tower and “help” us cook.
Watch a Movie
This is our default
date night at home! We like to take turns choosing a movie, and we try to keep a list of movies we want to watch together.
Sometimes we make popcorn or ice cream, and sometimes we’ll start the movie while we’re eating supper if we don’t want to stay up too late.
Do a Home Project
This is a little challenging to do with little ones around, but I’m sure it can be done! One night a few weeks ago I dropped Mae off at my parents’ house and Sam and I painted our shutters and front door together. It was such a relaxing evening because we got to be next to each other and talk and listen to music, and I think painting is quite a relaxing activity. Then we got to check something off our home remodeling to-do list!
Read a Book Together
We did this a lot when I was pregnant with Mae and we were reading books on parenting. We like to read a paragraph or a page out loud to each other, taking turns. At the end of a chapter or a section we would discuss what we just learned.
You can also listen to an audio book together in the same way.
Have a Picnic
Depending on what is open around you, you can take your picnic somewhere like a park, or you can just have it in your front or back yard!
A couple weeks ago I packed a picnic dinner and we drove into town to a park, thinking we would eat at a picnic table and let Mae play on the playground…but I failed to check and see if the playground was open yet, and it wasn’t. We still found a bench outside the taped-off area and had our picnic, but we will have to try again now that I know the park is open. It was still a nice time to get out of the house, even if Mae was sad she couldn’t play on the slide.
Bonus Tip: Take Turns Planning
Recently Sam and I decided to take turns each week planning our date night. Sometimes we would discuss what to do and it would take us forever to decide since we were each trying to figure out what the other would like to do. Now we still try to choose things that we will both enjoy, but it has been so much easier when we know who is planning the evening!
It is exciting whenever it’s Sam’s turn to plan and I get to be surprised with what he does. I think he feels the same way when I plan the date night.
What date night ideas would you add to the list?