Remember what it was like when you were dating? You were excited to see your partner, excited to try new things and experience them together. Just because you are married, doesn’t mean that excitement has to stop!
We all know the importance of going out on regular date nights with your spouse. Keeping the spark alive and well is hard sometimes, especially with young kids. After a long day of wiping runny noses and cleaning crayon off the walls, sometimes all you want to do is veg out on the couch. But it’s important to keep up with romance in any relationship.
Going out for dinner and a movie is the date night go-to for most couples. The problem with that is, after a while, it can get kind of boring. Are you really connecting with your partner during that time? Or are you talking about your work or kids and vegging out?
Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dinner and a movie. In fact, it can be quite relaxing. (Heck, watching any movie without a child interrupting you sounds like a dream come true sometimes — lol.) But when I think back on all of my date nights from the past 12 years with my husband, do any dinner/movie dates really stand out for me?
No. The best dates, the ones we remember, had nothing to do with either of those two activities.
I was thinking back on the best dates I’ve had with my husband, and they all involved doing something different, something out of the ordinary, perhaps even out of our comfort zone, but we did it together and had a blast. After 12 years together and three kids, here are the ones that stand out.
1. Wedding Dress Date Night
After 10 years of marriage, we decided to get dressed up in a wedding dress and tuxedo and go out on the town with some friends. Best. night. ever. I talked about that night in THIS blogpost, and why you should do it, too!
This date goes the distance, back to when we were actually still just dating. I remember kayaking under the mangroves and being TOTALLY FREAKED OUT by the enormous spiders on the trees. Still one of my favorite dates.
3. Garage Sale and/or Antiquing
A day date! I absolutely love when my husband and I get unexpected free-time in the middle of the day. When this happens, we usually run immediately to Starbucks and grab our favorite drinks and then hit the town. From antiquing, to garage sales, to the bookstore, we love putzing around together. This kind of date doesn’t happen often enough because we always seem to be too busy. But when it does happen … it’s magic.
4. Busch Gardens
When you think of amusement parks, you automatically think of kids. But have you ever tried going to an amusement park without them? OH MY GOODNESS!!! So much fun. It’s like being a kid again, yourself. Running up to the front of the line to see if you can sit in the front row at the rollercoaster, enjoying the shows, and maybe even grabbing a beer if you feel thirsty. So, so much fun. I highly recommend this date. Just think, you don’t have to worry about trying to get a toddler to pee in the bathroom stall without touching the floor!
5. Hang Gliding
This was one of our craziest dates. Like — WAY crazy. I happen to have a fear of heights, but I thought … hey, wouldn’t it be fun to surprise my husband with this crazy date for his birthday? Yeah, so much fun. We were both scared/praying/waiting for our feet to touch the ground the whole time. But there is another side of that crazy coin — we were amazed at what we saw and completely exhilarated. It is something we will never forget. But not something we need to do again.
6. Standup Paddleboarding
This was one awesome Mother’s Day present, my very own stand up paddleboard. And what better way to learn, then rent a 3-hour couple’s tour?! This was the best date, and I love my new paddleboard. Used it all summer long, taking the kids out on the front of the board with me. It has provided us with quality one-on-one time together as we talk about their day without the distractions of everyday life. It’s just us, on the paddleboard, in the middle of the water. You can’t get that kind of time with your kids without distractions nowadays. Phenomenal.
When my husband first mentioned biking, I was leery. After all, I hadn’t biked since I was in high school. But you know the saying, “it’s just like riding a bike”? Well, it really IS. I picked it right back up, and we have been going on biking dates ever since. Whether we were biking all over Munich (when we lived there), or biking along the boardwalk here in Virginia Beach, there is something quite romantic about taking a leisurely bike ride with your partner and ending up at dinner.
8. Dancing Lessons
I admit, I need to be dragged to these types of dates kicking and screaming. And not because I don’t like dancing, in fact, one of my favorite things to do is go out dancing with my husband!!! But going to an official dance studio can be hard because you find yourself dancing with everyone in attendance as you rotate partners. But once I am at the studio, I end up having a blast with my husband and cannot wait to go back. They have also provided us with invaluable dance moves, which we love to pull out Travolta style at every wedding we attend. Ha!
9. Country Line Dancing
Speaking of dancing, I am the WORST country line dancer you will ever meet. Not kidding. I cannot catch on, and I am that girl in the middle of the floor messing everyone else up. That being said, the first time we went to a country bar and saw that every country song in existence has it’s own special line dance, was a night to remember. So grab some cowboy boots and mosey on over to your nearest line dancing venue. You won’t believe the laughs you’ll have in store for the night.
10. Zip Lining / Climbing
Our friends wanted to do this date, and we went along for the ride. Eek!!! You find yourself above the trees and all harnessed in, relying on the zip lines around you and your strength to endure. It ends up being an amazing experience of trust and teamwork as you work together with your partner to make it through the obstacles. By the end of the date you’ll be high-fiving each other for your accomplishments.
11. Getting Dressed Up … in Costume
Going out to dinner? GREAT. Before you go, for no reason at all, why don’t you throw on your fave 80’s rocker gear, Star Wars memorabilia, Elvis shirt, or cowboy hat and boots?! Dress up ridiculously and see what happens! Surprise your friends that you’re meeting up with for dinner, and watch their reactions. It is truly priceless.
12. The Date Nights We Never Left Home
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of the dates that stand out, where we never left our house.
- Scrabble night — Try having game night with just your husband! My hubby likes to throw in “cheater” words, just to see if he can get them by me. We still use those words in conversation when we are ribbing each other. Don’t be so AMERE.
- Cooking together — I love when we spend the evening (after the kids go to sleep) cooking a meal together while drinking wine. There is something really special about this kind of date.
- Reading night — when you or your husband cuddle up on the couch and one of you reads aloud to the other. I know it sounds corny, but just give it a chance.
You don’t have to take my word for it, try it yourself! Get out of date-night rut, and go make some memories. Those extra special dates from time to time are totally worth the effort.
P.S. — And don’t give me the excuse about having young kids and not being able to leave them! Unless there are extenuating circumstances, this is never a good reason. I don’t have family around either. Just saying.More On