23 Low-cost At Home Date Night Ideas
How do you keep the fun and romance alive in your marriage? Research by the Gottman Institute for their Bringing Baby Home program shows that almost 2/3 of couples report a decline in relationship satisfaction in the three years following a baby. The 1/3 of couples that did not experience this decline reported a strong feeling of friendship, managed their conflict in a healthy way and approached parenthood as a team.
It might be helpful to think of the changes you’ve gone through with parenthood and ask just how much your partner really knows you now that life is so busy. Deciding to make date night a priority is a good way to maintain a strong connection to your partner.
Setting up your own Date Nights
Many couples take it in turns to set up their date nights; sometimes going week about or month about so each partner gets a chance of input. For special dates it’s great to get a sitter and go out. There are couples that like to recreate their first date every year or celebrate special anniversaries such as the first movie together. This creates beautiful rituals in life that you can look forward to in stressful times. But what can you do with small children and a low budget? Making time to maintain and build emotional intimacy can be difficult with kids so we’ve put together a range of ideas for date nights at home.
Usually wait till the kids are in bed, or maybe if it’s a Saturday getting them ensconced in front of their favourite movie can work.
Here are 23 ideas to get date nights back on your calendar:
- Play your favourite board game with a twist. One couple I know play Scrabble with the rule you can have a new word if you have a convincing meaning to back it up. Another couple uses a kiss to buy themselves an extra throw of the dice in backgammon. And I’ve heard Naked Twister is fun! Use your imagination.
- Download the Gottman app and choose some open-ended questions to get to know your partner better. What ever you’re doing for date night, find out how parenthood has changed your partner.
- Watch your favourite romantic movie together (again). What do you like about the romance scenes? Is there some role-play material there?
- Play some of the kids’ games such as footy or tag in the backyard or shoot some hoops. Letting going, having fun and doing some exercise can give you a boost of feel good endorphins.
- Read a book together. This is a longer project and could create a theme for your winter date nights. One couple I know was reading War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy) together. They had set a project they knew would last them several years!
- Dress up in suitable attire and watch a prerecorded concert or sports game on TV. Ensure you have the appropriate beverages to enhance the atmosphere such as beer for a footy game or champagne for the opera.
- Practice some mindful hugging together. Can you notice your heart rates synchronizing and the release of the feel good hormone oxytocin?
- Have a karaoke night – sing and play the your favourite music together.
- Review the last year, keeping it positive and create a rich interwoven story of your life together. Choose the stories to become your family legends. Imagine entertaining the kids with the stories.
- Write a joint bucket list for your life together. Celebrate when you tick one of the items off the list.
- Write poems or love songs for each other. Then read or sing them to your partner.
- Choose an international theme night once a month. Go all out with dress ups, food, music and maybe a movie. You could try an Italian night with seafood linguine, tiramisu and some Pavarotti or a French night wearing a beret, eating fromage and speaking with a sexy accent.
- Take a Love Language test and compare your results. Here’s one to try: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/.
- Have a picnic in bed. Get comfy in your PJs cuddle up with some yummy food and watch Netflix together.
- Write a love letter and read it to your partner.
- Cook a special dinner or dessert together. Choose the menu together earlier in the week so you can be prepared, then maybe pour a glass of wine, cook together and appreciate your partner’s kitchen skills. Dressing up optional.
- Create some art together – big or small. Buy a canvas (many are available at variety stores) and some acrylic paints or simply some pencils and paper then get creative. Look at Pinterest if you need some ideas.
- Take it in turns to be blindfolded and taste some finger food. Explore your senses.
- Use the Gottman Salsa cards (from the free downloadable Gottman app) and choose an activity to spice up your sex life.
- Starwatch. Is there a meteor, eclipse or lunar event coming up or even just a clear sky? Put it in the calendar and plan a picnic in the backyard on a rug, looking up at the sky.
- Dance – When was the last time you danced together? You could use YouTube to learn the tango, just do some slow dancing in the kitchen, or put on some old records for a bop.
- Photo shoot – can you get creative and make some zany couple portraits? Maybe recreate a photo from your early days of dating. You’ll need a tripod (you can use something from around the house such as a bookshelf or ladder) and a self-timer.
- Eye Gazing – A powerful exercise for bonding and self-exploration. Ten minutes should do it though many people enjoy practicing this for an hour plus). Set a timer, sit opposite your partner and gaze into their eyes. You can blink; it’s not a competition. If you find yourself getting distracted simply bring yourself back to the task. When you’ve finished, notice how you’re feeling and discuss with your partner.
Continuing to build the friendship in your romantic relationship
If you run out of ideas or would like more inspiration there’s plenty at: https://www.thedatingdivas.com/45-at-home-date-night-ideas/ or on Google.
When you find some good ideas pop them in your calendar and invite your partner. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to build your friendship and keep the fun and romance happening in your relationship.
If you’d like to find out more ways to deepen your relationship, contact Kristina on 0487 480 120