• Staci

The reinvention of date night

Remember when you were first dating and you had nothing but time to go out on dates? On the spur of the moment you could get gussied up and head out for a night on the town, right?

Then you had kids.

Nowadays, date nights require careful planning, schedule co-ordination (is it Brownie night? Swimming lessons tonight?) and of course, the ever-complicated job of trying to find a sitter. And then there's the expense. If you going to go out, you might as well do it right, right? That means dinner and a movie, or a concert, or a comedy club -- and that doesn't come cheap. Plus, you have to fork out some dough to grease the palm of the sitter, too.

Then there's the fact that kids zap your energy. Do you really want to expend the energy you have getting all dressed up to go out for the night when what you really want to do is stay in? But on the other hand, you don't really want to miss out on the chance to get out of the house for some special adults-only time either, right? Oh, the conundrum...

I have the answer: At-home date nights.

This idea combines the best of both worlds. You still get some special adults-only time, enjoying a special meal that doesn't involve chicken nuggets served out of a paper box (unless that's your thing) and an activity you love, but you can do it all without having to get dressed up and go out. No sitter required, either.

Here's what to do:

  • Put the kids to bed. Go ahead, send them to bed a little bit early. They'll never know the difference.

  • Order some dinner. These days, pretty much anything can be brought right to your door, so go ahead and order a splurge meal. It's date night, after all! Calories don't count.

  • Crack a bottle of wine, or beer, or pop -- whatever libation floats your boat.

  • Rent a movie. That can be done right from home these days, too! If you aren't movie people, you could always use date night to catch up on your PVRed shows or binge watch some Netflix.

  • Put your feet up, relax, and enjoy some much-needed time with your spouse.

This is just one possible itinerary for an at-home date night. There are countless ideas! How about trying one of these:

  • Play a board game together

  • Make a meal together -- you can be dessert!

  • Chat! Pour a glass of wine or a cup of coffee each and chat. Not about the kids, or work, or bills, chat about the kinds of things you would have talked about before kids and jobs and life got in the way.

  • If the weather is warm, take your date night outside. Bring your coffee outside and enjoy a quiet night under the stars while your kids are safely tucked in bed. Do a little star gazing!

  • Snuggle. When is the last time you snuggled with your spouse? Not in the hopefully-this-leads-to-other-things kind of way, just snuggling for the sake of snuggling. Grab your coziest blanket and cuddle up on the couch, or throw a bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor and have a carpet camp out.

  • Have a picnic! Whether you make dinner yourselves or order a pizza, bringing dinner down on to the floor, picnic style, can be a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to spend some quality time together.

There are almost endless ways to have an at-home date night. The only limit is your imagination!

For more ideas, check out: The Happy Wives Club and She's in Her Apron's "Date My Husband Friday" series on YouTube for some more great ideas!

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