Ah, remember the good old days when date nights meant no kids, going out to dinner in a restaurant, then going to a bar, the movies, a concert, a show; the two of you bonding and catching up after being apart most of each workday?
Heavy sigh. Not so much an option in this pandemic, huh?
Restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters are mostly closed or only open on a limited basis now. Vaccinations will help get our lives back to normal, but that is going to take months.
Have no fear; with a little bit of tweaking, date night can live again!
Why date night rituals are essential
Before we dive into date night rituals, let’s remember why a date night is important for you and your significant other.
“Date nights are vital for every romantic relationship’s health as it prevents monotony while promoting independence and variety. They improve each individual’s mental state and overall wellbeing,” said Sam Nabil, CEO and Lead Therapist for Naya Clinics. “Having date nights keeps the romance alive and the whole relationship interesting.”
“Ugh,” you’re thinking. “I see my significant other practically all day long, with us both working from home. I really don’t want to be stuck in the house with them for some pretend date night.”
“Due to the effects of the pandemic, cabin fever and the lack of spice in a couple’s daily routine can brew negativity, which will eventually poison the whole relationship,” Nabil said.
I think we’d all like to avoid that, so let’s keep things positive and find some fun things we can do indoors that will be enjoyable and be the “refresh” that most of us need.
Nabil suggests that proper planning is key. Though many people prefer spontaneity, some preplanning goes a long way, instead of trial and error and landing on the error side.
Create dedicated time and areas within your home for certain activities that will make a pleasing environment for both of you. Maybe the guest bedroom turns into a speak-easy after dark, or you both decide that Friday nights are your designated date night. That way, you build a little structure and intention around your date night rituals.
Things to do
Do a theme night: Order take out and then make cocktails together that go with that cuisine. Tacos with chips and guac with homemade margaritas is also an easy go-to!
Live stream a concert together: Turn out the lights, move the furniture, and have your own personal concert/dance party.
Order take-out from one of your favorite restaurants and tee up a new release on Netflix: Netflix just announced they’re going to release a new movie every week in 2021! This gives a new look on the age-old dinner and a movie.
For an early dinner: Pack a picnic, lay down a blanket, and plunk yourselves on the floor right next to your most giant window so you can enjoy the outdoors.
Even more ideas…
Have a wine/beer/adult beverage tasting night. Choose drinks you’ve never tried before. Don’t forget to include some food!
If the two of you are really into movies or TV, borrow or invest in a projector (they’re typically a few hundred dollars) and head outside. Throw a white blanket up on a laundry line or between two trees, snuggle on some comfy chairs together under a blanket, and watch a movie. If you already have a fire pit, all the better!
A college drinking game like “beer pong” never gets old. Even if you can’t party like you used to, it’s still fun to take a trip down memory lane.
These ideas are all straightforward. Who knew? I’m guilty of being in the groundhog-day rut with my husband, so I’m definitely going to be trying some of these out. Let’s go have some fun!