Last fall, Luke and I took The Marriage Course through our church in lieu of pre-marital counselling. While they were a few sections that were tough because we don't have years and years of marriage under our belts, it was incredibly beneficial to get out ahead of things that could be a problem down the road.
One of the things that the course encouraged was scheduling "marriage time" with your partner. We both hate that term, but we liked the idea. So we just call it date night. (I mean, we coined that term, right?) The idea is to block out a time each week with your spouse, making it official in your calendars, and sticking to that no matter what. That means no scheduling things that will conflict and moving date night around in order to accommodate.
We just started getting serious about it this month since the last few weeks were a bit busier for us and we even had a week-long spell when we had something booked every single evening. Luke is the most important person in my life, so I should prioritise my time with him. And he feels the same way. Before I moved over, we had so much one-on-one time, albeit via Skype, and it was a lot of just sitting face-to-face talking. Now, living together, it's really easy to slip into the habit of being on our phones while watching a movie at home, having dinner on the couch with last night's Late Show with Stephen Colbert playing in the background, and not really being intentional with our time together. So our hope in scheduling a block of time for each other is to be intentional about that time, whether we're sat at home or out on the town.
We've also compiled a list of 5 at-home date night ideas that we've either tried or plan to try:
HAVE A PICNIC
Whether that's in your living room or in your back garden (yard), why not throw down a blanket and have lunch? I'm a total sucker for picnics and maybe that's why I love England so much, the whole place is basically the perfect place for a picnic! Before I moved, I bought a picnic basket for two and we even incorporated it into our engagement photos. But it can be way more casual than that.
HAVE A GAME NIGHT
I mean, this is a gimme, right? We love board games and card games and both come from families that had regular game nights. The tricky part is we're both kind of competitive, but we've learned (the hard way) to just have fun with it and not give each other the silent treatment because your campaign for longest road was thwarted in Catan. Yes, we've turned Catan into a two-person game. We also love Hanabi, Guillotine, Phase 10, and Qwirkle, which are all two (or more) player games.
CHANGE THE AMBIENCE AND HAVE A FANCY DINNER IN YOUR DINING ROOM
We don't eat at the dining room table as much as we probably should, but it also makes it feel really fancy and special when we actually eat there. Maybe change it up with a table cloth, low lighting, flowers, fancy dishes, and/or music. Create a restaurant feel and cook your favourite meal!
HAVE BREAKFAST FOR DINNER, IN BED
If you're anything like me, you love breakfast for dinner and breakfast in bed. Why not combine the two? Honestly, before I moved in with Luke, I hung out in bed basically 80% of the time I was home. Meals? Yup. TV? Yup. Working from home? Yup. Luke sometimes brings me breakfast in bed and those are the best mornings. So why not replicate those serene, lovely mornings for a date night? This time you won't have any where else to go or any reason to get up!
READ A BOOK TOGETHER OUT LOUD
Before you say that's weird, hear me out. I think what's weird is that you don't ever get to share a book together. And that's the gift that keeps on giving! You can take turns reading chapters or just one person reads, but you get to journey through a story together the same way you'd watch a movie or a TV show together. Luke and I are actually reading A Game of Thrones together, slowly but surely.
For more on how to take your date night to the next level:
Header Photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.