|Curt and I on a recent date-- this was to a local pub for a mini high school reunion over Christmas|
I am a big believer in date nights, and these are either dates we've already done or dates I'm looking to try in 2015. Maybe you'll find one (or more!) you'd like to try too!
1. The Groupon Date: Choose a Groupon offer for something you wouldn't normally do-- a tour of a local vineyard, a Segway tour of your city, a restaurant you've never tried, or a local event that just sounds fun. Let the Groupon be your guide into an experience you'd ordinarily never think about doing-- and save money at the same time... win/win!
2. The Goals/"My One Word" Date: Since it's early in the year, there's still time to steal away to a local restaurant or coffee shop to share your individual, family, and professional goals. You can also each share one dream you'd like to tackle in this new year. If you don't want to do it now then think of some other times during the coming year it would make sense to do this. Your anniversary is a nice time, or back to school or the start of summer. Pick a time that means a fresh start to your family. There's nothing magic about January. Another idea is to each pick a word for the year and then "reveal" it to each other over dinner. This is a great conversation starter as you discuss how and what you want to change about yourselves. Sometimes it's nice to talk about something other than the kids or why the car is making that funny noise. You'll walk away feeling inspired, and closer to each other.
3. The Book Club Date: Read the same book and then pick a night to discuss it. Consider making a meal to coordinate with the theme, time frame, or location of the book, or come up with a special cocktail along the same lines. Then compare notes on the book. Need some book ideas? Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (this is the one we are doing), A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion or most any Harlan Coben book that looks good, if you're into thrillers.
4. The Overnight Date: go away somewhere with your spouse, even if it's to a hotel in your same city. Beg someone to watch the kids and then get away from them. This is good for the marriage. This is good for the two individuals in the marriage. I can't promise this will be a magical evening, but I can say you've got a good shot at it.
5. The Play Cards and Popcorn Date: Pop real popcorn, not that microwave junk. (We learned how from this book.) Then pick a card game that you either loved as a kid or have been meaning to learn. Then kick the kids out of the kitchen, take your places at the kitchen table and play. If all goes well, you'll both win, and you'll find yourself talking about things as you deliberate over your respective hands.