One of the ways my wife and I keep strengthening our marriage is by including a regular night once a week where we go out on a date. For us, it’s Wednesday nights. For others, a date night could be any night of the week, depending on your schedules. And having a “date day” is okay, too. The key is to set a day or night and stick to it. And watch the dividends increase.
What follows are some things we’ve done on our date nights.
Yup, movies, the old stand-by, still work, even for married folks like my wife and me. Here in Hawaii, we have several theaters that screen flicks for fifty cents or a buck, and I’d think venues of these sorts are everywhere. Look for them (or pay the full price at megaplexes if money is no object). Note that movies at these bargain locations are ones that are several months past their original opening dates, but we’ve seen many good pictures at these places. Know that the food at theater concessions is never cheap (at least not in my experience), so eat beforehand. And in case you were thinking of being covert, I don’t advocate smuggling food and drinks into theaters. Bad karma.
Walks About Town
Lovers of the outdoors and fitness, my wife and I have enjoyed walks around our neighborhood, through neighborhoods we have never visited, and through and about urban Honolulu, near where we live. We admire and talk about other people’s yards, the trees and flowers in those yards, and the design of homes we see. We also window-shop as we pass business, markets and the like. We usually cap our walks off with a sandwich, soft drink, and ice cream (our favorite) purchased from a convenience store or shop we pass.
Another date night favorite is picnics. We have packed food and drinks and headed to an array of locations for our date nights. Since we live here in Hawaii, beaches are a popular venue for this night-time sit-down-and-eat affairs. Nothing like having a picnic on a quiet beach and running our toes in the sand with the moon shimmering on the ocean. We also drive to scenic locations and picnic in our car. We even have had picnics in our back yard. Use your imagination here.
When the mood hits us, my wife and I take long drives together. Here on Oahu in Hawaii, a drive all the way around the island might take two hours, and we’ve done that a few times on date night, stopping at places along the way to admire views, to talk, and to eat. Sometimes we’ll combine a picnic and a long drive into a combination activity date. One of our “yet” dates is to jump on a city bus and go for a long ride on it, exiting at some random location to explore and have fun.
Staying at Home
Yes, a date for us can even be at home. Usually what we’ll do is make some popcorn, pop a DVD into the player, cuddle up in bed, and watch a good flick. Husbands beware of suggesting this option with any frequency. When we do opt to stay at home to watch a movie, my wife usually suggests it.
In lieu of cooking and eating at home, some of our outings have been dinner dates. We enjoy sitting down to a nice meal once in a while. We are on a budget and try to be frugal, but on occasion we’ll shell out some bucks for some good food and the ambiance. We also are big on coupons from those entertainment books that abound. We’ve gotten some good buy-one-get-one-free deals at many restaurants from these.
Some dates defy categorization. One that I remember was when I took my wife to the scene of a local spooky tale I had read. Without clueing her in on what was happening, I drove her to this spot (a dark, secluded location) and read her the ghost story, with sound effects and all. My wife loved this date (I did too). These kinds of outings just take a little imagination and some willingness to improvise and have fun. Give ’em a try.
To sum up
People wiser than I have said that a marital relationship is like a flower that needs watering. Date nights with my spouse have provided some of the H20 that our relationship has needed to continue to grow and progress. So if you find that your relationship with your spouse is shriveling up, try including a date night to your lives.