Posts Tagged ‘Date Night Ideas’

Expert Forum: Married Couple Date Nights

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Think the pre-engagement courtship you shared with your soon-to-be wife would be the last serious effort you’d ever put into dating? Think again. Taking care of your relationship post-wedding is equally essential. It can mean the difference between a strong, healthy marriage and one that divides a couple. To break down the topic, we’ve brought in some of our favorite bloggers to provide their advice on dating after “I do”.

wedding bloggers share date night ideas for married couples

With life’s many distractions, spending quality time with your spouse can easily go by the wayside. How important is it for couples to maintain a regular date night? What are some fun date night ideas?

Emma Arendoski (Owner, EmmalineBride)
Twitter: @EmmalineBride

Life can have many distractions, but finding quality time with your spouse should be a priority.  I recently read a tweet from Busy Philipps (@Busyphilipps25) that said, “You never feel closer to your spouse than when you’re binge watching a TV show together.”  It’s funny because it’s true: Some overlooked activities (cooking together in the kitchen, running errands, and yes, ‘binge-watching’ TV shows) can keep you bonded during the week.  On the weekend, make time for a coffee date, dress up and go out to dinner, or plan to get away for the weekend.  Spend time in conversation and skip the chatter about work, errands and home projects.  Some of the best date ideas aren’t expensive either – a rented movie and popcorn date at home, a trip to the cider mill or a walk at a local park are just a few ideas. Date nights shouldn’t fly out the window when you’re married. Make time to keep the romance alive.

Kara Horner (Editor-in-Chief, GroomsAdvice)
Twitter: @TMR_Kara

Regularly scheduling quality time together is essential in any marriage. Otherwise, life (work commitments, hectic family schedules, home maintenance, financial stress, etc.) quickly tends to get in the way of what you’d rather be doing together — like relaxing on the beach of a remote island, cocktail in hand. So it’s important to schedule a regular date night on a weekly or monthly basis (whatever works for you) where just the two of you can hang out, like you did when you were dating. A date night can be as simple and inexpensive as dinner and a movie or TV marathon at home or out, or trying something new or fun together, such as touring a local vineyard or brewery, taking a cooking class, hitting a concert, or going to your favorite team’s next game.

Steve Cooper (Co-Founder, Hitched Media)
Twitter: @hitchedmedia

Regular date nights are extremely important because they keep couples connected. Research has shown that couples who participate in new and exciting activities together report significantly greater marital satisfaction. Part of this is because new experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding the body with the same chemicals that are released during the early romantic phase of a relationship. Just hanging out together, however, won’t have the same effect. You have to do new and exciting things, which is why regular dates are so important.

Before embarking on your adventure, remember that dates should be fun! When coming up with a great date night idea, the simplest source of inspiration can be found in the season and your surroundings. The summer months have county fairs, fall brings about Octoberfest, and when winter arrives, the Christmas lights go up. Build the date around these activities. If you’re going to check out holiday lights, for example, pack a thermos of something hot and maybe find a romantic high-point overlooking the entire area after you’ve seen everything at street level. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make things perfect; just do something you’ll both enjoy.

Anne Chertoff (Wedding Media Expert, AnneChertoff.com)
Twitter: @annechertoff

It’s extremely important for couples to keep the spark alive well after the honeymoon, especially once the kids arrive!  While we’ve tried a weekly date night, our schedules don’t always allow for it, so we try to plan weekends away without the kids a few times a year. If you’re not parents, some fun date night ideas might be a  fancy dinner and a show (once or twice a year it’s fun to get dressed up), a movie night, an ice cream sundae night (one of my favorites at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor), comedy shows, taking in a game, or some random trivia night at a bar. Whatever you do for date night, make it something you don’t always do so it’s something exciting to try and look forward to.

Chris Easter (Co-Founder, The Man Registry)
Twitter: @chriseaster

There’s no doubt you’ll spend more time with your spouse after you’re married. However, I personally don’t consider evenings spent cleaning the house, organizing budgets and grocery shopping as much fun as a night out on the town. This is why maintaining regular date nights is one thing that my wife and I have made a priority in our marriage. We’ve made it a goal to try at least one new restaurant every month. The same concept would easily work for museums, parks or movies. It’s also always refreshing to power off for these date nights and commit to not using your phone, tablet or apps for the evening. It sounds tough, but I know you can do it!

Connect with post author Chris Easter on Google+, Pinterest and Facebook.

Whats your favorite way to share a date night with your significant other? Low key or out on the town? Share your response below!

Why Married Couples Should Have Date Nights

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

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By Steve Cooper, Hitched Media

Remember when you couldn’t wait for date night? For too many, unfortunately, that question conjures up thoughts of courting, not a fun night out epitomizing married life. Fortunately, Steve Carell and Tina Fey reminded us this past weekend of how exciting going out on a date can be in their new comedy, Date Night.

On Friday night, my wife rushed home from work and we took off for the local movie theater. All week long my wife and I discussed the upcoming movie night out—that’s part of the fun, the anticipation of having something planned. We arrived at the theater and took our seats among the many older couples, a smattering of younger couples and a few groups of middle-aged women. For the next hour and twenty-eight minutes Phil (Carell) and Claire (Fey) Foster went from passengers in their marriage to active partners working to bring back the vigor—and survive their night in Manhattan.

'Date Night' gets two thumbs up from Steve.

‘Date Night’ gets two thumbs up from Steve.

Among the many laughs—and there are many—one of the things I appreciated most about the Fosters was that they had carved time out of their busy and tired schedules to reconnect on regular date nights. Where the Fosters failed was in letting their date nights become as routine, predictable and humdrum as the rest of their life. You could see the love and playfulness of the characters, but the effort to break out of their monotonous routine to create new experiences didn’t happen until their close friends confided that they were getting divorced. That’s when Phil decided he was going to take his wife to a fancy seafood restaurant in the city, and Claire seized the moment to dress up for the occasion.

For other married couples, the lesson here is not that you need to woo your spouse with a fancy night on the town, but that you should continue courting them and find new and exciting activities to do together.

My wife and I plan a secret date night for each other once a month. One month I plan to take her out for a surprise date and the next month she reciprocates. These aren’t always grand events, having ranged from laser tag and live fights to an outdoor movie and walk along a local lake. To make sure these dates are a regular priority, we build them into our monthly budget and have also established a few rules to follow: we have to stay within our designated budget, we can’t repeat dates (i.e., if we do a movie and dinner one month we can’t repeat the same events the following month), and the dates should be something we both will enjoy. These date nights would be counter-productive if one of us dreaded what the secret outing might be.

For the Fosters, like so many other couples, they begin to really work at their marriage when they feel it might be slipping away. I hope that couples come out of the movie laughing as much as my wife and I did, but also recognizing that marriage needs to be nurtured and cared for in order for it to grow. Every couple is different and should find things that work for them. The great thing is that if tending to your relationship is an active priority, not every night out has to involve car chases to awaken your passion for each other.

After the movie my wife and I walked past the local shops talking about the film and recapping our day when my wife began to feel ill. She told me that a few co-workers were out sick and was afraid she might be coming down with the same thing. It was unfortunate that our night out was cut short, but I definitely didn’t want her to get sick. We went home and then I briefly left again. When I returned I brought her some requested orange juice and surprised her with flowers. I, like the Fosters, experienced that not all date nights turn out as planned, but that’s part of the excitement.


Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched, a service and lifestyle online magazine for married couples. Steve hosts a weekly podcast with experts covering all topics on married life, from sex and money to in-laws and date nights. You can follow Steve on Google+, Twitter or become a fan of Hitched on Facebook.

What’s your favorite place to take your girlfriend or wife on dates? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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