Today is a very excited day! This is the very first post for all the love birds out there, and the first post in the new Label Me Smitten section of the blog. I have been so busy since the switch that I hadn’t had a chance to expand into this category yet, and I am so excited to finally be there! I thought I’d start things off with some great date night ideas that won’t break the bank.
Keeping the romance and excitement alive after years of being together can sometimes get put on the back burner. You’ve settled in for the long haul, have a nice routine going, and keeping the spark alive doesn’t seem as important anymore. So you stop trying to surprise, impress and excite your partner. You both know you love each other, so there’s no need to ‘woo’ your partner anymore, right?
Wrong. Being in a long term committed relationship takes work. A healthy and loving relationship isn’t something that just happens, you need to help it grow. You love your partner, so take the time to strengthen the connection and bond between you two. Consciously enjoy the time you get to spend together, and never take that for granted.
Keeping the romance alive doesn’t necessarily mean raining your partner with gifts, lavish dinners and bouquets of roses. Love is free, and nurturing that love can be too! I’ve pulled together 10 great date night ideas, to help you and your partner spend quality time together and keep the romance alive, while keeping your wallets happy!
1. Go on a picnic
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Grab a blanket, pack a lunch and go enjoy a good old fashioned picnic with your sweetheart. Pop open a bottle of wine, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of chatting and laying in the sun.
2. Have a movie night
Instead of spending $50 to go see a movie in a crowded theater, why not bring the theater home? Turn down the lights, pop some popcorn and turn on the romantic movie of your choice. Added bonus, no armrest between you two, so snuggle away!!
Melissa and I love to set up the air mattress on the floor in front of the TV during our movie nights. We load it up with pillows and blankets, and make it a nice fluffy cocoon to cuddle up in. We also have a no technology rule, so we can completely focus on the movie and spending time with each other.
3. Go window shopping
Head out to your favorite store and pick out the things you’ll buy when you win the lottery (because duh… it’s only a matter of time). Melissa and I love to go to IKEA or Pottery Barn, and pick out all the furniture and decor we are going to buy for our dream home. It’s really great to just have fun and daydream with your partner.
4. Cook a meal together
Turn a chore into quality time with your honey for this date night. Working together towards a common goal is a great way to build trust, communication and teamwork within your relationship. And you thought you were just cooking dinner! Bonus, you get to enjoy a delicious meal prepared with love at the end of the night :).
5. Make each other your favorite foods
Have each partner pick out and make a few of their favorite foods for a fun twist on a potluck dinner. Alternate trying each other’s dishes until everything has been sampled, or you two are absolutely stuffed! It will be fun to enjoy some of your favorite things together, and you’ll end up with a fun, mismatched assortment of food!
6. Have a movie marathon
This is another favorite in our house. Pick out your favorite trilogy or series and make it an all day event. For bonus points, you can go all out and make it a themed day. Make food from the movie, dress in period clothing, talk in an accent etc. Just have fun with it and don’t be afraid to get a little goofy! Whatever helps set the mood for hours of your favorite movies.
7. Spend some time outside
Go on a hike, take a day trip to a beach, take the dog to a park, or just sit in your own backyard. There is something so calming about just hanging out outside. Turn your cellphones off and just be present with your partner. Take in the scenery, listen to the birds sing and enjoy the company of your sweetie.
8. Have a game night
Take turns who get to pick the game to play. Keep track of who wins each game and tally it up at the end of the night. Whoever won more games owes the other a victor’s treat. This treat can be anything you two decide upon at the beginning of the date night. My favorites ideas are backrubs, cooking dinner, or TV control for a night.
9. Share your hopes and dreams
Ok, don’t roll your eyes, I know it sounds so cheesy. But open communication with the person you love is the recipe for an amazing date night. Sharing what your goals and plans for the future with the person you love is what relationships are all about! And you may even learn something new about your partner. Once you know each others hopes and dreams, you can help one another achieve those goals. This is a great way to bring you and your partner closer together.
10. Make an ice cream bar
Yes, I saved the best for last. Gather up every ice cream flavor, topping and sugary treat you can get your hands on. Spend the night mixing together sugary concoctions and getting to know each other over sweet treats. Everyone knows you can tell a lot about a person by what toppings they put on their sundae ;).
What do you think about these date nights? Cheap definitely does not have to be boring!! Melissa and I have tried a few of these, and a few more have definitely made it onto the “Date Night To Do” list.
What’s your favorite way to spend quality time with your partner, or make make them feel loved? Do you have a favorite go to date night? List your date night ideas in the comments so other couples can enjoy them too!
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