I had just signed up for the VIP membership at Celebration Cinema and was so excited for our Tuesday date night. We always see a movie, and this week was my turn to pick. I knew schools were closing, restaurants and theaters were limited to 50% capacity, and some businesses had started closing. However, there was part of me that refused to accept this new way of living. I truly didn’t think it would get this far. Monday morning, March 16th, it all changed. So I got mad, vented, wanted to curse at whatever made this awful virus exist, and then I took a breath and decided it was time to make the best of it. It may be our new normal for now, but that doesn’t mean date night has to die. I made a list of ideas to stick with our date nights and nurture our marriage during these crazy, crazy times.
Road Trip Date Night (or Day)
The husband and I used to drive all the time for date night. He would show me a new band he was into and we would take the scenic route to wherever we were going. Sometimes we would even just drive to drive, leaving the destination up in the air. We’d laugh, sing loud and off key, and have really good talks. Work and parenthood has changed those drives to become more efficient. Honestly, they are definitely not as fun, so why not bring them back? This week we are going to get some take-out, eat in the car, and have those same road trip times we had ten years ago. It’s time to bring back the life we had, when things were simpler, and we had all the time in the world.
Netflix and Chill
There are so many movies we keep meaning to watch but haven’t gotten around to. It is hard for us to watch movies at night since I pass out around 8:30. Our son’s nap time used to be when I would get ready for our date night, given we usually went out after he woke up. Since that isn’t the case now, we are going to camp out on the couch, snuggle up, and actually watch a movie. If a little more chill than Netflix happens, then hey, even better.
Dinner for Two
For those who love going out to eat like us, this new climate is tough. Where is the dim lighting, fancy table cloth, and delicious eats? I may have a solution. If you have tiny littles, try waiting until they are in bed. If you have bigger littles, send them to grandma’s or stick a movie on in the basement so you can get some alone time. Next, make your favorite dinner as a couple, light a candle, play some Sinatra, and get out the bubbly. You once knew how to play make-believe, well it’s time to bring that out of you again. It may not be your favorite restaurant but creating the ambiance together, for a date night, will still make for a good time.
Picnic Date Night (or Day)
The weather is getting warmer which means you can take your date night outside. Find a local park and pack your dinner in a basket, or even order from your favorite dinner spot and get it to-go. If you time it just right, you may even get to enjoy a sunset. If the weather isn’t cooperating, you could do what my husband did on our very first date, and this is still my favorite date yet: he got Mancino’s grinders and Diet Coke in glass bottles then had us eat dinner on the floor of my apartment living room while watching a movie. It was simple and romantic, I definitely think you should give it a try.
One with Nature
Let’s be honest, we all are getting a tad stir crazy with never leaving our homes. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go outside, though. Last I checked, the local nature centers and wooded paths weren’t bustling with people. Grab your person and go on a nature hike. Every time I have been outside this week, it’s kept me grounded and reminded me that there is still a world out there. The fresh air and vitamin D will perk you both up. Being surrounded by nature will detach you from the business that was once your life.
These are unchartered times we are living in, and watching the news can be downright terrifying. That doesn’t mean it has to dictate your life. Date nights can, and should, still happen. Your partner is your constant. Nurturing your marriage will be a nice reminder of simpler times. Have a date night and allow life to be a little easier, carefree, and enjoyable for an hour or two. The rest can take care of itself. Who knows, maybe this is supposed to make us all have a reset without the distractions of being on the go.
Need some ideas of where you can get food to compliment your date night? Check our guide here for restaurants offering take-out right now!