Regular date nights are important to keep a relationship healthy and strong. They may not only rekindle the romance, but regular ones can also help sustain the fires of love over the long haul. Yet these days, going out for a date night can sometimes be a challenge for midlifers.
Whether it’s because of the pandemic, the bad weather, not having a babysitter or just not having the energy to go out after a long workday, we often prefer staying at home. But how can we expect to reignite the flame spending our evenings watching TV?
Luckily, romantic date night ideas don’t have to be extravagant, you can have fun at home, too. In the end, what really matters is to keep focusing on each other. If you need to refresh your romance routine, try one of these suggestions to make your time at home feel a little more exciting.
Have a romantic dinner at home
You don’t have to go out to a restaurant to enjoy a romantic meal. Set the mood by pulling out the good dishes, an elegant tablecloth, and lighting candles. Search online for some fun cocktail recipes you’ve always wanted to try, and make a playlist together of some smooth and relaxing music to play in the background.
Plan the menu according to what works best for you: you can either pick a country you’ve been wanting to travel to and cook dinner together inspired by that country or challenge each other to a cook-off (pick a recipe and see who can make it best. Then have fun trying each other’s creations). Getting competitive can be a great relationship booster! Don’t forget the dessert as well as the wine. Open a great bottle of red might be an option.
Most importantly, have a conversation. This is your time to relax and connect with each other. Avoid talking about family topics and instead focus on each other. If you struggle with knowing what to talk about, you can get started with a book of questions for couples like “201 Relationship Questions: The Couple’s Guide to Building Trust and Emotional Intimacy” 0r you can try a card pack like TableTopics Couples.
Getting creative together is a really great bonding activity. Choose some sort of craft or DIY project to tackle together during your at-home date night. Whether it’s drawing each other’s portraits or decorating mugs, remember that the object is to have fun and de-stress. You can also grab whatever art supplies you have on hand — markers, crayons, watercolours, even random pens and then challenge each other to draw a still-life scene (any fruit around?)
Cosy up with good books
According to Vogue, reading together can be the sexiest date night activity. It’s a charming reminder that not every relationship requires a keypad to communicate. What’s more, “research shows that people can grow closer by revealing and sharing new thoughts, ideas and fantasies with each other. Reading a book and then discussing it’s a fun and entertaining way for couples to grow closer,” says relationship expert and psychotherapist Ken Page
So, pick up a book that suits your style, and take turns reading it to each other for a unique date night you can enjoy any time. “Research shows that people can grow closer by revealing and sharing new thoughts, ideas and fantasies with each other. Reading a book and then discussing it’s a fun and entertaining way for couples to grow closer,” said relationship expert and psychotherapist Ken Page. A chance to discover new aspects of each other.
Indulge in an at-home Spa Day
There’s nothing more relaxing than pampering each other with neck massages, essential oils, scented candles and a steaming bubble bath. In particular, according to research, giving and getting massages from significant others can help foster intimacy. It alleviates stress and promotes bonding due to its ability to release oxytocin, the hormone that helps create trust and reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. What’s more, you can also have fun making your own beauty mask. Have you ever considered preparing one for each other?
Have a game night
A board game night is entertaining and budget savvy at the same time. This idea is less about showing off your trivia skills than it is an opportunity to learn more about each other. You can choose to play classic board games such as Scrabble, Sorry, Yahtzee, Jenga or Chess – and then make the whole thing more interesting by adding a rule that the loser of each game has to lose one piece of clothing– or even make up your own quiz by writing down a set of 10 or more questions you’ve always wanted to ask your spouse, where nothing’s off-limits.
In the end, no matter what you choose to do, the most important things are to make your dates about connecting and to somehow make them special, a few hours away from your normal, everyday routines. So put the kids to bed and take some time to remember what it’s like to not just be parents, but a couple.