There’s always an excuse for not going on dates regularly, am I right? No money. No time. No one to watch the kids. Nothing to do. Schedules don’t line up. No energy or creativity. Etc.
Connecting with your spouse through dates is not only good for your relationship, but fun! While my husband and I both love watching movies, which is super easy and affordable thanks to our new obsession with VidAngel, it gets rather boring if that’s all we do together on our Friday nights at home.
Sometimes we get way too comfortable in our marriages and take for granted that relationship. We may think everything is rosy because we aren’t fighting all the time, but that could simply be because you’re more like roommates than friends or lovers.
So, it’s time to stop that lazy mentality about your marriage relationship and kick it up a notch!
Date night doesn’t have to be glamorous or expensive or even outside of your home, but it should actually be enhancing and enriching to your relationship.
But, many of us get overwhelmed by the idea of finding and planning a date that both parties will enjoy. We barely have time for the date, let alone planning something awesome! When date night rolls around, arguments spring up about what you should do or where to eat out. You frantically find a babysitter, search the internet for local events, date ideas, and restaurant recommendations, and throw together a date night plan at the last minute, if at all.
This neglect and lack of prioritization of date nights is not conducive for them actually happening or being particularly fun or awesome.
That’s why I found some super awesome cheaty-cheat ways to ensure you not only date your spouse on a regular basis, but that you are doing fun, exciting, relationship-building activities, no matter if you are at home or go out.
7 Hacks for Easily Planning (and Going On) Dates
#1 – A Year of Dates
A few years ago, I followed the popular trend of gifting my husband a Year of Dates. I planned out a date idea for a date night out and a date night in each month. Having them all planned out ahead of time, stopped the “I don’t know. What do you want to do?” question that every couple hates. It was a bit of work upfront to plan out the dates and find ideas for an entire year, but it proved very successful.
While we didn’t end up sticking to the planned date schedule 100%, we did still manage to go out for more dates than we had previously when there was zero planning. Plus, our date nights were way better than just popcorn and a movie on the couch or in the theater (though we honestly do love movies and popcorn a lot).
I wrote up a great tutorial outlining how to plan and put together your own Year of Dates gift, but if you don’t want to do-it-yourself, The Dating Divas have a pre-made Year of Dates! You can choose just to purchase their cute binder printables for $2.97 so you can customize the inside, or pay for the binder printables and 12 date night ideas for only $9.97. The date night ideas all come with adorable printables and instructions on how to do the date.
They also have a Year of Sports-Themed Date Nights for $19.97, a Year of Dates Around the World for $19.99, and their Ultimate Intimacy Pack of 12 sexy bedroom games for $19.97, in case you wanted to theme up your dates for an entire year. Or you could combine some together as some are for home and some out, ensuring you’ll get both one date out and one date in every month. The Around the World Dates are also sold separately for $2.99 each.
175 Best Date Ideas by Alida Quittschreiber of The Realistic Mama is only $9.99 (or less than 6 cents a date idea – how’s that for frugal?) and available as an ebook or in paperback. When it comes time for date night, flip through this book and pick out what sounds most interesting to you right now. It’s that simple! Or pick your favorites ahead of time if you want to plan out the whole year.
With over 800 members, Diva Central is a membership-based community people turn to for great ways to strengthen their marriages; ways that seem more like fun than work, more like play than effort. They provide engaging and exclusive date ideas, 10% discount off all items in the Diva Store, exclusive members-only giveaways, intimacy tips and bedroom games, and more! Bonus: A Diva Central membership starts with a free week trial and their 7-day Love Quest marriage challenge! After the free trial, it is only $9.97 a month.
Datelivery provides you not only with the date night idea, but also everything, physically, that you will need for that date night! You will pick out the unique date night experience you want on their website and it will be delivered right to your door! No hunting for those specific items in just the right quantity for two. When the date night arrives, open the box together, follow the instructions and have a great time!
The current date night boxes are:
- A date night at the carnival
- A date night in Paris
- A romantic picnic date night
- Be a kid again date night
- Cookie making date night
- Las Vegas date night
- In-home spa date night
- Pizza challenge date night
- Scavenger hunt date night
You can also pick a surprise mystery box if you have a hard time deciding. Date night boxes range in price from about $31.00-$60 plus shipping. The cost fluctuates based on what items are needed for the date and their value and they do have periodic sales. Considering you don’t have to find the items, plan the date, or pay for more than you need, and it shows up on your door, all ready to go, the price is fairly reasonable and the perfect cheaty-cheat way to do date night at home. Gift certificates and bundle deals are also available.
If you want a fun way to present your love with various date nights, gift him a 20-Page Love Coupon booklet from LoveCoups. They are only $24.95 and completely customizeable, letting you edit what the little characters look like, what each coupon will say, and more. When it’s your turn for planning date night, simply pull out the coupon of your choice and cash it in. I gave my husband a Love Coupon Book back in 2014 and it’s pretty adorable.
They also have a cute (not customizeable) Romantic Coupon Book for only $6.95. Plus, they have some fun activity books like the I Love You: Activity Books for Couples for $9.95 each or $14.95 for Volume 1 and 2, the Let’s Get Naked: Sexy Activity Book for Couples for $9.95, and the Try Something New: Couples Edition book with 100 pages of fresh and fun any-night activity ideas for $12.95.
Use code TRIP16 for 15% off all LoveCoups gifts!
Have you heard about The Game of Love? It’s a new product and online store for couples and it’s bringing fun + games back into relationships! I don’t know about you, but for me it’s so easy to get into a bedtime rut: wash face, brush teeth, check cell phone or read on a kindle while the husband browses on the iPad, and say good night. Everything seems to have our attention but each other.
The Game of Love has a super fun solution to help us break up with our bedtime routine – a DIY game that uses your bed sheets as the game board! You’ve gotta check it out! We’ll be getting a sheet set soon and I’m excited to play!
Basically, there are blank squares covering the fitted sheets and you’ll write different activities on each square ahead of time (don’t worry, the sheets come with a plethora of ideas). On your turn your roll a die, but can only move 1, 2, or 3 spaces and each square has a 90 second time limit. The last square is the “Score” square.
The Game of Love kit comes with everything you need to play – the blank board game printed on the sheets, washable fabric markers (so you can change it up and play again and again), an Idea Vault of 100s of fun and creative ideas for the game, example templates, plush game piece, and die. The Game of Love is $55 for Queen sheets and $65 for King with a $6 flat shipping charge.
How to Find Childcare for Date Nights
One of the biggest barriers to going out on a date is finding and paying for a babysitter. We have four young kids and can’t afford top dollar for a babysitter (we’re happy to afford the date itself most of the time!), so we’ve learned to get creative and take advantage of a few of the following options:
1.) Enlist family. Ask the kids’ grandparents (aka your parents or in-laws), or an older niece, nephew, or cousin to help watch your kids. Payment is likely waived, or is greatly reduced via the “family discount.”
2.) Enlist friends. A babysitting Co-Op or swapping date nights with your best pals can be an excellent way to make date nights happen! We’ve been doing for the past few months and it works out well! We often ask our friends when they want to go out again, and they ask us back. We not only provide each other with free babysitting, but we keep each other more accountable for making dates happen on both side.
3.) Hire a Sitter. It can be scary to hire a sitter, especially if you don’t know them. I always start looking for a sitter by asking my friends who watches their kids when they go out, and then ask if any of the youth at church babysit. To lower the costs, think about going on a double or group dates and splitting the babysitter costs.
If you are nervous about the person watching your kids, or your kids being watched by someone else, the Dating Divas’ Babysitter in a Bag kits are awesome for getting them the info they need to watch your kids, and are packed with good activities to do with your kids (in case you get tired of every baby sitter simply throwing a movie in for the kids while you are gone). They have a camping edition and cooking adventure version to switch it up and help your kids be as excited about date night as you are.
If neither of those are an option, it may be time to use a website like Sittercity.com to find a babysitter. Sittercity makes finding that perfect sitter or nanny a better experience for families. It is the largest and most trusted network with over 2 million qualified and pre-screened sitters nationwide. There are other similar online services for finding good, background checked, individuals to watch your kids should you need someone in a pinch.
With these 7 hacks for planning date nights, there are almost zero excuses for not doing something together regularly! Now go enjoy dating the one you love!