We all care about and value our partners highly and a date night is a great opportunity to spend some dedicated time together. They can also be an opportunity to add the spark back in your relationship.
“Date nights are important because it is good to spend quality time with just your partner, giving them your full attention,” says Maria Sullivan, Dating Expert and VP of Dating.com. “Daily schedules can get hectic and it might be difficult to have in-depth conversations with your significant other regularly. By taking time once a week to devote a night just to spending time together and catching up, will help to keep and even strengthen your relationship.”
How can I make time for date night?
“It can be difficult planning time for date night with so much going on in both party’s lives,” says Maria. “Help streamline the process, put a reoccurring day and time on the calendar. That way you know you will be available for a date night once a week because you will already have something scheduled.”
Date Nights at Home
You don’t have to go far to enjoy some time together — why not just stay home? But it’s important to still make an effort if this is what you decide to do. “Treat date night at home as if you were on an actual date,” recommends Maria. “Get dressed up for your significant other, bring them flowers, or their favorite bottle of wine. The more effort put into a date night the more special it can become.”
Eat at home.
Ditch the expensive dinner reservations! “Stay home and cook up your partner’s favorite meal and serve it with a bottle of wine,” says Maria. “If you are feeling competitive, challenge your partner to a cook-off!”
For a change of scenery, why not take your meal out into the garden for some afresco dining? Or spread out a blanket and grab some cushions for a private picnic. Or if the weather isn’t playing ball (it is the UK after all!), your living room floor will make the ideal base for an indoor picnic.
Snuggle up for film night.
“Don’t waste money at the overpriced movie; instead, turn your living room into your own personal movie,” suggests Maria. “Make buttered popcorn and grab some candy from your favorite local store to snack on while you and your partner watch a film.”
Racing heart, rapid breathing, and a large dose of anticipation – these are all good reasons why watching a horror movie is the perfect way to spend an evening together. Experiencing fear is as physiologically arousing as sexual attraction, and your body produces the same chemicals, serotonin, and dopamine, but your brain can’t always distinguish between the two.
Or if something scary isn’t your thing, why not watch a few Netflix stand-up specials to discover comedy that makes you both laugh. Laughter releases feel-good hormones and relieves physical tension and stress. Not only can a big old belly laugh leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after, but it’s also an effective bonding experience: when you laugh together, you’ll associating those positive emotions with each other.
Get competitive with a game night.
Get nostalgic and have a game night with your partner. “Play all the board games you used to as a kid, or even pick up a puzzle and work on that together for some quality bonding time,” says Maria.
Or what about a co-operative board game? Rather than playing against each other, you’ll work together, share strategies, and use your individual strengths to achieve the best outcomes – sound familiar?
Take a trip down memory lane.
“Pull out old photos and take a trip down memory lane,” says Maria. “Share some of your favorite throwback photos with your significant other, or reminisce about the early days of your relationship.”
Take an evening to recreate the memory of one of your favorite vacations at home. Whether it was patatas bravas and Flamenco music in Málaga, or fish and chips and the sound of seagulls on Cromer pier, capture the spirit with music and food (and maybe a jug of sangria) and get nostalgic looking through your vacation pictures together. You can even start making plans for your next trip.
Try a tasting sessions.
Both love cheese? Or wine? Or chocolate, craft beer, gin, tea or jam? Buy a selection or a tasting kit of your favorite treat or tipple for a great date night.
Grab some paper and pick up a cheap set of paints and some brushes, then gather some refreshments, pop on some music and sit opposite each other, making sure you can’t see the other’s paper. Now paint each other’s portrait! The results will probably leave you giggling, and even if you don’t find out you’re an undiscovered Van Gogh, doing something creative together will help you unwind and bond. Plus all that gazing at each other might make you feel like doing more than just painting…
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.