Need some creative ideas for dates? One of my pleasures in marriage counseling is to encourage couples to have a date night once a week. Since Valentine’s Day is a week away, I thought I would share five inexpensive date ideas.
First you need to plan a date well—even the spontaneous date needs some thought put into it. Dates can morph into boring routine quickly when repeating the same activity every week.
Schedule a date night far enough in advance that childcare is adequately arranged. If you go to a movie or a ball game, buy tickets early. Make dinner reservations before you head out the door.
Add 30-minute cushions into your planning to account for traffic jams or other unforeseen problems. Have a backup plan for when it rains on your picnic or the movie is boring.
Try to include all the five senses on your date: taste flavorful food, breath in wonderful smells, touch the wet beach sand, hear sounds that bring pleasure, and see something that builds a memory.
Five Creative Ideas for Dates
Gourmet taste-testers: Wander through Costco or Sam’s and casually sample all the food freebies. Act like a gourmet taste-tester and compare notes on each sample. Follow this up with coffee and dessert at your favorite cafe’.
Homegrown tourist: Take a tour of your town. Yep, you heard me right. I know I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, but I’ve yet to see everything the tourists come to see here on the Central Coast of California.
Take a self-guided tour to learn the history of your town. Visit historical buildings and your local museum, or hike the old trails that meander through the woods of your area. How about a wine tour if you live in wine country? Find out what the tourists come to see in your area and become a homegrown tourist.
Cereal bar and cartoons: Why not plan a date for a Saturday morning at home? Set out a variety of cereals and fruits so you can both eat as much as you want. Add hot coffee or hot chocolate and turn on the cartoons. Oh, don’t forget to grab your slippers and wear your pajamas.
Focus on others: Date nights are not always about you. Sometimes it helps to focus on others and experience the joy of serving as a couple. Here are some examples:
- Serve a meal together at your local homeless shelter.
- Visit a children’s hospital and offer to read stories to the kids.
- Surprise an elderly friend with the gift of yard work and dinner.
Sabbath rest: Have you ever just spent the day in bed? I mean when you weren’t sick. Try taking a full day of rest in bed just for fun: reading, watching old movies, eating snack food, playing games, and talking. Well, you get my drift.
Well, there you go—five creative ideas for dates. Every couple needs them. What was your most creative date? Share it with us in the comment section below.
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.
Thursday Therapy posts contain various counseling tips I use in biblical counseling. Building a spiritual legacy involves continued growth in our personal lives and relationships. You can find other Thursday Therapy posts here. I hope you find them helpful. Susan Gaddis
For 15 more creative ideas, check out The Art of Manliness’s post.