When you hear date night what’s the first thing you think of?
Romantic dinner, wine and candles? Or pizza, comedy and cuddles? Perhaps a morning hike and adventure picnic? We know that each couple has their own version of date night, but no matter how we spend date night, we all know how important it is to our relationship right?
Well, maybe not all the time. When you’re both working long hours and stressed, or the kids have you all worn out, or simply finances just aren’t looking that great, it’s so easy to forget to prioritise date night. And it’s not just those couples that have kids, or that have been together forever. Especially when you live together it’s hard not to get into that comfortable slump where date night is more than the two of you in your pyjamas on your phones in front of the TV.
My fiancé and I weren’t always very good at date night. At once stage I was working until 10pm Mon-Sat and that left us with very little time to make plans and then actually get dressed to go out. We’re better at it now, I work normal hours and we try as often as possible to put aside a few special nights that are just for us.
But couldn’t we all do with help? Like it’s the middle of the month what are we supposed to do for date night? Meet Date Night Ideas SA, a page I found by accident on Facebook and have been following for a while. Did you know that you can Dial-a-Picnic to come to whichever location you like and set up for you so all you have to do is sit, eat, enjoy? Well DNI knew.
We recently joined in on Date Awareness Week, hosted by DNI. Basically, we had to have one date each day for a whole week. They gave us some ideas and a printable booklet to sign off our dates. This kind of challenge really took both of us committing fully. There are certain nights in the week when we only see each other at 9pm, we had to work around those. This week took planning, you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to fit in a date during the week. So, we took the challenge.
The first night felt a bit unplanned, but it wasn’t a hard one. The idea was to sort through memories, print photos or organize a virtual photo book, make a scrapbook etc. I had photos sitting in a drawer, that I had printed months ago. So together we took them out and looked back through our memories, then we stuck them in a collage on our wall… That way we don’t have to dig out books to look at happy times, they are right in front of us.
The second night was supposed to be a sultry romantic night, with a bubble bath and candles. We have hectic water restrictions at the moment so no bubble bath for us, but we poured some wine and made it as romantic as possible.
The third night was my absolute favourite! We had to create our own version of 30 seconds, by each writing down 50 words or phrases that mean something to our relationship and then the other had to guess with clues. I love board games so I loved this idea, and I plan on doing this again but even printing a board for it. (My fiancé knows nothing of this yet.)
The fourth nights idea was to choose your own date, we did the next nights idea and held our own wine tasting at home. We got out all the different wines from all over the house and tasted each one.
For the fifth night, we had planned to meet friends for dinner, so this was our date. Even though it wasn’t just the two of us it was still really nice, I got to go to Grand West for the first time ever and we dressed up a little too which was fun.
The idea given to us for the sixth night was a “Hi-Bye-Braai” and I love the sound of this too. Unfortunately, we don’t have a large group of couple friends. You’re meant to let your friends know in advance, and plan a braai at your house. But before the braai, you get in your car and drive to the first couple’s house, have a drink (maybe non-alcoholic) and snacks there, then move on to the next couple’s house with first couple in tow. Continue to all houses until you end up back at your own, and then braai. It’s sounds so fun to me. We will be trying it. But instead we stayed in, made supper and watched ghost movies all night long.
The last date idea was to cook an easy meal together. Since it was Sunday, and I usually like to do a nice veggie filled meal, we didn’t do such an easy meal, but it was cooked together. We celebrated our completing an entire week of dates with sparkling wine and then vegetated on the couch in true Sunday evening fashion.
Even though the week of dates took preparation and commitment, it was such an amazing thing for us to do. Not only did we find new ways to have date night, but we also realized we could fit date night into busy nights if we tried hard enough.