If you’re already the risk-taking type, do something responsible, for example, pick up litter around a park or volunteer at a soup kitchen together.Try star gazing in your own back yard or out in the country. If you’re the scientific type, you might get a star map and try to identify constellations. You get the drinks, the snacks, his/her slippers, favorite game, etc. Just make sure that you alternate the favor sometime soon.Go to a public place (a train station, airport lobby, downtown gathering place) and people watch. If you like, discuss your deepest spiritual beliefs afterwards. Traditionally, parents fill their children’s shoes with treats on St. Try walking in your spouse’s shoes for an evening – perhaps more of a challenge for the husband.
Each spouse could choose a favorite activity which you then combine into one evening, or the wife could propose her favorite activities for one date and the husband plans the next date with his favorites. Reflect on the sights you see and the lives of the people who are your fellow passengers. Wait for snow and give yourself permission to make snow angels or make a snowman. Go roller blading or revisit your childhood by visiting a roller skating rink. This is usually good for stirring up warm fuzzy feelings. Even without these, it can be a ball of fun if you don’t take it too seriously. Try creating a crazy or luxurious outfit for each other and wear it home.
Restrain yourself from buying, however, unless you’re really ready for a new family member. Look through old photo albums and tell each other stories of your childhood and families. It may be the only time you wear it (other than Halloween) before you donate it back to the store.
If you feel really energetic, make it a time to put all those loose photos in albums or on a disc. Seeing a community work together to feed the multitudes is a miracle in itself. (Inspired by Co-op America) Volunteer somewhere together – a nursing home, a soup kitchen, clean up litter from a park or along your street.
If you see someone who looks sad or distressed say a prayer or lend a hand. Even if you don’t exchange shoes, at least change roles for the evening. Turn off your cell phones, computer, the TV, and the lights. It need not be original, just something you took the effort to find. If tent camping is a new experience for you, try it, you might like it. For fun you might want to randomly read a sentence from each of your respective books and see what bizarre combinations this makes. Share what you find physically attractive about your spouse.
Each spouse privately creates a funny costume from what you have around the house. Let go of any inhibitions about being neat and tidy. Find someone who does and volunteer to rake theirs. Use your imagination to see what’s left to do without electricity. It doesn’t have to be one of those fancy, expensive parks. Do those silly arcade games like skee ball or whack-a-mole. Build something together – ice cream sundaes, a pizza with your favorite toppings, a tower of blocks. Take an early morning or evening bike ride together. Stop at a quaint café for breakfast or get an ice cream cone or other treat along the way. Borrow a tent, sleeping bags, and some advice from a veteran camper and spend a night in the woods – or at least a backyard. The Bible may not seem like a date book but try sharing your favorite passage with each other. During the dark of winter, make some light together.
(No need to buy anything, just use pots, paraphernalia, jewelry, and even root through your spouse’s clothes to put items together in weird or scary ways.) Then come together and reveal. Impress your spouse with your strength or cunning…or laugh at your ineptitude. Look around your city and do the things a tourist might do – go to an overlook, a quaint neighborhood, the botanical gardens, a museum, whatever is special about your hometown. Perhaps you will find a chuckle over the odd or weird combinations that reflect your different approaches to food, building, and life. Go to a church service, spend an hour in silence, pray the Way of the Cross in a church or walk in a poor neighborhood to seek Christ’s presence there. Spring is often an especially engaging time since your likely to see some endearing zoo babies and glorious flowers. Is there a lake, a river, a fountain near your home? Pause and gaze at the light shimmering on the water. Do something silly that reminds you of your childhood. Snuggle, tell ghost stories, and roast marshmallows. Ponder how your experience may mimic times in your life together when you felt lost, found each other, or found your way through a difficulty together.
Play a game from your childhood – croquet, badminton, hide and seek, miniature golf. Plan a “Favorites Night” around your favorite food, clothes, games, sports, etc. Some places have special music, lighting, and gimmicks. Many bookstores have cozy reading spots or a café connected with them. Try a theme date like one around “quarters.” Think of all the things you can do that use quarters like play a juke box, wash the car, take your picture together at a photo booth, play video games at an arcade. Pick a spending limit (like each) and see what crazy gift(s) you can put together for your sweetheart. Climb a tree together, catch lightning bugs, or feed some ducks. During the Fall, find a corn maze and wander through it.
Although having a weekly date may seem like a no-brainer, many couples’ good intentions quickly get put off to some future time, when life is not so busy or there’s more money.
Pretty soon the kids are grown and couples find they’ve grown apart. It doesn’t have to always be on the same night, but it’s helpful to pencil in one night each week on your calendars; you can always change the night if a conflict comes up.
Below are some ideas that go beyond the usual dinner and a movie. Not all dates have to involve going out, but if you have young children, getting a break from the kids is a stress release in itself. Alternate who gets the sitter and develop a pool of sitters.
If you’re the responsible, conscientious type, do something together that’s whacky but legal.