Coming up with creative, meaningful date night ideas can be difficult in marriage. Not everyone is all that creative to begin with, and eventually you start to use up all the good ideas you do have.
But that’s OK; we have some ideas you can copy. We asked a number of couples who lead in re|engage to share their own “creative connections”—things you can do to connect with your spouse and build into your relationship. Below are some of the ideas they came up with.
Understanding Each Other
Take a moment this week to do inventory. How well do you know your spouse? How well does your spouse know you? Be intentional in your quest to know each other better and build oneness. Come up with some questions that probe on a deeper, more meaningful level. Then, plan a date night, take a walk or spend some time together at home after the kids are in bed. Open up and share and spend time listening! Some example questions:
- What area of your life do you want to work on most?
- What gets you excited to get up every day?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- If you could have done something differently in life, what would it be?
- What skill would you like to master one day?
- Who are your heroes?
- Each of you write down all of the non-verbal things that your spouse does to communicate their love for you. Then write down what you think are the non-verbal things that you do to communicate the same thing to your spouse. Compare the two lists and see how well you align. Finally, each of you write out the perfect date night… compare, combine, agree, and do it!
- Think of the last time you and your spouse had a conflict regarding missed expectations. Review the details of the interaction and communicate the expectations you had that went unmet. Talk through the root of those expectations and ways that you might be able to communicate those better or look to God to fulfill those in the future.
- Spend time together looking at family photographs from childhood. Use this activity to stimulate discussion about where your respective views of marriage came from and how you developed your expectations for marriage as a result. Do this with an attitude of gaining a deeper understanding of your spouse so that you might serve him or her better.
- 1 Peter 3:7 challenges men to “live with your wives in an understanding way…so that your prayers may not be hindered.” Commit to praying with your spouse, on your knees, out loud, every day for one week.
- Schedule a date night, and spend some time together making a list of all your differences. Thank God that you married someone different than you. View each difference as a way to extend grace to your spouse.
- In marriage, we get to choose to love generously (with our gifts and abilities), intentionally (with our time), and continuously (from the heart). One way we can do all three is by serving our spouse. Take some time during your next date night, whether out on the town or on the couch, and ask each other this question: “If I could serve you for an entire day, what would you have me do and what would you do?” Then, actually schedule a day to do those things as a way to show your love!
Having Fun Together
- Raise the stakes. plan a game night with your spouse. Forgo the usual dinner and a movie. For this night organize a series of games: miniature golf, cornhole, H-O-R-S-E, etc. Take some time to creatively and playfully think of some consequences for the loser and prizes for the winner. You can make it more interesting by having unique prizes or consequences for each hole, or for the person with the most holes-in-one. The sky is the limit here!
- Here is a fun communication exercise: agree on a simple recipe to cook together. The catch is that the “chef” of the couple—the person who is the better cook—can’t do any of the actual cooking, while the more culinary-challenged spouse can’t read the recipe. One of you will have to read the recipe to the other while he or she prepares the dish. Can you listen to one another and communicate with kindness, gentleness, and patience? Have fun with it, and have some laughs along the way!
- Each of you write down three ways you would like to glorify God in your sex life. Commit to trying one of your spouse’s suggestions the next time you are intimate. Maybe you would like to enhance the atmosphere with candles or music? Maybe you would like to introduce different textures with new garments, lotions, or bedding? Maybe you have an idea for an exciting location or would like to revisit an old favorite spot? Have fun serving each other and growing in intimacy!
- Plan a date night at home, with no kids, and with the intention of pursuing one another in sexual intimacy. Maybe cook dinner together and watch a movie wearing something revealing, or even nothing at all. Take time to enjoy each other (and the view) before being intimate. Additionally, have an intimate moment of prayer, asking Him to bless your time together and that it would bring Him glory.
- Surprise your spouse this week with an unearned gift and expect nothing in return. It doesn’t have to be expensive or dramatic; just thoughtful and genuine. For example, it could be a card with a love note waiting on the driver’s seat of the car, a foot rub, or a surprise lunch date to a favorite place.
- Pick out a journal together and start writing “love notes” to each other inside it. Not all of them have to be full-blown love letters; they could be thank you notes, sharing something you learned in your quiet time, doodles, poems, or anything else you might think of. On an anniversary or a special date in the future, go back and reread what you wrote to each other over the months and years.
- Each of you write down two or three of your favorite memories since you have been married. Take an hour or so to reminisce about those great times with each other. Do this while making or getting ice cream sundaes, because who doesn’t love ice cream?
- Spend two hours together and discuss your plans for next year or the next five years. Envision together what your life will look like and write down your family goals.
That is 15 different ways you can connect with your spouse. You can choose your favorites, or do all of them over the coming months. But we would encourage you to at least pick one that you can put into action this week.