Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Date Night at Home

The Happy Housewife asked for ideas for date night at home. Seeing as we are living very frugally (although occasionally treat ourselves to a date that includes paying for a sitter (we don't have any family nearby)), we have been embracing date nights at home for a while now. But, having date nights - at home or otherwise - requires more than just planning something that isn't part of the normal doldrums. We have to keep in mind why we were "dating" each other. Our top priority in dating one another was reconnecting - sharing something that we both enjoy. The cool thing is that we can do any activity that we wish, including ones that we hate, as long as we have the correct mindset. How? Well, aren't we marriage because we enjoy (or at least at one point in time did) our spouse? As we spend our special date nights together, we focus on seeing the blessings of each other. The things that we like about the other person. As it is human nature to dwell on the negative, sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of all of the wonderful things that DH is and does. When we are focusing on the positives in each other, our relationship is strengthen and we feel a greater depth of love for one another.

Other people have wonderful date nights that include a special dinner after the kids go to bed, but by the time we get the kids to bed, I am worn out and would rather just skip the date if I am starving and still have to get everything laid out to create the date atmosphere that is enjoyed by other couples. I wish that weren't the case, but I just don't have the energy for it. (Okay, and it seems to me to be more work for me - more dishes, more prettying the house up, etc. Yes, I can be very lazy!) But, we do enjoy our date nights at home. Some of the activities for a date night at home that we enjoy are:
  • Playing Guitar Hero together. We both enjoy it, and as we are working as a team for a common pursuit, we have fun cheering each other on. Okay, and the occasional good-humored teasing helps us to relax a bit.
  • Snuggling on the couch together while watching a good movie (one that we already own or that we borrow from the library) or television program. It is nice to just have the physical closeness without thinking about some chore that needs to be completed. We rarely take the time to sit down and watch television of any sort together as by the time the kids are in bed, we are usually trying to unwind in our own ways. So, it is special when we take the time to watch something together.
  • Laying on our bed (fully clothed! - or not) and talking about our true desires and thoughts. As I said in an earlier post, there is just something comforting and intimate that allows us to talk easier while laying on our bed.
  • Playing a board game together. We don't do this nearly enough, but it is fun when we do.
  • Gazing into a burning fire - either in the fireplace or on the patio in the fire pit. There is something about an open fire on a clear night that brings great peace to us both. We then share our intimate thoughts and dreams within this special cloud of tranquility.
I can't wait to read what great ideas other people have of incorporating date night into their frugal lifestyles. We will have to try to implement some of them. And, maybe I will even plan far enough ahead that I could cook us a special date night at home dinner with some candles. But, we might just have to settle with a special dessert shared by candlelight.


  1. When we had a house with a fire place I use to love to sit in front of the fire and just hang out. It was one of my favorite things to do!

  2. Oooh, I would love to have a fireplace. Thanks for the great ideas. :D

    Have a great Thursday!

  3. An important aspect of our weekly date nights is asking the question, "What have I done to offend or hurt you in the past week?" Sometimes we don't have anything, and sometimes we do, but it's a non-threatening way to bring up anything that's been bothering us. Or maybe something we didn't realize was bothering us until that moment. We'll discuss it a bit, ask forgiveness, and forgive each other - then it's like going into the rest of the evening with a clean slate.

    I like all of your bullet-point ideas - we use them, too! To add a couple of others: we really enjoy the two-player Settlers of Catan card game. We also like sharing the laptop to play Civilization or SimCity cooperatively.

    We also eat a meal together as part of the date, often sharing the preparation as well. But we are also fortunate to live in a city with a great service of restaurant-prepared meals delivered to our door, and we indulge in that occasionally as well!

    Oh, and one more thing... (can you tell we're date-night-at-home geeks?) we alternate weeks on who is the date night coordinator. One week it's my turn, the next week it's his. That way all the pressure of new ideas or figuring out what we will eat isn't on the same person every time.

  4. Blissful_e,

    That is wonderful that you guys ask each other such an important question in such a non-threatening way!! And, I love that you take the time to resolve the issue and move forward with forgiveness! We will definitely have to incorporate it in our weekly schedule!! (Date night or not.) We are going to start playing other video games together (Ms. Pac Man anyone? :-) ). I have to learn how to navigate better with the controllers and then it will be more fun. I also like that you take turns deciding what to do!! I think we are going to have to be more scheduled with our date nights and try the same thing. Thank you for the great ideas!