For a relationship to really thrive, it’s always a great idea to spend some alone time in the form of an old-fashioned date night. Especially for those of us who work from home. It’s easy to get work/school/kids/romances piled on top of each other, and as a result, quality time is often reduced to the margins. For me, my need to take time to focus on relationships has intensified during the quarantine, inspiring this term: happy vessel. I started making time on purpose to completely separate myself from other aspects of my life with the people I hold dear — instead of just letting it happen (or not happen at all).). We’re coming into a season dedicated to romance, but time spent with loved ones should be a year-round priority. To help you have some quality time, I’ve rounded up the best easy date night ideas for you and your SO, you and your BFF, and for yourself and yourself.
Last summer, I read Become by Michelle Obama. A relatively small story surrounding love and expectation is still vivid in my mind. Michelle writes about a time in their lives when Barack frequently went out to dinner late, leaving her and her girls waiting, frustrated, before they gave up and ate without him. He’s in the middle of a busy season with work and quality time a sacrifice. Michelle realizes that she is failing her family by creating expectations that Barack doesn’t always meet. So she sets boundaries by saying, Hey, from now on dinner will be ready at the same time every night. If you show up, great. Otherwise, leftovers will end up in the refrigerator. By creating structure instead of living with assumptions, they were happy whenever Barack showed up and sympathetic when he couldn’t.
The same lesson applies to planning a date night with the people you love. Between work, phones, and everything in between, we all often fall into a flow that causes us to let go of activities designed to bring us closer together. Whether with your partner, your best friend or yourself, make time to be together meaningful is a secret ingredient to a happy, fulfilling relationship.
Read on for some of my favorite easy dating ideas that will strengthen any special relationship.
Featured image of Michelle Nash.
Date night ideas for you and your significant other…
There’s nothing quite like being in nature with someone you love. Whenever the sun goes out and the temperature rises, my wife and I take advantage of going out. We love to put together an array of delicacies or order an epic cheese platter from Antonelli’s and head to one of our favorite parks. Sometimes we will bring our dogs or a deck of cards. At other times, we’ll catch up on things we don’t talk about on a daily basis.
Make a special dinner
I first made some dim sum a couple of weeks ago and it was fun to experiment with ingredients in new ways (lots of them already in my pantry!). Even if your partner isn’t a very good cook, you can invite them in to help chop, prep, read the menu, or sample flavors. 🙂 Stepping outside of your comfort zone to cook a meal you’ve never made before is fun and a fun bonding experience.
Watch driving movies
Many cities around the country are throwing it back to the old ways and choosing drive-in movie options to keep communities safe and entertained. Watching movies together affects dopamine levels and can be a great way to dive into fresh conversations. If your area doesn’t offer a drive-in option, consider setting up a movie theater in your living room with loads of blankets, popcorn, cocktails, and candles.
Try bird watching
Doubt about this? Do not! I know many couples who have watched birds during the pandemic. It’s a great way to get outdoors, learn about the birds in your local area, and develop a closer connection with nature. It can be a lot of fun as you build your knowledge of different types of birds. Honestly, nothing compares to the satisfaction I get from accurately identifying a bird by its call alone.
Take a day trip
Going Hot: Day trips are completely underrated. Don’t get me wrong, a weekend getaway is the perfect setting for a little romance. But nothing gets me excited and looking forward to it more than waking up early and hitting the road. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and hit the road to somewhere you’ve always wanted to explore. Breaking out of your everyday context and energizing yourself in front of a new city or town can do wonders for your perspective. Plus, it will provide endless inspiration for future conversations.
No matter where you live or stay, you will always find that there are some locations that are close by. Traveling has always been one of the best ways for two people to make their relationship stronger and better. If you don’t have the time to go on an elaborate week-long vacation, you from always opt for day trips from NYC. You can travel to the best locations in the city, enjoy some sumptuous food, and generally spend a good time together.
Taste the best food truck in your city
A dinner date, but with a twist. Choose a few food carts that you want to try first, or go to a group of carts. You can walk around, taste and mix and match different dishes. It’s the perfect balance between being serious while also feeling special. And if your town isn’t famous for food carts, plan a meal continuum where you go from restaurant to restaurant, sampling each dish from a different language. Additional benefits of this day? If your food preferences are different, both of you are bound to find something you love.
Date night ideas for you and yours Best friend…
Play distributed genres
Whether you are together or apart, Scattergories is one of the best games for word lovers out there. A group of four or more is ideal, but any number of people will work. Zoom exhaustion is real and sometimes better played than told. We like to combine almost family and friends into a larger group.
Join a virtual classroom
Instead of looking for things to talk about, consider taking a virtual class together. Then talk about what you learned afterwards. My good friend and I both love wine and the South of France so we took a tasting class together and absolutely loved it. There’s nothing like actually traveling there together but the closer we are, the better.
Hike or hike somewhere new
Even if you don’t live near oceans, mountains, or any other majestic natural sights, there’s plenty of nature to be found right in your backyard. Put on a comfortable pair of shoes and explore together. Consider leaving your phone at home for an added benefit.
Paint your heart out
It may seem a bit boring at first, but it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to spend an evening. Joining a local bowling alley is an easy option planning a casual night out with your BFF Here’s also good news: There’s no pressure to be a bowling champion, so even if you do Roll the ball into the gutter more often than you knock down a pin, you’re still guaranteed to have a good time.
Visit the winery
This is one of my favorite things to do with my girlfriend. Oddly, even if you live in wine country, you may still have to drive a bit, to fill this friends date with lots of energy for the trip. You’ll get to sip and taste a variety of wines, and if you don’t walk away with a new favorite vino, this is a great opportunity to let the conversation flow and take in some pretty spectacular views. item.
Lace up your skates
Skate, rollerblade, or skate around town, there’s a reason the sport is back in vogue (and not just because of the impressively choreographed videos on TikTok). Head to the rink, rent your skates, and get ready to chat or boogie with your group of girlfriends. Keep an eye out for themed nights — those are arguably the best times to hit your local rink.
Date night ideas for you
Painting with watercolors
I painted the cover of my magazine recently with inspiration from the watercolor palette from this book. It was very therapeutic and relaxing although challenging. And I feel proud every time I look at my diary.
Find a local florist and arrange your room
Ordering flowers online or buying a bunch at your local flea market is certainly convenient, but putting it together creatively adds to the feeling of fullness. Stop by your local florist to see seasonal flowers and greenery. Consider building a Pinterest board or agency of choice!
Create a spa day at home
We loved this post on how to create a home-made, spa-worthy bath. For an extra touch of luxury, treat your day and home like you would a spa. Add a soothing facial mask, rejuvenating body scrub and a toner (mani/pedi).
Going to the movies alone
When I want to spend purposeful time with myself, my first thought is always to see a movie in the theater. While it may seem like an opportunity to disconnect and free up some space, there’s nothing quite like satisfying a little cultural curiosity and marveling at the sights that will be brought to life. wide image. Browse your local theater offerings, choose a movie that has a lot of rave reviews or just a movie you want to see and book tickets. Butter popcorn with added butter, optional.
Organize a trip
Some people cycle for exercise, but I like it for its high endorphin boosting effect. Get a quick paced solo from the garage or rent a set of wheels for a one-on-one date. Map a lap, put on your helmet, and take things slow and steady. Remember: This is not a sweat. Instead, focus on enjoying your own company and soaking up the sunshine. Be sure to pick somewhere scenic to stop along the way.
Find your next favorite reading
There’s a reason why bookstores and libraries are the setting for so many climax romantic movie moments. You could spend hours reading through a variety of genres and discovering familiar new authors that capture your interest. Take an afternoon (or, if your city has a place that’s open late, go in the evening) and approach store shelves with an open mind. If you are a novelist, try writing a memoir. Imagine your speed? Check out one of these self-help titles. And while browsing is fun, coming home with a new stack of books means hours of alone time.
Do you believe in a weekly date night? What do you enjoy doing with SO, friends and with/for yourself? Share it below!
This post was originally published on February 12, 2021 and has since been updated.