We have some major goals this year-- among the biggest ones being paying off our credit cards, eating healthy and going on a date night every single week. We had this goal last year, but we failed miserably. We never went on date nights consistently, and we truly felt the affects of this lack of prioritizing.
We decided to combine our goals of saving money to pay off debt with our weekly date night goal by challenging ourselves to 52 weeks of FREE DATE NIGHTS.
Whaaaaaa....I know, I know. Read on, my friends.
Set some ground rules.
We have some date night rules that help us make the most of our dates. Early on, we realized we both had different visions for date night and setting ground rules helped us set a vision for our nights. For example:
- Phones turned off or put on airplane mode for the duration of the date.
- If at all possible, date night should be outside of the house. However, if there is no avoiding, date nights may be at home if they are well-planned and intentional.
We find that date nights at home typically turn into sitting on the couch, watching TV or working-- whether it's blogging, cleaning, etc. We also find that minimizing the distractions, such as on our phones, we typically have more meaningful conversations. When you truly connect with your person, it doesn't exactly matter what you do.
Use gift cards.
We have a ton of gift cards left over from Christmas and birthdays. We try to make them last by eating dinner at home and using the gift cards to get dessert, or drinks. We recently had a tea date using a Starbucks gift card. We sat in a coffee shop, talked about our hopes for the New Year and watched people walk by. It was so relaxing and we felt so connect afterwards.
Start a change jar.
We have a vase that we use to throw our extra change into whenever we think of it. Any extra money we find our wallets and pockets gets thrown into the jar and then periodically, we take it to CoinStar and exchange all our coins for cash. We then use that money for date nights. We know that this isn't technically FREE, however, we don't think about it and it doesn't come out of our budget so we don't mind.
Search free events in your city.
You can easily search for free events, museums, and concerts in your city by using Google or asking around. I also like to use Yelp and WINGiT to find events near us that we can participate in. Check out outdoor spaces as well!
Around Christmas, we found a free tour of a historical mansion 10 minutes from our house! It was so much fun...and free!
Be open minded.
I typically have always thought that date nights needed to just be us. However, last week, we used a game night with our friends to count as our date night for the week. We had so much fun being around other couples, laughing and talking. We realized after we left that being around such wonderful people who love their spouses/boyfriends so much made us feel closer....which is kinda the purpose of date night!
Don't forget the purpose.
Remember that it's about the person you're spending time with, and growing closer to them. It doesn't matter what you do. It just matters that you are intentional and purposeful with your time.
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