Marriage Monday: Will you go out with me?

    Matt and I have always loved spending time together, but as life got busier and busier it made it a lot harder to do. Between my schedule of work, school, practicum, Bible study, friends, and volunteering, Matt’s new job and business trips, our lifegroup, leading in the youth group and leading a mission trip… times were busy. It was harder and harder to find time with one another. It got to where our relationship was more stressed than it ever had been previously and we were getting more snappy with one another with the time we did have. One day we realized that something needed to be done. Matt suggested a date night as we hadn’t had one in awhile and as we started talking, I suggested doing it more regularly. We at first thought that once or twice a month would work but then we realized… why would we not do once a week?
   It is amazing how easy it is to put EVERYTHING else in your life in front of your marriage. Apart from Christ, your marriage should essentially be the foundation of everything you do. It should be put second in relationships and should always be held as something precious. If you are in the same place that Matt and I were in, ask yourself what is really getting in the way of your time with your spouse. For us, we found that we can make time, we just didn’t realize we could. Friday (our current date nights) nights were usually saved for friends or family. We honestly struggled with keeping that night “sacred” for only us but now that we have, we love it and have been so blessed! There are events that come up and keep us from Fridays, but we make a point of finding time elsewhere that week that we can be together.
     Date nights are so critically important no matter what stage your marriage is in. If regular date nights are instituted before kids, they will stay when kids come (hire that weekly babysitter or find nice friends and family now! Or at least find a night to put the kids to bed early each week!). If date nights manage to stay regular with kids then they will get even better when the kids are gone. But no matter where you are at in life, it’s never too late to start! Take turns planning it and see what you each come up with every week!
     And what will you come up with? Well, I thought I would help you out with at hopefully helpful list to get you started. Some of these ideas are our own, some are suggestions from twitter friends (thanks especially to Mikelle and Tiffany!) and others are from various websites. I know there are a lot more to add, but I was beginning to go crazy after awhile. ;) So please feel free to add your own in the comment section for everyone to see! If you do choose to go for weekly dates than you are going to need lots of ideas!
     The following ideas are listed by their approximate cost. From pricey to free, you will hopefully be able to find ideas for all kids of budgets! I also tried to make them very different, so whatever your personality you can find something fun! Enjoy!
Date night ideas:
Pricey:
  • Couples massage. Nothing more relaxing!

  • Sports games. Texas local teams: Mavericks (basketball), Rangers (Baseball), Cowboys (football). Just in case you were in the dark ;)
  • Comedy clubs. These can be very fun nights. Prices will vary depending on the comedian performing. Improv’s can be some of the most fun!
  • Dance classes. Join and class and learn some moves! This can be pretty pricey, but there are also classes at local rec centers. It all depends on how serious you are!
  • Amusement parks. Be a kid again and head to 6 flags or Hurricane Harbor for a day of fun.
  • Stay at a hotel for a night. It can be a 5 star or a La Quinta. Whatever the price, you’ll be amazed at how bonding a night in a new place can be!

  • Try your luck at gambling. Pick how much you are going to spend and do not go over. Even $50-$100 for the 2 of you can make for a fun time. Drive up to Oklahoma and see how well you do!
  • Wine tasting. Get sophisticated and try out different types of wine. TimesTen Cellars and Delaney Vineyards are two local spots to try out.
  • Horseback riding. Find a ranch and try out your skills.
  • Concert. Check out different concerts coming to your area and find one you can agree on. Plan ahead and have something to look forward to our just go on a whim if tickets are not sold out.
In the Middle:
  • Bowling and arcade games (or just one of the two!)
  • Minor league games. Texas local teams: Frisco Rough Riders (baseball), Frisco Tornadoes (Hockey), FC Dallas (Soccer..which is actually a major league team, but has cheap tickets), Allen Americans (Hockey)
  • Pottery Painting. There are a lot of great places in the area and most pieces start as low as $5.
  • Cooking classes. These can be a fun and different thing to do. Many places offer them, one such place is Whole Foods. They actually have couples classes that are $25. Here is the link to the schedule of classes: http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/plano/cooking-classroom-schedule/
  • Museum trips. There are surprisingly a lot of museums in the Dallas area. Anything from a nature and science museum to an art museum and even a holocaust museum. Ticket prices are not too bad and the museums will often have events where you can get in free. The Dallas Museum of Art has late night date nights where admission is free and there are lots of events and fun to be done, check it out!
  • Make a memory book of your relationship or something fun you have done. Write your own takes on the events and read them to each other. See where you may differ in your memories!
  • Animals. Go check out some animals together at the zoo or the Dallas Aquarium. Nothing says romance like a monkey eating bugs off of his brother…what? ;)

  • Miniature golf. When is the last time you did this? Probably before you were married. Have some fun!
  • Living Social. Living social and Groupon are awesome sites to get great deals on things to do. Living Social actually has a list of 365 fun things to do in Dallas here: http://livingsocial.com/cities/11-dallas/articles. Go through the list and try something new and fun each week!
  • Karaoke. Try your singing ability at a Karaoke club or bar. You can even go for a duet!
  • Drive for an hour in one direction. Once you arrive, find something fun to do there!
  • Shoot each other. What? Well, in the least harmful way as possible. :) Go for a fun game or laser tag or paint ball. If your into real shooting, go to a shooting range…just don’t aim the gun at each other in that situation. ;)
  • Ice skating. This is one of our personal favs. Help one another not to fall and glide around while having some good conversation. I promise you’ll have a few laughs in there as well!
  • Have a progressive meal. Go to one restaurant for drinks, another for appetizers, a third for the main course and of course a final one for your favorite dessert! You can even top it off with a new place for coffee after that!
  • Relive your first date/your engagement/a special day. Go back and do everything you did that day!
  • Drive-in. Head out to your closest drive-in movie. There is one in Ennis, which is a drive, but some great conversations can happen on your way there! http://www.galaxydriveintheatre.com/

Cheap:

  • Lavender Ridge Farms in Gainsville (Free to get in but there is a neat restaurant and gift shop inside, up to you how much you want to spend!) There is also a festival here at the end of this month! Check out their site: http://www.lavenderridgefarms.com

  • Dollar theater..how much easier could it get? Just be sure to have the quality time of discussing the movie to go with it!
  • Street Fairs. One of our favorites is the Main Street Art Festival in Fort Worth that happens every Spring. It is free but the gas to get there and food or drink is not, but again, it’s as expensive as you make it.
  • Thrift store shopping. Go to local flea markets and see what treasures you can find. This can be a serious search or a goofy one..see which person can find the most random trinket or craziest outfit. Who knows what will come from your adventure!
  • Downtown tours. Take a tour of downtown areas of different nearby cities. Each city has their own, unique place. Often with history and lots of fun shops, restaurant’s and things to see. Choose a city and go take a look! This could be free or if you want to shop, a little more.
  • Puzzles. Buy a puzzle and put it together one night. Start with few pieces and make your way up!
  • Decorate a cake. May sound like something a guy wouldn’t be into, but you may be surprised by how much fun they can have! Let them do whatever they want to it. You can even decorate 2 separate cakes for your Bible study that week and see which one the members like best!
  • Camp out. Set up an old fashion tent in your living room or head to a lake for a cheap campsite for the night.
  • Go fish. Grab some rods (you can even get the kiddie one’s from Wal-Mart) and try your hand a fishing. Not only can this be fun, but it leaves lots of time for great conversations.
  • Dollar date. Each person gets a dollar in the grocery store and you must make a meal out of it. OR each person gets a dollar and finds an activity for the night.
  • T-shirt decorating. Buy cheap shirts at Hobby Lobby and get creative and/or ridiculous with decorating.
  • Backwards date. Do everything the opposite or backwards of how you usually do dates. Dessert first? Sure!
  • Be a kid. Watch Saturday morning cartoons or your favorite cartoon movie. Wear pajamas, eat your favorite sugary cereal and even color some coloring books!
  • Fly a kite. Grab some cheap kites on a windy day and head to a park. For an extra challenge you can try and make your own kites.

  • Garage sales. Wake up early and head out for some great finds or the silliest thing you can find.

Free:

  • Take a hike! Great location: Arbor Hills in Plano
  • Art Galleries. They are especially free for new artists and often serve free wine! Just google to find some near you.
  • Local concerts. Many cities will put on functions with live music on weekends. Places like the Shops at Legacy, Potbelly sandwiches, and independent coffee shops will often have live musicians playing as well!
  • Dinner on the patio. Pull out some chairs or eat on your patio set from Wal-Mart. To make it fancy, pull out the china from your wedding!
  • Pick a book (whether it be the Bible, a biography or even a fictional choice that you can agree on!) And find time to discuss a chapter each week…OR you may choose to read it, jot down your favorite points and have one specific date to discuss it all. Could be over a dinner, on the patio or wherever you’d like!
  • Watching the sunset. There are some great places you can do this but the pond in the middle of the Castle Hills community is a great little spot. This is actually where Matt proposed to me. Take a picnic or even sit out at the “Twisted Spoon Cafe” right next door!
  • Bathroom Spa. Turn your bathroom/room into a 5 star spa! Bring in some oils, candles and bubbles!Take turns giving massages, make a bubble bath and enjoy! This could also be a great surprise gift gentlemen.. ;)
  • Movie theme night. Choose a movie you have or rent/netflix one. Choose a matching dinner and maybe even dress the part for the night. Example: Godfather and some pasta or Wedding Crashers and some cake.
  • Volunteer. Serving together can be one of the most bonding things you can do. Find something you both care about and go do it! Whether it’s with a group feeding the homeless at a soup kitchen or serving on Sunday mornings in the kids ministry at church, finding at least a day or afternoon to spend together volunteering can be great. Then debrief about your experience over coffee!
  • Stargazing. Grab some chairs or just drive until there are no lights and check out the stars. Bring a map and or a telescope if you’d like and try to find certain ones.
  • Cook dinner. Sounds simple, but you can make it as complex as you want. You can plan it out and shop for all the ingredients as part of your date or just go for whatever you have in your kitchen and see how creative you can get! This can be a very humorous task to say the least.
  • Play your favorite sport together. Shoot some hoops, throw a ball back and forth, head to the tennis or racket ball court or climb a wall. If your athletic or not, this can be fun and some great exercise!
  • Game night. Most people have at least one board game in their house or at least a deck of cards. Pull out Scrabble or play a game of speed with your cards. Best two out of three gets to pick what you do next or gets out of a chore the next day? Friendly competition can be great for a relationship.
  • Model homes. Tour some model homes or some homes for sale. If you don’t have a home yet it will give you a feel for what you like and dislike and if you do have one you can grab some decor ideas!
  • Make a movie together. May sound silly, but who knows what you could come up with!
  • People Bingo. Make your own bingo cards with various items of your choosing. Anything from “red shoes” to “a mullet”. Go to a mall or store and see who can get a bingo with the things listed on their card first.
  • Bookstore fun. Go to a bookstore and try some fun activities.
    • See who can find information on the most unusual travel destination.
    • See who can find information on a new place to go within your city.
    • Pick a mutual topic to become an “expert” on and see who can learn the most about the topic in 30 minutes.
    • Grab a few books from the humor section and take turns telling each other the funniest jokes or stories.
    • Find a few poetry books and take turns sharing your favorite poems.
    • Pick a new craft or hobby you both have wanted to learn and help each other with discovering how to do it.
    • Play a “who gets the answer first” game. Set out on different tasks and see who can complete theirs first. Some ideas include:
    • Find the record for the longest kiss.
    • What is the world’s smallest island?
    • How many books are there in the store on a certain topic?
    • How many magazines are there in the store on a certain topic?
    • Who can find out how to take the best digital picture first?
    • What is the best book for recipes for couples?
    • Who can find the strangest article or the weirdest book

Have fun all you love birds!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Marriage Monday: Remember when..? « Dreams of ambitions

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