You’ll notice I’m giving you a list of what we have actually done. I hope that you will be inspired to adapt a date to your situation, to try something you’ve never thought of, or to think of your own list of fun possibilities based on each other’s preferences. These are the things that we love to do on date nights/days.
- A dinner that is full of our favorite dishes (usually some kind of Asian food) and then:
- Board or card games – Splendor and Exploding Kittens are our two favorites right now. We also enjoy Settlers of Catan, but we don’t own it.
- Picking a movie we have both been wanting to see and either borrowing, renting, or Netflix-ing it. We both have almost opposite tastes in movies, so this one can be difficult!
- Netflix-binging several episodes of our current favorite show. This was pretty rough to do when Prima first arrived. Now that she is much better at napping, it doesn’t really matter. Even though she still gets up early, we can bring her into our bed and baby talk for a little, then put her back down for a nap for her (and us!)
- Build a fire in our fire pit, roast various fire foods, sit out back, and chat.
- Sit and talk about anything and everything – our day, our week, our hopes, dreams, and fears – it is limitless.
- Go through a marriage book or Bible study together. We went through a marriage study at church right before Prima was born. There were some really good questions in it, which had us talking for a looong time each night. We also started working through the book Team Us right after we got married, and then stopped when I got really sick. We may pick this up again soon.
- Go for a nice long walk (usually summertime/fall activity) and talk again!
- Head to a local park for a long walk in the afternoon on Friday or Saturday, with Henry-dog and Prima in tow. We comment on the nature around us, share stories from our childhoods, and talk about random things.
- Grab Prima (and sometimes Henry) and walk downtown for pizza, cheeseburgers, popsicles, ice cream, coffee, or anything else that strikes our fancy. We often talk about the places we have traveled to (some building or person will remind us – college town!), or where we want to live one day, or the kind of house we hope to build, or our food preferences. No matter how often we talk about these things, there is always something new to mull over.
- Head to the mall or local thrift store (it’s huge!) and go window-shopping (and sometimes real shopping!)
- Go to a sit-down restaurant and then to watch a movie in theaters (Prima not included.) There isn’t much that comes out that we both want to watch, so this isn’t often at all. We stay away from chain restaurants if we can, instead going to someplace local like an authentic Korean or Japanese restaurant, or maybe BBQ. Part of the fun in the Asian restaurants is not knowing what we are ordering! I ordered something that sounded really good, but was actually a huge platter of Korean blood sausage – literally sausage made from barley, blood, and something else. It was super bland. And so hard to choke down while all the Koreans in the place looked at me sideways and laughed at the silly American girl who was trying to eat one of their favorite street foods! Ah, the adventure!
- Head to a local park with our picnic basket and walk the trails, sit by the water, and eat a picnic lunch. So simple, but so fun! And actually the kind of date we were on when the Norseman proposed!
- Once while we were dating, and for our anniversary this year, the Norseman saved up and took me to a Brazilian steakhouse in Atlanta. It is the most expensive place we have ever eaten, but worth every penny. Taking a girl somewhere really fancy is a sure fire way to make her feel attractive and special. Well, for this girl anyway. This is something we plan to do once every couple of years!
Nothing really fancy or involved. We skipped a lot of the things we would like to do since I was pregnant and all off-balance and out of shape. Except that one time we thought it would be fun to cross a river on slippery river rocks while I was five months pregnant, all wobbly in my joints, and unable to swim (I don’t know how.) I never said we always made wise decisions! Now for our want-to-do dates!
- Go camping & hiking – in tents, in hammocks, but definitely in the mountains. We’ll take Prima, too, as soon as she is big enough.
- Go mountain bike riding on some nice hilly trails.
- Go out on a river in canoes, with a picnic lunch to eat at an island or along the bank.
- Go to an opera in Atlanta (sorry, Prima, not just yet for you!)
- Go to concert by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
- Watch the Highland Games somewhere in Georgia or Alabama. (Did I mention that the Norseman is also of Scottish descent, and fiercely proud of it as only a Scotsman can be?) We are so, so excited about this one!
- Head to the beach in Florida, stay at a small hotel, do lots of walking, swimming/wading, book reading, and eating seafood.
- Go the Chesapeake Bay and eat dinner out on a boat while touring the bay. And eat copious amounts of Maryland blue crab, which is simply the best in my very prejudiced opinion. This is my birthday wish, but I don’t know if we will do it this year.
And lastly, as promised, the one new idea that we will be trying out: Word Associations. Like I noted in my Instagram post yesterday, the Norseman and I have not been married long. Before we married a little over a year ago, we had a long-distance relationship carried out via Skype, phone calls, daily “good morning” text messages, and emails. We only saw each other a handful of times in person before the big day. We determined early on that, to make it work, we needed to lay a foundation of intentional communication. The Norseman and I are from South and North. It has led to some funny, and frustrating, misunderstandings because of what we associate with certain words and experiences. We realized this at some point, and talk through it when we realize that a word or situation means something different to both of us. But we have yet to sit down with a list of words and go through them. Warning: this activity has the potential to become very frustrating! Remember, don’t be judgmental, but rather a safe person for your spouse to share with. Find out why your spouse has his/her particular association. And don’t share anything you learn about him/her without permission. Here are some words to get you started:
- Family time
- Date night
- Dressing up
- Comfy clothes
- Sloppy clothes
- Fun with friends
- Spending money (the act of)
- Saving money
- Homeschool/private school/public school
- Political involvement (rallies, petitions, etc.)
- Charitable giving
- Missions work
- Cozy house
- Romantic gestures
Me “Norseman, what do you consider to be romantic gestures? What could I do for you that would be romantic in our day to day lives?”
Norseman: “My primary love language is Physical Touch, so lots of that. It can be a hand on my shoulder, rubbing my back, taking my hand, sitting as close to me as you can – that sort of thing. That lets me know that you love me, you care about me, and that you are attracted to me. What is romantic for you?”
Me: “I think my primary love language is Acts of Service. That would be things like unloading the dishwasher in the morning, clearing off the table when it’s time for dinner, putting away the laundry that is folded – simple little things that lighten my list of to-do’s or help me finish something I’m working on. Bringing me a cup of tea, or breakfast in bed, or making me dinner – those all mean a lot to me!”
There you have it! I hope that you have some inspiration for your date night this weekend!