Home date nights are the perfect remedy when time, money or energy are scarce.
My post about obstacles to date-night revealed that 44% of couples in my Date Night survey said busyness was a major obstacle to having more frequent dates. Money, at 34%, was the second biggest impediment. Being too tired was third at 31%, and 29% said it was too hard with kids.
I’ve got a great remedy for these problems: date night at home!
I asked about couples’ at-home date night habits in my survey. I found that 69% of couples rarely or never do dates at home. I was somewhat surprised to find that one in five of those who at least occasionally do dates at home wish they could do it more often, and one in three feel their home-date frequency is about right. Clearly, not all who do home dates are doing it out of necessity!
Jenni and I do plenty of home dates, mostly because our lives are so crazy and because of our budget. I’ll admit, though, that we haven’t invested as much effort or been as creative or as we could. We are empty nesters, so our typical home-dates usually consist of dinner together and a movie or maybe a game. Occasionally, we add an appetizer and glass of wine before dinner, make a fire in the fireplace, light some candles, put on some music and dance, or enjoy our fire pit.
Our typical home-date isn’t very different from the folks in my survey. Here’s what they say they do on their home date nights, and what they said they would like to do more often.
Overwhelmingly, dinner and a movie or TV show seem to be the go-to home date for most couples, at 94% and 90% respectively. Sitting and talking was third at 65% (props for good communication!). The “other” answers included cooking together, massage, reading, and of course, sex (see my next post on Date Night Nooky for more about that topic).
As for what couples want to do more often at home, being outside (58%) was the clear winner, with talking second (38%).
Why Home Dates Makes Sense
Busyness is a relationship killer! I don’t know why we fill our schedules with so many less important appointments and tasks and allow our marriage to suffer as a consequence, but we do. Maybe it has to do with taking each other and our marriages for granted.
Leaving space in your life for your marriage is another post for another time, but even if you are super-busy, you can make room in your week for a 1-2 hour date at home. The challenge is to be deliberate about setting aside time for it. Designate an evening to go for a walk, to sit together and have a glass of wine and talk, to play a game you both enjoy, or even schedule an entire evening of leisurely physical intimacy (more on that in an upcoming post!). If tiredness is an issue, make love before other date activities.
If money is your issue, date nights at home can be very inexpensive! All of the examples I just gave don’t really cost anything but your time. Cook dinner together, maybe experimenting with a new cuisine. If you don’t feel like cooking, get take-out and save on the tip and drinks. There are plenty of cheap, fun, at-home dates.
If you have young children at home, date nights at home make even more sense, because you don’t need to worry about finding a babysitter. Plus, when you put kids and busyness together, you end up with another big date-night obstacle: being too tired. Get the kids in bed, early if necessary, and spend the remainder of the evening relaxing together. Take a bath together, snuggle in front of a warm fire or go straight to bed and enjoy making a physical connection.
And let’s not forget mornings. If your kids are old enough to get up without you, have coffee, tea or breakfast in bed together, have your quiet times together or make love before you start your other responsibilities and normal daily routine.
Inject a Little Creativity
The one risk of home date nights is that it’s easy to get lazy. Truthfully, if your only time together during the week is spent sitting facing the television, you aren’t engaging much with each other. Sure, flipping on the TV is easy, and it’s an escape, but it probably isn’t the best way to spend your date night, especially if that’s all you do. So try to do something that allows you to also communicate and connect with each other. As a minimum, spend the commercials kissing!
Sure, getting creative with your home dates will probably take a little extra thought, but it is well worth it to keep your time together fresh and interesting. Relationships need new experiences every once in a while to stay out of the comfortable ruts we quite naturally tend to fall into.
What’s your favorite way to spend time together on a home date? Leave a comment.
My forthcoming email subscription service, “Romance 101” will include plenty of romantic and exciting home-dates in addition to ideas for date-nights out. Month in and month out we’ll be providing you with step-by-step plans for fun, enjoyable dates that also build intimacy and connection in your marriage.
I’m planning to launch this service in September! Click on over now using the button below to find out more and to get on my special pre-launch email list. As a reward, you’ll receive a special pre-launch discount code before go-live. Plus you’ll have a voice in shaping the service so it will best meet your needs.