Matt and I love date nights. Love them! We sometimes differ in the level of effort required for said dates, though- I love an excuse to dress up and go out somewhere where there’s LOTS of people, whereas Matt is more of an introvert and likes quieter, less-involved evenings out. We’re both homebodies at heart, though, and sometimes there’s nothing that can beat a night in at home with a glass of wine (for me) and an episode of Sherlock from Netflix.
Our Valentine’s Day tradition is more reflective of the latter description. Every year on February 14th, we order Chinese and grab a movie from RedBox- we’ll both dress up as though we’re going out for dinner, but instead, we dine picnic-style in our living room. I think it started in college when we were both too poor to do anything extravagant, but now it’s a tradition that I’ve really come to look forward to! So in the spirit of our low-key Valentine’s Day plans, here are five ideas for dates that don’t require a ton of advanced planning!
1) Ice skating. Unless it’s National Ice Skating Day where everyone and their mother is rolling deep on boots with blades attached, chances are the local ice skating rink will still have room for skaters. And let’s face it, watching the Olympics makes you think you missed your calling as an ice skater, doesn’t it? Plus, it’s an excuse to hold hands!
2) Catch a movie at the cinemas! Matt & I can’t bear to pay $14/ticket for movies that we aren’t necessarily dying to see, so if it’s a movie we’re just quasi-stoked about, we go on Saturday mornings. There are a few theaters in our area that do $5 movies for movies that start before noon, so we’ve come to love Saturday morning dates!
3) Wine tasting. Where we live in Virginia is ripe with wineries within 30-60 minutes. Either go just the two of you, or grab your best friends and make it a double date. Wine tasting is the perfect leisurely date night, and depending on the winery you go to, you may be able to bring a picnic lunch/dinner to accompany the bottle of wine or pitcher of sangria you might decide to purchase during your tasting.
4) Go for a drive. We really like doing this late at night, spur-of-the-moment style. It’s just an excuse to spend time next to each other, possibly some country music on the radio, talking about everything and nothing.
5) Plan your next big vacation. When Matt & I were planning our Europe trip for last summer, I loved going out for lunch and whipping out the calendar to talk about which days we’d be in which country, how long we’d stay with these friends or at that hotel, what we thought we might like to see, what we didn’t care to miss, everything. Just dreaming of being in another country with my love was enough to get me giddy with excitement!
6) I know, this one’s a bonus. If you’re a photographer, go take portraits of the two of you! It’s super easy as long as you have a tripod, and I even posted a tutorial that you can find HERE which will make it a lot easier.
I know none of these are revolutionary, but the point of this post is more to encourage you to get out and HAVE date nights! Being intentional about spending time together is so important. When Matt & I first started dating, he told me something I’ll never forget: “I won’t stop dating you until either we break up, or one of us passes.” Now that we’re married and the break-up is no longer an option, Matt’s committed to dating me for as long as we’re both living and breathing. That means intentional pursuit, a deliberate chase. And when you’ve been married for a few years, it’s tempting to let that go a little bit. To stop chasing quite as intentionally, and to let the “dating” bit slip to the wayside. Don’t do that. Your marriage is valuable enough to chase, your spouse is worthy of your pursuits! February 14th is just about being a bit MORE intentional than usual :).
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!