Perfect Date Night whether you go out on the town or stay at home
Remember when you didn’t have kids? It’s been a while hasn’t it. Here is something to think about though. Your kids are not going to live with you forever (hopefully), and in 20 or so years it will just be you and your partner again. There won’t be any kids to run after. You will just have each other. It’s important to keep that relationship intact, remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place, and continue to fall in love over and over again so you can make the transition to empty nesters with enthusiasm and excitement for what lies ahead. It’s so easy to forget about us. I know my husband and I do, but then I remember that we are a team. We need to work those romance muscles to stay a strong, well-oiled machine. We also need to unwind and let loose so we don’t depend on our kids to entertain us for the rest of our lives. We have interested outside of Sesame Street; we just need to remind ourselves what they are now and then with a mini break or perfect date night.
Get out of the house
- Dinner and a Movie. Nothing more classic than a great meal and a film, but here is the key. You need to pick a movie you both will enjoy. So ladies, maybe skip the chick flick tonight. Gentlemen, no slasher films unless your lady is into that sort of thing. Find a nice action adventure film or comedy. Artsy, independent films are great fodder for conversation at post-movie dinners. If nothing else you can both scratch you heads and ask, “what the heck was up with that red balloon?”
- Try New Foods. There are always restaurants popping up in Seattle, but we generally just stick to a handful. This is not because we are opposed to new things; we have just found some that we like. It is so rare that we get an evening to ourselves we are excited to go back and see if anything has changed. Time to shake it up and try a totally new spot, with an unknown menu and chef.
- Remember Your Younger Days. Relive your first date, or a favorite night you spent in your early days of dating. Although maybe go a step up from McDonalds if that was how you started out.
- Wine Tasting. Head to your local wine country or wine shop for a little wine tasting. Grab a bottle and enjoy a picnic on site, or back home. Savor the flavors and each other.
- Go for a Hike. For all of you adventure seekers, and even those who like their nature to be well maintained, a hike can be the perfect time to reconnect. You aren’t distracted by electronics, or shiny objects in stores, you just have each other. Take the time to talk, I mean really talk. Enjoy the beauty of your surroundings, even if you are just hiking through a city park. A little fresh air never hurt anyone.
- Watch the Sunset. Grab a blanket, dessert to go, and a bottle of wine (if permissible) to enjoy the changing colors as the sun settles down into bed for the night.
- Take a dance lesson. I’ve been begging my husband to take tango lessons with me for years. One of these days he might just do it. You don’t have to commit to a full session. Go to one of the quick intros before dance night at a club, or ask the dance school if you can do a trial class before you commit. Who knows, you may get hooked.
- Picnic in the park. Yes, your kids would love to do this with you too, but they aren’t invited. Pack adult foods, like multiple cheeses and pricey cured meats, some sparkling water or juice to make the moment festive, fresh berries and vegetables, and of course a little something sweet to top it off. Chocolate covered strawberries anyone? Pick a spot on some grass, preferably with a view. Lie down and just watch the clouds roll by as you hold hands. Cheesy movie scene? Of course, but aren’t they the best kind?
- Brunch at the latest spot. Oh how I adore brunch. Yes, that meal that is neither breakfast nor lunch, and if you are lucky, you get a table after waiting for 2 hours at the best spot in town. Use that waiting time to browse the menu, grab a cup of coffee close by, and chat with each other before you dive into what most in town are claiming is a transcendent experience in food. They may be wrong, but at least you took a few hours for yourselves.
- Go to a concert. Remember the days when Sesame Street and Disney tunes didn’t take over your car radio? Remember when you actually loved standing in the front row and singing along to your favorite band? It’s not too late. Check the tour dates and grab your seats. You are never too old for a little rock & roll, hip-hop, or country.
- Play video games. No, I am not crazy. Video games can be really fun. My husband and I play them on Friday nights after the kids go to bed when we aren’t too exhausted. My favorite is the LEGO series of games. They are simple, the characters run so slow it’s hilarious, and my pro-gamer of a husband can’t whoop my butt every 5 seconds.We have to work as a team. The best is when he gets frustrated and I figure it out! Oh, and Tekken or Street Fighter type games are great for releasing a little frustration now and then.
- Watch a movie you BOTH can enjoy. Just like going to the movies together, the key to watching a film as part of your date night is to pick a movie you both will enjoy. We like to fall back on classics like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but Shaun of the Dead, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Lords of Dogtown, and the Harry Potter films also find their way on our TV quite often. When all else fails I’m sure Netflix has something new playing.
- Put the kids in bed and make a nice dinner together. Love to cook? Well nothing is sexier than cooking together. Find a new recipe, make sure you have all of the ingredients (this may take more than 20 minutes of forethought), and whip up something delicious. Set the mood at your table with candles and flowers. Above all else make sure there is some ice cream in the freezer for dessert. You’ll need something sweet to wash down that savory meal you just prepared. Leave the dishes till the morning. They aren’t going anywhere.
- Sit in front of the fire with your beverage of choice reminiscing about how you first met. This is an easy one, unless of course you don’t have a fireplace. Your couch will do just fine in that case. Grab a bottle of wine, a cup of tea, or some sparkling water, snuggle up and talk about those early days. List the reasons why you were attracted to each other. Why do you still love each other? Talk about the future, and other ways you can stay connected as the kids grow up and have their own interests. After the kids are off to college it will just be the two of you again. Make sure that relationship is still intact.