Monday, 11 February 2013

14 Simple, Romantic Dates at Home

Before having children it is so easy to just get out of the house and go for a nice date. After you have kids, a date gets a whole lot more complicated.  You need to find a sitter that you trust. Have things ready for the kids to eat or simple things for the sitter to make for them.  You need to have snacks for the sitter to eat and have all necessary information ready for them just in case something happens.  You have to remember to have cash to pay the sitter, and to drive them home if they cannot drive themselves. 

And thats just the sitter.  You also have to get ready yourself. And doing that with kids running around is not an easy feat. And if you do somehow manage to make yourself look acceptable for a nice date, most likely by the time you leave the house it will have snot rubbed across the front of the leg, and puke down your back and shoulder. You may also end up with stickers stuck in absurd places

Then while you are out on your date trying to enjoy your time alone with your hubby, you sit worrying about your children. You check the volume on your phone at least five times just to make sure it hasn't turned down or off. And you call to check on the kids at least as many times. 

Then you have to cut the date short because the sitter is young and needs to get home. Or because you realize that you will likely be up at least once during the night with your kids (or to pee) and that most likely your kids will not sleep in in the morning. 

Even thinking about it is making me anxious. I hate dates.   

Wow, that sounds horrible. But I do. I find them stressful. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband. And I love spending time with him. But dates just make me so anxious.  And honestly, I am able to count the number of people that I trust to babysit on two hands, and that is being generous (and including my parents, and siblings). 

So, though we do get out once in a while, mostly when my parents come to visit. We have started trying to do a lot of Stay at Home Dates.  They are so much simpler and more relaxed. 

Dating is so important to a marriage relationship.  With the busy, crazy lives we all live it can be hard to really connect. Most of the time, by the end of the day we are both so beat that we just want to curl up on the couch and watch tv. 

Then when we finally drag ourselves to bed we end up talking for an hour even though hubby needs to get up early.  For some reason my head hits the pillow and I am a chatterbox.  ( I blame it on my parents, they made me share a room with my sister when I was really little. We both talk our hubbies ears off as soon as we get to bed) 

So as part of our Deliberate Love we are going to try to set up date nights. I am not sure if they will be weekly or bi-weekly but they will be scheduled in. 

I know it can seem lame to have to schedule in a date, but really it just shows how much we value that uninterrupted quality time with each other.  It doesn't have to be an outing, some (well most) of the dates will be at home since it is easier, cheaper, and less stress. 

Since Valentine's Day is coming, I thought that I would share a quick list of At Home Dates. Most are simple, and all can be spiced up with a little imagination and creativity (and plus or minus layers of clothing). All of these are things that we have done since having kids and they take very little planning.

I am sure that there are a lot more fun things to do as dates at home, but this is what we have done so far and that I thought were worth doing again. 

14 Simple, Romantic Dates at Home

1. Living Room Picnic 
                  - Make it romantic. Set up a blanket on the floor and light the room only with candles.  This can be done with desserts, take-out, finger foods, or just fruit and whip cream ;)

2. Games for Two
                  - We have played a number of different games. Anything that can be played with as little as two players can be fun. We have played:  Scrabble, Carcassonne, Blokus, Monopoly Deal, and a number of simple card games.   
                  - All games can be spiced up by making them into "strip" games, or by placing fun wagers. 

3. Spa Night
                 - Dim the lights. Play soothing music. Do pedicures, manicures, facials and best of all massages. ( some men will feel like its not masculine to have their hands, feet, or face pampered but most people will not say no to having a nice massage on those areas) 

4. Cuddle up together and Read. 
                 - We love reading together. It is nice to be at the same place in a book with someone to be able to talk to them about it as you go.  Get comfy on the couch or the bed and read either sharing the book or reading out loud to each other. 

5. Stargazing
               - Grab the baby monitor, lock the front door, and sneak out into the back yard to stargaze while the kids are asleep.  Even living in a freezing place like us, it can be fun to bundle up and throw a blanket on the snow to stare up at the stars.  
               *Bonus*   - after you get cold being outside, you can come inside, drink hot chocolate and then warm up together. 

6. Puzzles
              - We have been meaning to do this one for so long, but with our little guys it can be difficult because we would have to finish the whole puzzle in one night so we could be sure the baby wouldn't find any pieces.  But it is nice to just sit and work on a puzzle together, no tv, no distractions, just the two of you working on something together. 

7. May I have this Dance?
              - Honestly, what woman doesn't swoon in a mans arms when he holds he close and dances with her to a love song?  Find a playlist of Romantic Love songs and Dance together.  
             - It can be fun to have some faster tempo songs in there too, and maybe even some jive if you think you can swing it  (oh goodness that was cheesey)

8. Chocolate Fondue
             - This is one of our favorites.  We did chocolate fondue a lot when we were dating and every now and again Hubby will surprise me and pick up all the yummy supplies to enjoy some fondue. 
             * We love to use Toblerone bars as our chocolate fondue.  If you keep all of the fruit nice and cold it makes the nuggets get crunchy again when the cold fruit comes in contact with it.  It is so tasty.  Kinda wanting to go and melt me some chocolate right now. 

9. Bake Something
              - It can be fun spending time in the kitchen together. Even if you aren't the greatest baker making something simple together can be fun and great teamwork.  Even if it turns out a flop, you will have still had fun making it and working together.   And if it doesn't flop, then you get to enjoy it together. 

10. Video Game Night
              - Play something fun and a little competitive.  We have played Mario Kart on the Wii a few times and had a blast.  Even some of those dancing or band games could be fun. Don't play any killing games unless you both enjoy it. 

11. Look through old photo albums and reminisce. 
                - Watch your wedding video, look at photos from when you first met, before you met, when you first got married.  Look back and remember all the good times and bad times. 
               - Don't just skip over bad memories. Think about the rough times and talk about how you got through them. Don't pass judgement or blame. Try to say thank you for the help and blessing that your spouse has been in your life.  Tell them how blessed you are to have them, and how nothing would be as wonderful without them. 

12. Play 20 Questions or the Newlywed Game. 
                 - These can be fun to play to learn more about each other.  Try not to be upset if you don't do that well. It may just mean that you should have a few more dates and quality time. 

13. Have a Bubble Bath for Two
                 - Enjoy a relaxing candle lit bubble bath.  (or better yet a soak in the Hot tub if you are blessed enough to have one)
                 - sidenote- if you don't have a large enough bathtub this wont be so relaxing, it will be funny though, so enjoy a good laugh. Also make sure that the candles are far enough away from the tub... and towels. Starting a fire while your kids are asleep and while you are soaping and naked, Not a good idea. 

14. Take up a Hobby
              - Paint, draw, build, reupholster, create something together.  Having something that you both enjoy doing together can be a great asset.  It is always nice to go and do something on your own but being able to share that creativity with your spouse can be wonderful.    We have tried a few different things together and we are still working on trying to find something we enjoy creating together. My sister and her hubby enjoy reupholstering. Hubby and I have tried building things, painting things and even did some melted crayon art together. Just have fun trying out something new if you aren't supper crafty, who knows maybe it will be something both of you never knew you enjoyed. 

Please notice that I did not include anything that has a screen.  Don't get me wrong, it can be wonderful to cuddle and watch tv or a movie. But when that is something you normally do, it looses its romance. I don't really count time in front of a screen as quality time.  When the tv is on do you really ever talk to each other?  Does watching a movie ever really make you feel more connected to your spouse? 

Anyway, Happy Valentines Day.
I hope and pray that your relationships are strengthened and that you feel drawn to put more effort into your relationships, not just for valentines day, but for the rest of your life. 


  1. Love it girl your a great writer and youve inpired me to start dating again with my hubby in my home!!!! I laughed at the fun little tidbits "strip games" and have a bath..... our tub is so small we try every now and then and it always ends in a good laugh. Thanks

  2. Thanks Kyleigh.
    At our previous house we had a wonderful peanut shaped tub. It was the worst to try to fit two people in. It would seem like it would be perfect but honestly it was horrible. But I agree, Always a good laugh.