Is the classic dinner-and-a-movie date starting to feel a little too formulaic? The combination is as predictable as Old Faithful – not necessarily a bad thing when you’ve got work and family responsibilities taking over your schedule, with little time remaining for planning a special night out (or in!) with your significant other. Don’t spend your precious free time wracking your brain for date night ideas, use these instead!
Instead of making date night plans by asking your partner ‘what should we do?’ ask, ‘what is your love language?’
Yes, your love language! Knowing your own and your partner’s is so helpful in communicating what you need in a relationship. But that knowledge isn’t just useful for heart-to-heart conversations, it can inspire these fun date night ideas.
If They Need…Physical Touch
People whose primary love language is physical touch are really in tune with their bodies, so an intense massage can put them over the moon with happy brain chemicals. If you prefer your dates to be more active, ballroom or swing dance lessons are a sure bet. Even if one of you (or both of you) has two left feet, the important thing is that you’ll be spending time close together.
Depending on the season and your local availability, ice skating or roller skating can be a fun alternative to dancing. You’ll still have the physical touch of holding hands while skating, without the structured environment of a dance class.
If They Need…Words of Affirmation
Sharing Journal Notes
Couples Card Games
Sometimes the words ‘Love you, miss you, bye’ can become so automatic at the end of a call, we don’t really think about the impact they may have on the people we’re saying it to. If your partner needs verbal affirmation, writing letters to each other gives them a physical reminder of how you care, which they can re-read as often as they need.
But letters aren’t just for long distance relationships; dedicate some time to finding cute stationery and settling in at a cafe or bookstore for a writing session with your partner.
At a loss for words of your own? Try thinking of a cheesy acrostic of your partner’s name to make them smile, or write about one of your favorite memories together with them.
If you prefer having your words planned ahead of time, keep a journal or small notepad handy during the weeks before your date night. Taking some moments here and there, jot down things your partner did that made you smile, then share your notes during your date to let them know you’ve been appreciating them.
If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a good couples card game! Pick one that’s conversation-centric and will let you and your partner discover new things about each other while you play.
If They Need…Gifts
Gift Scavenger Hunt
The love language of gift-giving is so much more than simply ‘here, I spent money on you.’ Finding and giving the perfect gift to your partner is a reflection of how they’re on your mind even when you aren’t together. You can incorporate gift-giving into your date night by spending time together picking out your favorite photos (or taking some new pics!) to make an album. Or create a scavenger hunt for them to search the house for something special you’ve hidden for them. The act isn’t just about the gift itself but the time that you spend preparing something for your partner.
Your partner’s favorite food and drinks also make for great gifts on date night. Other gifts may feel like they just accumulate (I only need so many novelty mugs and potted plants!), but picking up their favorite snacks from the store is a gift that you can enjoy together, without needing to rearrange your house to find a place for it.
If They Need…Acts of Service
Breakfast in Bed
Hiring a home service
Random Acts of Kindness night
Little actions can go a long way in making someone feel loved. I will never forget the time my mom visited me during a really rough period in my life. She arrived as I was leaving the house, and when I got back later, my laundry was folded and my kitchen was spotless (spoiler: I cried).
Cleaning a kitchen might not sound like the most romantic date idea, but hiring a service to fix something around the house while the two of you are out is a wonderful surprise for them to come home to. Whether it’s professional landscaping, cleaners, or even simply getting someone to repair that janky garage door that you’ve both been putting off, getting items crossed off your partner’s to-do list can be a huge encouragement to them. Unless, of course, your partner is already totally on top of their to-do list, in which case breakfast in bed is always a solid option.
Breakfast is a great opportunity for you to say ‘you relax, I’ll take care of this.’ Not to mention that the saying “The fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach” exists for a reason!
You could also help them tap into their own Acts of Service-ness with a Random Acts of Kindness date night. Pick a friend or two who could use a meal, and cook it with your partner and take it to them together.
If They Need…Quality Time
Did you know it takes your eyes a minimum of 30 minutes to adjust from the brightness of your phone screen to a night sky? That makes stargazing the perfect date night for people who need quality time with their partner away from social media messages and after-hours work emails. Depending on how much light pollution there is where you live, stargazing might require a weekend trip, but it’s a screen-free activity that leaves you both without distraction during your time together. Just don’t forget the bug spray!
Picnic lunch or dinner dates are a great option if traveling for stargazing doesn’t fit your schedule. Unlike sitting in a crowded theater or shouting to hear each other at a busy restaurant, picnics provide a more intimate, peaceful environment for quality time with your partner.
If attuning with nature isn’t your vibe, trivia night at your local pub is a fun night out – if the two of you make a good team, there may even be prizes involved! Most bar trivias have a pretty relaxed atmosphere, but you’ll still be expected to stay off your phone to prevent any participants from Googling for answers. Enjoy the food, the drinks, and maybe get a little competitive, but overall, what’s important is that you’ll be spending time together without screens getting in the way.
Not sure which one of these ideas is best for you and your partner? Our Senior Editor put together this quarantine quiz to guess your love language based on how you’ve spent your time during pandemic lockdowns!
Do you know your partner’s love language? Which date night would they love the most? Share your own date night ideas with us in the comments below!
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