I don’t know why it is, but every year around this time I start to turn into a bit of a grouch. Maybe it’s the post-holiday blues that start to sink in as the novelty of beautiful snow days melts into dirty, muddy slush outside. Maybe it’s that I am a teacher so there are too many days since our last holiday break and the next one. Or maybe it’s because about this time every year the Mr. and I fall into a dating rut. Same dinner places. Same indoor activities that will keep us from freezing our butts off. But not this year. This year I am determined to break out of the rut and kick up the fun factor again. Here are a few date ideas that might help you if you’re in a dating rut too (and yes, I do think you should be dating your spouse still!)
- Ready…Aim…Fire!– A couple years ago I had a bit of a security scare and as a result my husband decided we needed exercise our Second Amendment rights. Other than boot camp, I haven’t exactly been shooting all that often in my life. In fact, that was the only time I had even held a hand gun in my entire life. But my husband was right. Once I got over the fear factor of being around a bunch of strangers with guns I realized how much fun target shooting can be! And apparently we aren’t the only people who feel that way because it turns out there are more than a few shooting ranges that offer Date Night for couples! The best deal I have seen around the Hampton Roads area offers free gun rentals, free lane rentals, and targets for two at a discounted rate for couples. Not your typical night out, but then what fun is typical?
- Take a Hike– Nature girl I am not. In fact I nearly broke my husband’s hand on our first hike because I saw a snake that could have potentially been a large worm. But in an attempt to find more outdoorsy type things to do that my husband would enjoy I have looked into the parks in the area and found that quite a few offer free or discounted hikes for military families. I have a hard time passing up a good deal on a day date. And it doesn’t hurt that taking a hike with my hubby puts us in a beautiful setting where we can disconnect for a little while, hold hands and sneak kisses without worrying about anything other than which path to take next.
- Get Your Head in the Game– If you live somewhere with local sports teams, take advantage of seeing a game live. This time of year football has about wrapped up but hockey and basketball are still going strong. Something about being at a live sporting event where the energy of the crowd mixes with a beer and funnel cake makes me turn from a polite Southern woman into a yelling, screaming fan waiting for hockey players to knock each other out on the ice. My husband isn’t the biggest sports nut around, but even he enjoys getting out to a game now and again. Though he prefers that we wait until baseball season so that we can enjoy the fresh air too. And if seeing live sports isn’t your thing, why not look into how to play for the night? Winter offers ice skating rinks in the colder cities, and there is always mini-golf for the sudden spring-like days that pop up this time of year. Just get active! Get competitive! Make a bet about who will win the most frames of bowling and loser has to cook dinner for the winner.
- Play Tourist In Your Town– While I’m going to talk about how to make a great stay-cation happen in a few days, for now I’ll just say that being a tourist in your own town can lead to great date discoveries. The hubs and I had to go to a meeting about an hour away a couple weekends ago. Even though I was familiar with the area I decided to Google “best things to do in….” just to see if I might have missed something up there. Turns out I had! I found a meadery and honey place. Who knew that even existed!? My husband doesn’t drink so I wasn’t sure he would enjoy the stop there but he said it was the highlight of the day because he got to learn something new, even if he didn’t sample any of the goods. And because I was already looking into new things to do I looked up new restaurants too. Turns out there is an amazing hole in the wall seafood place not far from our house that gives a 20% military discount and offers dinner plates large enough to feed even the biggest of Marines around.
The biggest thing to keep in mind when trying to stay out of the dating rut is to really let yourself think outside the box. Dinner and a movie is great, but not for every weekend. Remember what it was like when you first met your spouse and how you both wanted to impress the other. You got creative with dates and keep each other’s interests in mind when you were planning. Get back to that mentality and it will break you out of the boring and back into the fun side of your relationship.