It’s Friday night, and the suggestion on the table is: “order pizza, watch the ‘Coach’ series finale, and pass out on the couch after 2.5 Bud Light Limes”. Again. Clearly, things have gotten too comfortable. Like eating-subs-with-the-top-button-undone comfortable. It’s time to shake things up. Date nights are necessary at any stage in the relationship, but especially if you’re living together, married, or heaven-forbid, have foolishly committed to raising mutant, miniaturized versions of yourselves together. Here, 5 ideas for date nights that can be pulled off with minimum preparation (as in, none of them even require that you leave home), and maximum results:
Take-out with a twist.
No more squabbling over the final “floater” fries that converged on the bottom of the fast food bag. I’m talking about real silverware and glasses with semi-delicate stems here. (Drinking out of mason jars is fine, too.) This weekend, acid reflux be damned (r-o-l-a-i-d-s spells “preparation” this time!), order take-out from that adorable Indian restaurant where you went on your second date and bonded over your mutual, super-secret obsessions with Game of Thrones and bacon.
Themed movie night.
Instead of watching 15 minutes of 5 life/diet transforming documentaries on Instant Netflix this Saturday (save that for Tuesday), try a Viggo Mortensen movie night. Or, better yet, a Lifetime Movie marathon. And don’t be weirded out if your man suggests a Benjamin Bratt night, because he really is in a lot of “damn good movies” according to mine. And I’m not weirded out. Definitely not weirded out at all. Corresponding snacks, cocktails, and even costumes (come on — it’s okay to get silly!) make it way more than just a “watching movies on the couch” night.
Get dressed up to go out, but stay in.
Ever wonder how your guy might feel if you spent as much time getting ready to hang out with just him as you do for a large social gathering? Ever wonder how you might feel if he wore something other than basketball shorts when you two were relaxing alone? Tonight, put on your eye makeup—and make sure he leaves the mesh in the drawer—and see what happens when you make an effort to look good, just for each other.
Farmer’s market vegetable quiche may be your specialty, but Jell-o Jigglers are probably his piece de resistance, so you’ll need to meet in the middle. A fancy-sounding meal (e.g., any dish calling for morel mushrooms, ladyfingers, or aioli will do) that can prepared in less than 2 hours is perfect for this exercise. (Note: the time limit is crucial since you’ll want to account for the food prep-imbibing, and anything more than 2 hours will have you passed out whilst something gets seared to second-death.) And don’t forget a dessert that tastes best when it’s fed to you. Jell-o Jigglers are allowable as an absolute fallback plan if the Bananas Foster goes awry.
Scavenger hunt. Think of his favorite things that he would never expect you to get him. Little things. And hide them. A pack of Upper Deck basketball cards? A guinea pig? A bottle of Grape Pucker? Black Cats? A scavenger hunt could be just the thing to liven up your next at-home date night. And the best part is the scavenging you’ll get in return. I like hunting for little blue boxes and mushy inspirational bookmarks myself.