Quarantine Dates: 10 Meaningful Ways to Do Date Night at Home
As a psychologist and relationship coach, I have long known the importance of a Date Night. We have been married for 13 years and have two kids. I think we have gone on a weekly date night almost every Friday for most weeks. We have been lucky to be able to do so, and sometimes we will have one at home. Many couples try to have one at least monthly. Even though we do lots of free things and eat at places less than $20 each, it can add up and it takes focus and creativity.
Research shows that having a weekly date night triples relationship and sexual satisfaction and makes wives four times less divorce prone. I could go into the many reasons why but the purpose of this article is to give you some suggestions for a free or inexpensive date night at home.
You see, as I write this we are in the middle of this Coronavirus scare and people are necessarily practicing ‘social distancing.’ Many are afraid to go to restaurants, movie theaters, concerts and more. Despite that, this topic will remain evergreen because often couples are financially strapped and need to be home with the kids anyway. But, in the event that we are shut-ins for a while, we may as well keep the love-light shining. So, here are 10 ideas to get you started:
1- CREATE A VISION BOARD
This is a visual representation of the life that you want to create together as a couple. When you do this visual map your unconscious works on creating that vision together. My husband and I did this one when we got engaged. I have done others on my own and we have even done one as a family. It’s a great way to align your thoughts, feelings, and actions and to get on the same vibrational page. All you need are some glue sticks, a poster board, and some magazines. You can also google certain images and print them out and add real pictures of you as a couple. You can add words and other symbols too. If you’d like to hear a quick video of how to create your Vision Board together, check this out. If you want a more detailed process then you can get my book, ‘A Shared Vision’ on Amazon.
2- SLOW DANCE & DISCO
It’s easy to play music on your phone and to slow dance to your wedding song. You can also have a disco night where you recall all of your best high school moves — or maybe I’m dating myself here. You can even Google, ‘Tango lessons and YouTube,’ and get a variety of free mini-lessons.
3- TAKE A COUPLES BATH
This is a romantic relaxing healing ritual, which is especially good for these stressful times. A couple's bath allows you to attune to each other, to relax and center and fill with love, without talking. In general, baths help you center, shift into your relaxed nervous system and to detoxify, especially when you add a recipe of Epsom salts and essential oils. For example, a lavender essential oil can relax you and help you sleep. Orange essential oil can lift your mood. My book, ‘The Book of Sacred Baths: 52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit,’ was published by Llewellyn and it has 52 bath rituals in many life areas, one for every week of the year. It’s the only bath book you’ll need if you are a bath lover, plus it has a whole section on couples baths as well. You can pick up the paperback, two essential oils, and some Epsom salt and start bathing. You will thank me. The bath rituals include relevant meditations, affirmations, visualizations, essential oils and more. You can do as little or as much of it as you want and once you grasp the idea, you two can create your own.
4- COOK A ROMANTIC MEAL & WATCH A ROMANTIC MOVIE
With online resources today, you can order groceries and find great recipes for free online. It can be fun to cook together and eat by candlelight. You can always rent a romantic movie. My husband jokes that I’ve seen every Hallmark movie and ROM-COM known to man (and now so has he). Off the top of my head, here are some suggestions:
Serendipity, The Thing Called Love, The Vow, Leap Year, P.S. I Love You, Sweet Home Alabama, Longshot, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Breathe, Cinema Paradiso, I Don't Know How She Does It, Words & Pictures, Hideous Kinky, The Notebook, City of Angels, Ramen Girl, The Switch, The Object of My Affection, One Fine Day, Autumn in New York, A Couch in New York, Sweet November, One True Thing, Stepmom, Prelude to a Kiss, The Backup Plan, Two Weeks Notice and Sleepless in Seattle.
That list will probably get you through several months of quarantined dating, should it come to that. Any suggestions for romantic movies that you love?
5-DO THE 36 QUESTIONS
A great free way to get closer to your spouse or partner is to look into each other’s eyes and to ask the 36 questions. Researcher and psychologist Arthur Aronson devised these questions to boost intimacy. When he gave these questions to strangers, several couples fell in love and married. So, it is a fun free way to get to know your honey all over again.
6- DO KARAOKE
Today you can download a karaoke app on your phone and start serenading each other. You can woo each other with ballads or make each other laugh with how bad you are.
7- CREATE MIXED DRINKS & DESSERT
You can google recipes for drinks here and many places on the web. You can order alcohol online and it arrives at your door. Then you can order desserts too or make your own. Even the worst cooks can make some brownies! Enjoy. Maybe to make it meaningful, you can ask a question to your partner and guess the answer. If you’re right, they take a drink. If you’re wrong, you tap a sip.
This is an easy way to relax. Make sure to have some lotion or massage oil on hand. You can warm it up and exchange back rubs or foot rubs. It is a great way to bond and to let your body relax and to feel everything is okay.
When you are home you can play a bunch of assorted games like Scattergories, Boggle or trivia games. This gets you into a playful mood that can lighten things up. What are your favorite games? There is also a variety of card games and most of you probably already own a deck of cards.
10-SAY YOUR PRAYERS & DO A BUCKET LIST
During stressful times it can be good to say your joint prayers, to adopt an attitude of gratitude and to plan for better times. You can write out your Bucket List of the things you both really want to do in your lifetime and support each other in them.
I hope this is helpful and that your time of isolation becomes one of love, connection, and growth.
My Best in Love,
Bio: Dr. Paulette Sherman is a relationship coach who does dating coaching with singles and couples coaching by phone & Skype. See www.DrPauletteSherman.com She also hosts a podcast called, The Love Psychologist