You may be thinking “The Date Jar”, that doesn’t apply to me. We have kids or there’s no budget! The funny thing about dating is that it is often mistaken as an activity for people with bigger incomes who can afford to hire a babysitter. The truth is that planning a date night is something everyone can do no matter the budget or size of your family. You just have to get creative! And, it takes the willingness to do something new, try things out of the norm. During these very abnormal times, we especially need to think outside the box.
Not all dates require money. Not all dates have to be kidless. You just have to have willing to maybe work a little harder or change the perception of what date night looks like. For us? Date night can be a picnic in the backyard, a themed dinner and movie night with the kids, an art project or a challenge. Whatever resources you have around the house will be very useful during these times of quarantine and social distancing. Life, as we know, is changing and what we consider to be “normal” dates nights, dinner and movie, look very different today.
Make two date night jars. Create a “dream’ date jar. Write down date ideas that are not a reality right now but you dream of once we do return to our traditional ways of socializing. So, with that being said, here is how “The Date Jar” works…
Get creative! Grab a jar or any container of your choice (a shoebox, a pen cup, or even a flower pot). Or better yet, upgrade the look of your container and have a decorating date night at home while social distancing. What a fun afternoon project!
This is the fun part! Begin brainstorming ideas of things that sound fun for a date. Here are some of our date night examples.
- Plan a classic date of going out to eat together at that new restaurant that you keep hearing people talk about followed by a slow arm-linked walk to the ice cream shop for dessert.
- Make it a ‘Do Good’ date night by coming up with a service-oriented date where you sit down together and write out a number of short encouraging letters to be left around town for others to find.
- Devise an adventure date where you get in your car not knowing where you are going, write down 10 local waterfalls or hikes on slips of paper, stir them up, pick a destination, and go. It can be ANYTHING!
Listen, not all the ideas have to be going out on the town spending tons of money. With our current status of “stay home, stay safe” it’s ok to plan in-home ideas! Now, think of things you and your significant other can do at home. For my husband Zach and I, we will put our daughter to bed and then our stay at home date might be: popcorn and a movie, a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle and a yummy adult beverage, or even as silly as a game of MASH, Would You Rather? (we make up our own questions), or asking each other What is Your Favorite (blank)?. You’d be surprised how much fun you can have just spending time together and learning your person’s likes, dislikes, quirks, and loveable features.
Write the ideas down on scrap pieces of paper and throw them into your jar! These ideas don’t have to be written down all at once. They can be thought of over time and added as they come to mind. You can even make it part of your coffee routine in the morning. Challenge your partner to think of something creative and the next day it’s your turn. Then, before you know it, your jar is full of date night ideas!
When its date-time simply shake up your jar (that’s what we do), reach in, and select your date! It’s fun, simple, enriching, and spontaneous.
ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH ONE ANOTHER! Even if it is not one of the ideas you thought of, slow down and enjoy the fact that your significant other came up with this idea and it means something to them. So relax and participate! I promise your relationship will thrive and be richer for the time spent together.
Oftentimes we get too busy or wrapped up in our own agendas to recognize that we have not been investing in what really matters, the people around us! So here is my encouragement to you INVEST IN YOUR LOVE, the reward is so worth it!