Did you know that research shows the happiest couples have 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction? When you think about your daily life with your honey, is this true for you? Well one great way to cash in on those positive interactions is through appreciation! This date night will guide you through how to show appreciation to your love, but also how to keep that habit going throughout the year!

Supplies:

  • Sticky notes or small pieces of paper
  • Two pens
  • A bandana
  • A timer (phone works fine)
  • Headphones & a device to play music (optional)

The Main Idea:

Appreciation is a huge part of every relationship. But let’s be real, when you’re in the day-in and day-out of everyday life, it can be hard to remember to say “thank you” or “I love it when you…”. But that’s what this date night is for!

The goal is to create a chain reaction of appreciation that will last all year long (and more!). Let’s get started!

  • First, each person grab a stack of sticky notes or a pile of about 10-15 pieces of paper.
  • Next, without your partner seeing, write one way you are thankful for and/or appreciate your partner on each of the pieces of paper. (Check out the questions below if you get stuck!)
  • Now, blindfold one person with the bandana and set a timer for 5 minutes. The non-blindfolded person will then spend those two minutes hiding all of their notes in places that their partner will find them either as they go through their daily routine or as the year goes by (toiletry bag, inside their pillow case, in the box/bag of their favorite snack, tucked in their swimsuit or winter gloves, etc.)
    • Maybe play some music through headphones for the blindfolded spouse so they don’t get any hints of where they might be!
  • Once all the notes are hidden, switch roles. Spend another 5 minutes hiding the other partner’s notes!
  • When you’re done, spend some time talking through the questions below.

Now here’s the kicker with this appreciation date night. When you find a note that your partner left for you, you have to write and hide one for them to find! That way, the appreciation can keep going on and on forever, if you let it!

Questions If You Get Stuck:

  • What’s my favorite thing about my partner?
  • What’s one thing my partner does that makes me smile?
  • Has there been something they’ve done today that I haven’t thanked them for?
  • Is there a responsibility my partner has taken on that I haven’t thanked them for?
  • What’s one way my partner is great at recognizing my needs/wants?
  • One thing I appreciate most about my partner is…
  • One thing my partner does that often goes unnoticed is…

Questions For Conversation After Notes Are Hidden:

  • Was it easy or hard for you to come up with things to put on the notes?
  • Do you think we currently do a good job of showing appreciation for each other?
  • Is there anything specific that you don’t feel appreciated about?
  • What’s one thing we can do to make appreciation more of a habit in our relationship?
  • Do you think we have a good balance of positive interactions for every negative interaction? (Reference the research in the intro of this date night if needed!)
  • Are there currently any roadblocks to showing appreciation to each other?
  • Have I ever made you feel unappreciated? How so?
  • What’s one thing I can do to show that I appreciate you?
  • Often, when responsibilities are expected of each other, they happen without appreciation. Would saying “thank you” for our individual responsibilities (mowing the lawn, feeding the pets, cleaning the bathrooms, managing the finances, etc.) make you feel more connected in our relationship? Why or why not?

Looking for more at-home date night ideas? Check ’em out here!

Welcome to the new year! Now that you’re getting back on track after the holidays, it’s definitely time for a date night. And why not plan some future date nights while you’re at it? During this date night, you and your honey will come up with a couple’s bucket list (that doubles as a memories notebook!) for the year. Here’s how to get started…

Supplies:

  • 2 Pens
  • A notebook
  • Two pieces of brainstorming paper
  • A timer

Instructions:

  • First, take a moment and talk through the set of questions below. This will get your mind thinking about some great bucket list ideas for your notebook! 
  • Once all the questions have been answered, set a timer for 5 minutes. Each of you grab one of the pieces of brainstorming paper. 
  • When the timer starts, write down 10 things you want to do this year with your partner. 
  • Then, when the timer goes off, come up with 10-20 more things together to add to the lists. (Use the list below if you need some ideas!)
  • Now here comes the awesome part… Transfer all of your bucket list into the notebook, but only put 1-2 on each page with a big gap between them.
  • Under each bucket list idea, write out these prompts:
    • Date Accomplished:
    • Rating on a Scale of 1-10:
    • What we loved:
    • What we didn’t love:
    • Best memory from this:
  • Now, for each bucket list item you complete, fill out the prompts. You’ll have a whole memory journal by the end of the year!

Questions to Get Started:

  • What was your favorite thing we did together last year?
  • Was there anything you wish we could have done last year?
  • What’s been your favorite thing we’ve ever done together?
  • I get most excited with you when we…
  • When was the last time you got butterflies because of me?
  • How can we bring more new dates/experiences/things into our relationship this year?
  • Would you rather spend a day together outside or inside? Do something creative or active? Spontaneous or planned out?
  • What are you most looking forward to with me this year?

Example Bucket List Items for When You Get Stuck:

  • Go to a park or a downtown area and do a photoshoot of each other
  • See the sunrise together
  • Get googly eyes and put them on random objects/signs in a public place
  • Go on an all-day hike
  • Try a new restaurant in the next town over
  • Go to a city we’ve never been to
  • Choose each other’s meals when out to eat
  • Buy a two-person board game we’ve never heard of and play it
  • Bake a difficult pastry recipe together (croissant, macarons, baklava, etc.)
  • Pretend you’re tourists in your own town
  • Go to a coffee shop and ask the barista to make you their favorite drink

Looking for more DIY date night ideas? Check out our library of creative, simple date nights here!

It’s the first day of a new year! And what better way to start it off than with a great DIY date night? This date can be done at pretty much any location at any time. It’s all about having those deep, rich, meaningful conversations—which can happen anywhere! But in case you’re tired of ordering takeout and flipping through Netflix, here are a few fun date ideas…

Basic Date Night Ideas:

  • Try a new restaurant together! Bonus points if you try foreign cuisine and go with the most exotic thing on the menu!
  • Grab your favorite snack, dessert, and drink. Then drive to the closest park or lookout near you! Even if the weather’s bad, you can stay in your car.
  • Take a walk while the sun is setting (grab some hot cocoa if it’s cold)!
  • Get a bunch of googly eyes from a craft store and find places to put them in public downtown!
  • Have a bake-off at home. See who can make the best cookies, cake, etc.
  • Find a place near you to go ice skating!

Now On to the Main Event:

While you’re enjoying your new restaurant or pretty view, it’s time to dig deep and feel connected! Use this list of questions below to set goals for yourself, your spouse, and you as a couple. Even better if you write them down and set a reminder to check it at the end of the year to see what all you accomplished!

  1. What health goals do you have for yourself this year? How can I help you accomplish those goals?
  2. What financial goals do you have for yourself this year? How can I help you accomplish those goals?
  3. What work/career goals do you have for yourself this year? How can I help you accomplish those goals?
  4. What relationship goals do you have for us this year? How can I help us accomplish those goals?
  5. What are three goals I should have that you can help keep me accountable with?
  6. Do you think you’re good at accomplishing goals? Do you think I am?
  7. What can I do to be a better encouragement to you?
  8. What’s the best goal you’ve ever accomplished?
  9. When have you been most proud of me? Of yourself?
  10. If you had to summarize your hopes for this year in one word, what would it be?

Want more ideas for DIY date nights? Check out our full list here!

New Year’s Day is just around the corner! Now before you make that list of working out more, eating better, and getting more sleep… Have you thought about adding some resolutions for your relationship? This date night will walk you through it!

Supplies:

  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Dry erase markers (optional)
  • Smartphone or 2021 calendar (optional)

Instructions:

We all know what the average list of resolutions looks like. Work out 5x a week, eat a salad every day, read a certain number of books, get 8 hours of sleep each night… The list goes on. But when it comes to resolutions for your relationship, it might look a little different! Both lists have to do with keeping your physical, mental, and emotional health in shape. Well, these resolutions aren’t much different! Instead, they’re keeping your relational health in shape. So grab that pen and paper, sit by the fireplace or snuggle under some blankets and write out a list of at least 12 resolutions for your relationship you want to accomplish this year.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas to help:

  • Kiss each other good morning, goodbye, and goodnight every day.
  • When conflict gets heated, set a timer for 10 minutes to cool off, then come back to resolve it.
  • Go on 3 date nights per month.
  • Instead of sitting on the couch with our phones, we’ll put the phones down and have a conversation.
  • Do something new together once a month.
  • Call each other once during the workday to check in.
  • Have our friends over once a month.
  • Have 10 minutes every day with no distractions to talk about our days, our thoughts, our feelings, etc.
  • Say “thank you” at least once a day.
  • Speak our assumptions out loud.
  • Do something active together at least 3 times a month.

Take It Up A Level:

Want to make it a little more interesting? Grab that dry erase marker, pick one of your resolutions, and write it on your bathroom mirror. It will be a daily reminder for you both to put the resolution in practice! Then set a reminder on your phone (or write it out on your calendar) to update the resolution on your mirror on the first day of every month next year. By the end of the year, you’ll have formed 12 great habits for your relationship!

Want more ideas for at-home date nights? Check out our huge list of unique, fully planned date nights here!

DIY Date Night | Christmas Crafting

Get in the holiday spirit and have a merry night to remember at home with your love!

‘Tis the season! Buuuut… If you’re stuck at home, the season might not seem quite as merry. Whether you’re avoiding all the people in the holiday decor aisles or you’re trying to keep your Christmas cheer on a budget this year, this date night will check all the boxes you need to get you in the spirit! The goal is to get in the mood for a great date night, some Christmas crafting, and making decorations out of things you either already have or can pick up at your next grocery run. Let’s get started!

Instructions:

This date night totally depends on how much you love to craft and how creative you want to be! You can either come up with something on your own, or use one of the ideas below to get you started. Be sure to take a look at the list of conversation starters for this date night!

Ideas to Get You Started:

  • Use an empty toilet paper, paper towel, or wrapping paper roll. Cut it into ½ inch strips. Using glue and some gold or silver paint, make star ornaments for your tree!
  • Grab some ribbon, go on a walk outside and find pine cones, and use little trinkets you have around your house to decorate a wreath.
  • Get a white candle, some ribbon, a black and an orange sharpie, a button, and some glue and turn that candle into a snowman!
  • Make a “snow” garland with cotton balls and fishing line.
  • Use a tomato cage (upside down and ends tied to make a cone shape), garland, and lights to make mini Christmas trees.
  • Put ping pong balls on top of Christmas lights to give them an upgrade.
  • Make your fridge or your front door look like a snowman with some black and orange construction paper, and some fabric for a scarf!
  • Make a cone out of cardboard or poster board. Wrap twine or colored string around it so it’s totally covering it. Paint glue evenly all over the twine. Once it’s dry, separate the paper from the twine and you’ll have a little tree!
  • Combine ½ cup hair conditioner (white) and 3 cups baking soda to make fake snow.

Conversation Starters While You’re On Your Christmas Crafting Date Night:

  • What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?
  • What’s the best memory you have about Christmas?
  • If you were served a 3 course meal tonight, what would you want each course to be?
  • What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  • Favorite and least favorite Christmas songs?
  • Is there an overrated Christmas side dish?
  • What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
  • What’s one food that you would (or do) hide from me during the holidays?
  • Finish this thought, “It wouldn’t be Christmas without _____.”
  • Do you have a favorite ornament? What is it and why?
  • Are there any traditions you want to start this year?

To see a list of all our DIY date nights, click here!

Image from Unsplash.com

Whether you’re sticking to the “rule” of not putting any Christmas decorations up until after Thanksgiving or you blamed it on 2020 and have had your tree up since October, this date night is for you! The Christmas Tree is the centerpiece of many traditions. But why not start a new tradition for it this year? Just pick one of the options below and get started!

If you don’t have your tree up yet…

  • This date night is all about silliness, laughter, and getting to know your love a little deeper!
  • For every ornament you put on the tree, you have to ask one question to your honey. It can be about them, about you, about your relationship, about the world, or anything else.
  • Check out the list of questions below to get you started.

If you already have the tree up…

  • Start a tradition of making ornaments together!
  • To take it up a notch and choose a theme for your ornaments. They can be representative of how the year was, you could do woodland animals, or maybe something about a hobby you share!
  • You can make the ornament using things you have in the house or that you find outside or go to a craft store to pick up some supplies.
  • Check out this long list of ideas to get some inspiration!
  • Use the list of questions below to help spark conversation throughout the date night and help you two connect deeply!

Questions to ask throughout the date night…

  • What’s your favorite Christmas memory?
  • How did your family celebrate Christmas when you were growing up?
  • What traditions from your family do you want to carry on?
  • When did you first know you loved me?
  • When did you last feel cheerful?
  • Would you say our relationship has changed you at all? In what ways?
  • If you could celebrate Christmas with anyone in the world—living or dead—at any location in the world, who and where?
  • How did I first get your attention?
  • What was your favorite Christmas gift so far?
  • What’s the best part of Christmas to you?
  • Do you have any significant memories of us around the holidays?
  • Which is better: Thanksgiving or Christmas?
  • Do you have a favorite ornament?

Want more date night ideas? Check out all of our DIY, virtual date nights, and premium marriage events here!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, gratitude is on many of our minds. Normally the first things we list when being thankful are the roof over our heads, the clothes on our back, or the food on the table. But what does gratitude look like in relationships? This date night will help you find out! It’s all about showing your honey how grateful you are for them, and helping you realize it, too!

Supplies:

  • 1 jar of some sort (Glass or porcelain jar works best!)
  • 2 full sheets of paper, each a different color
  • 2 pens
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Decorations for your jar (optional)
    • Sharpies
    • Stickers
    • DIY decor

Directions:

  • Each person takes one sheet of paper.
  • Either cut or tear the paper into 10 different pieces.
  • Now, without showing your partner, write down 10 reasons why you are grateful for them and/or your relationship. (Use the questions below to spark a little creativity if you get stuck!) 
    • PRO TIP: Start each one with “I’m thankful for…” or “I’m grateful you…” to keep things on the right track.
  • When both of you are done, put the lid on the jar and decorate it if you would like.
  • Place the jar in a prominent place in your house.
  • Over the next 20 days, take turns pulling out one of the papers and read why you’re thankful for each other!
  • When you run out of slips of paper, have another date night and make more!

Questions to Help Spark Creativity:

  • What’s your favorite thing your partner does for you?
  • What’s your favorite memory of your relationship?
  • What is the best thing that has happened to you because of your relationship?
  • What’s one way your partner balances you well?
  • What first made you fall in love with your partner?

Turn this date night into a marriage challenge with our FREE Marriage Guide: 30 Days of Gratitude and Love! Download it here.

Are you and your honey a little competitive?  Or… maybe more than a little? This DIY, at-home date night will be a great one for you! It’s all about connecting with your love while keeping a hint of competition between the two of you. Check it out below!

Supplies:

  • Two paper bags
  • A semi-full to full pantry/refrigerator
  • An hour or two

Directions:

  • Each person grabs a paper bag.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  • Spend 15 minutes gathering supplies for your partner to use.
  • At the end of the 15 minutes, trade bags.
  • Set another time for 45 minutes.
  • Next, check out your ingredients in your bag! Your job is to cook a meal for your partner using the ingredients in your bag.
  • Each person will get ONE additional ingredient of their choice (spices not included!)

Questions to ask while eating your surprise meal:

  • What is your favorite memory of us?
  • What’s your least favorite memory of us?
  • How would your life be different without me in it?
  • What food reminds you of me?
  • When did you first know that you liked me?
  • What would be the perfect retirement to you?
  • How often should we make a date night happen?
  • If you had to change your career path, what would you do?
  • Where would you travel to if price didn’t matter?
  • What was the happiest you’ve ever felt?

Want more at-home date nights? Check them all out here!