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With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time for a spooky season date night! Even if you’re not super into scary stories or haunted houses, these date night ideas can bring you and your honey closer and help you feel a little bit of normalcy this year. Check out these date night ideas—and a conversation guide as you go—below!

Questions to Ask On Your Date Night:

  • What’s the most scary thing you’ve ever seen or experienced?
  • Have you ever felt like you could sense a spirit nearby?
  • Do you have any personal ghost stories?
  • What’s your favorite part of Halloween?
  • If you had to pick living next door to a haunted house or camping in a cemetery once a month, which would you choose?
  • Should we start any new Halloween traditions? Or get rid of any we’ve made already?
  • Would you rather only ever be able to wear orange or always have to include skulls as a part of your outfit in some way?

Spooky Season Date Night Ideas:

Scary Movie:

It’s as simple as it sounds! Pick a scary movie—it can be a classic like Frankenstein or something neither of you has seen before—and cuddle up on the couch together! Be sure to have some snacks on hand!

Want to take it to the next level? Grab a laptop and take this movie to a spooky location. A park with a cemetery, an abandoned building, your unfinished basement, or a forest close by are all great locations to get spooked!

Make A Haunted House Together:

Who says decorating cookie houses has to wait two more months?! You can either make your own using a sturdy cookie cut into simple shapes (and icing and decorations!) or buy a kit like this one!

Late Night Picnic:

Nothing says spooky like having a picnic in the dark! And if you’re really brave, take your picnic to the nearest cemetery (be respectful—know your boundaries), abandoned building, or nearby woods!

Murder Mysteries Mayhem:

There are so many podcasts, YouTube channels, and books all about murder mysteries! Pick one out together, listen/watch/read it, and see who can guess who-done-it using any evidence they can find! This date night wouldn’t be complete without some great snacks, too!

Spooky Season with Strangers:

This one might take a little more guts than the rest of them! For this date night, dress up in a scary Halloween costume and go out on the town. Be sure you wear a mask, too! If you don’t have some spooky costumes at home, check out your local thrift store and see if you can help each other build a costume together!

Looking for more great date nights? Check out all our DIY and Live Date Nights here!

Want to take date night up a notch?

DISCOVER A DEEPER LEVEL OF INTIMACY IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WITH HOT LOVE.

This premium on demand virtual date night guides you and your spouse to learn the secrets to growing deep intimacy. You’ll work together to learn…

  • Tools to reframe your mindset
  • Ways to discover and remove roadblocks to intimacy
  • Strategies for turning up the temperature

What sounds better than a fun, fulfilling marriage? Nothing!!

If you’re married, you know keeping things interesting takes a little effort, but what things in life worth having don’t? You’ve signed up for a lifelong pursuit of your spouse and to fall in love with them over and over again. Having fun together helps naturally draw you closer and rekindle the flame.

1. Add elements of surprise!

  • Text your spouse something spicy during the workday. Make it out of the blue and with no business attached, (aka, no talk about what’s for dinner or what needs to get done) just some good flirtatious banter.
  • Surprise your spouse by wearing their favorite outfit or favorite outfit under your outfit (if you catch my drift) and suggest an impromptu date night.
  • Send them something at work—could be something as small as a coffee or as grandiose as an edible arrangement.
  • Pick something up for them while you’re out running errands just because.

2. Play together!

  • Play is essential to having fun in marriage. There are not only relationship benefits to playing together but health benefits! The National Institute for Play (NIP) believes (and has the research to back it up) that play can dramatically transform our personal health and our relationships. It can be board games, video games, a puzzle, a Minute To Win It challenge, Dominos, cards, tag around the house, strip poker, or whatever your favorite way to spark some healthy competition is.

Play generates optimism, novelty makes perseverance fun and leads to mastery. Additionally, it gives your immune system a bounce, fosters empathy, and promotes a sense of belonging and community. Each of these by-products is an index of personal health, and their shortage predicts impending health problems and personal fragility.

3. Don’t shy away from passion!

  • Light the candles, turn on some music, turn down the bed or change up the location, and enjoy the intimacy. Take time to be curious about your spouse, compliment them, cuddle up close, and turn off the phones. Alone time can be so beneficial and adventurous. It can reignite the passion and give you lovely serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin boosts (aka, the happy chemicals in your brain).

BONUS: Free date nights!

  • Surely you’ve heard it before, so you’ll hear it again: Date your spouse. The romance doesn’t need to go down as the anniversaries go up. Try new places, carve out quality time, cultivate intimacy, and enjoy being one on one. There are tons of date night ideas, free virtual date nights, and date night DIYs right here on our site free to you!

It’s easy to have fun in your marriage when you realize having fun means creating fun! Enjoy laughing together, kissing one another, and everything in between. 

Some more blogs you may be interested in:

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE FULFILLING, NOT FRUSTRATING.

With the right tools, you and your spouse can have the best communication ever!

This easy-to-use virtual 5-day course guides you and your spouse to have the best communication you’ve ever had! Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to establish healthy communication habits
  • The secrets to creating a deep connection through communication
  • Skills to help you (and your spouse) be a better speaker and listener
  • How to celebrate and understand your different communication styles
  • And so much more!

You’re getting ready to marry the love of your life, and you’ve been reading card after card wishing you a marriage full of love and adventure. With that comes the hope of fulfillment in each other and the desire to have fun, because who wants a boring marriage?! No one…

Here are 3 easy things you can put into place NOW to keep the fun in your marriage relationship forever:

1. Add elements of surprise when you’re married!

  • Text your spouse something spicy during the workday. Make it out of the blue and with no business attached, (aka no talk about what’s for dinner or what needs to get done) just some good flirtatious banter.
  • Surprise your spouse by wearing their favorite outfit and suggest an impromptu date night.
  • Send them something at work—could be something as small as a coffee or and grandiose as an edible arrangement.
  • Pick something up for them while you’re out running errands, just because.

2. Play together!

  • Play is essential to having fun in marriage. There are not only relationship benefits to playing together, but health benefits, too! The National Institute for Play (NIP) believes (and has research to back it up) that play can dramatically transform our personal health and our relationships. It can be board games, video games, a puzzle, Minute To Win It challenges, Dominos, cards, or whatever your favorite way to spark some healthy competition is.

Play generates optimism, novelty, makes perseverance fun, and leads to growth. Bonus feature: it gives the immune system a bounce, fosters empathy, and promotes a sense of belonging and community. 

3. Don’t shy away from romance!

  • Light the candles, turn on some music, and enjoy cultivating intimacy. You have lots to look forward to as you step into married life together. Take the time to be curious about your spouse, compliment them, cuddle up close, and tune in to each other. Alone time can be so beneficial and continually draw you closer to each other. 

BONUS: Free date nights for a more fun marriage!

  • Surely you’ve heard it before, so you’ll hear it again: Date your spouse. The romance doesn’t need to go down as the anniversaries go up. Try new places, carve out quality time, cultivate intimacy, and enjoy being one on one. There are tons of date night ideas, free virtual date nights, and date night DIYs right here on our site—free to you!

It’s easy to have fun in your marriage when you embrace that to have fun means to create fun! Enjoy laughing together, kissing one another, and everything in between. ; )

Some more blogs you may be interested in:

Weddings are time consuming, expensive, and stressful.

We totally get it. There’s hardly any time to breathe, let alone enjoy this season with your soon-to-be spouse! But that’s why we created Preparing for Marriage Online. This online class will guide you both through the answers to these questions and MORE! And the best part is, you can watch each video in the comfort of your own home and on your OWN TIME – and right now, it’s all for FREE!

During this class, you’ll cover topics like…

  • Clear & effective communication skills,
  • How to handle the in-laws,
  • Conflict management,
  • The importance of dating your spouse,
  • Planning, budgeting, and finances,
  • What to expect your first year,
  • And more!

Full transparency here: I’ve dealt with feelings of depression and anxiety through much of my adulthood. In fact, I brought it right with me into my marriage. Through it all, my wife has been a solid rock of support and encouragement for me and my mental health during those difficult times. And looking back, I’ve been able to catch a glimpse of what she was feeling for me: 

I’m worried for his well-being. I know he isn’t himself. His heart is hurting. His mind is swarming. He’s just on edge all… the… time. There’s no life in his voice. He just has a sense of hopelessness, tension, defeat. And I just want him to be happy again so we can enjoy our life together like we once did. 

Does any of this sound familiar?  

Maybe you’ve had the same thoughts about your spouse. It’s difficult to see the person you love the most experiencing challenges like grief, sadness, anxiety, and stress. It impacts not only your spouse but also your marriage. And you want to help, but maybe you just don’t know how. 

Fortunately, there is hope. How can you show care and support for your spouse’s mental health? Here are eight ways: 

1. Remind them you are there.

One of the worst feelings someone can have who is experiencing emotional difficulties is feeling like they are alone in their predicament. The continual reminder that you are there for them, you’re there to listen, and you are not there to judge or think less of them because of what they’re going through means the world

2. Encourage your spouse with The Big 3: Exercise, Diet, and Sleep.

These are the three best things we can do to help ourselves when our mental health is under attack. They are the “hubs” of self-care. Physical activity, especially cardio, and clean eating have been shown to improve emotional health. And I can’t tell you enough just how important sleep is to fight off stress, anxiety, and depression. Most people need 8-9 hours of sleep each night, and each one of those hours is precious to care for yourself. Encourage your spouse to maintain The Big 3 and join them in the mission to work out, eat clean, and sleep well. 

3. Do everyday activities together.

When I’ve felt particularly out of sorts, my wonderful wife would invite me to go on an errand with her or to do something seemingly mundane with her around the house. The sheer act of being together and focusing on some activity — picking up the groceries, folding the laundry (lots of bonding happens over folding fitted sheets), getting the car washed (for an added bonus, jamming out to Led Zeppelin as your car shuffles through the automatic wash, an instant feel-good) — can help pull your spouse out of a funk. 

4. Coach your spouse to choose their “Something to Look Forward to.”

Long ago, a friend of mine gave me this life-changing, simple piece of advice, and my wife has encouraged me with it: every week, choose that one thing that you’re going to look forward to on the weekend (or whatever the “end of the week” looks like for your spouse). It can be anything enjoyable: a hike, watching the football game, ordering pizza, eating that piece of cake in the fridge, a fishing trip, working in the yard, smoking some ribs, visiting your favorite fast food place. I’ve found that whatever setbacks I experience through the week, sometimes my “Something to Look Forward to” is what helps me to keep taking each step forward. Help your spouse find their “Something to Look Forward to” each week. 

5. Experience some fresh air together.

There’s something about being outside in the open air and the warm sunlight that takes the edge off strong emotions. Invite your spouse to share some outdoor time, whether it’s hiking in the woods or sitting on the front porch to watch the sunset. You certainly don’t have to be an “outdoor person” to gain the benefits that clean air and the vitamin D from sunlight provides (which, by the way, has been shown to reduce depression and boost weight loss). 

6. Be physically intimate with each other.

Physical touch, whether it’s sexual or non-sexual touch, like holding hugs or hand-holding, has been shown to help improve mental and emotional health, not to mention increase closeness and connection with each other. Healthy physical touch from someone who cares (that is, you) causes those feel-good chemicals to squirt through the brain, defending against feelings of sadness and anxiety. And don’t laugh, but scheduled sex is where it’s at. Hear me out. If your spouse is someone who, say, really enjoys sex, more than likely it’s a stress-reliever for them. When the two of you schedule your lovemaking, you give them something they can count on to simmer down the emotions while you, well, heat things up. 

7. Encourage time with friends and family.

It’s easy for someone weighed down with heavy feelings to isolate themselves. Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to reach out to others. When I’ve felt like this, my wife would sometimes say something like, “Why don’t you call up your friend Brian and see if he wants to watch the football game?” Or, “Why not go over to your mom’s house and take her some cookies” Being with others helps a heavy heart. And sometimes a person just needs a shot of encouragement to make that connection. Encourage time with someone they are close to when the mood is down. 

8. Go on dates.

This is arguably the most important item on the list. Try to have a weekly date together. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive or even outside the house. As a matter of fact, take some of what’s above and make it a date: the “Something to Look Forward to,” time spent outdoors, ordering a pizza in, a walk around the neighborhood, a Netflix movie, or maybe even scheduled intimacy. The point is to have a meaningful time together. And remember: because your spouse is dealing with heavy emotions, you may have to be the one to prompt these dates. 

If you observe that your spouse’s mental health doesn’t change for the better or gets worse, encourage them to visit a professional counselor. Offer to go with them if they are nervous or uncertain. Try to help them understand that talking to a counselor doesn’t mean they are “broken” or something “is wrong with them.” They are simply there to talk through some of the difficult feelings they’re experiencing. 

One more thing: the battle to manage strong emotions like anxiety, sadness, or stress is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t expect instant improvements with a walk in the woods or a night out on the town. 

And let’s not ignore the fact that your spouse’s struggles with mental health are hard on you as well; you feel the exhaustion and stress they feel. Be sure you are taking care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and exercise, and make sure you have a healthy support system you can turn to. Practice good self-care. 

You are your spouse’s biggest support. And you have the power to instill a sense of hope in them with your love and encouragement. Choose at least one of the strategies above to do this week. Assure your spouse you are there for them no matter what. Go on a date. Share a walk outside. Whatever it is, let them know you are right there beside them. Believe me: it will mean the world to them. 

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

Image from Unsplash.com

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE FULFILLING, NOT FRUSTRATING.

With the right tools, you and your spouse can have the best communication ever!

This easy-to-use virtual 5-day course guides you and your spouse to have the best communication you’ve ever had! Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to establish healthy communication habits
  • The secrets to creating a deep connection through communication
  • Skills to help you (and your spouse) be a better speaker and listener
  • How to celebrate and understand your different communication styles
  • And so much more!

It’s that time of year! The leaves are changing colors and falling. There’s a cool breeze in the air. Pumpkin spice is the flavor of the season. We’ve moved past the laid-back summer and now it’s FALL, the season of football, fun… and romance.

Here are several romantic fall fun date ideas that bring out the best in the season and in your relationship!

(Be aware that there may be limited availability due to social distancing constraints. Have fun, but be safe!)

  1. Go to a pumpkin patch. Select a pumpkin. Take it home and carve it.
  2. Bake seasonal goodies (pies, cakes, cookies) together.
  3. Go antique shopping.
  4. Take a carriage ride.
  5. Go to a drive-in movie.
  6. Listen to your favorite old songs and dance around your home.
  7. Take a scenic walk.
  8. Go camping.
  9. Go apple picking in an orchard.
  10. Take a scenic train ride.
  11. Take a scenic drive to see fall foliage.
  12. Go to a Fall Festival.
  13. Go for a hike.
  14. Watch a scary movie.
  15. Go for a bike ride.
  16. Host a game night with friends and family.
  17. Take a day trip.
  18. Have a picnic either in a park or your backyard.
  19. Go for a wine or cider tasting.
  20. Go horseback riding.
  21. Stargaze and see who can find the most constellations.
  22. Rake the leaves, like adults. Jump in the leaves, like kids.
  23. Sit in front of a fire and read a book out loud together. 
  24. Go to a high school football game.
  25. Movie marathon/binge watch your favorite TV series.
  26. Go on a local history tour.
  27. Take a painting class.
  28. Have a bonfire in your backyard and make S’mores.
  29. Go on a fall getaway weekend.
  30. Take part in a First Things First Virtual Date Night!

Conversation Starters:

Check out this list of 200 questions for couples to get the conversation started.

1. What makes you the happiest?

2. What’s worse? The barista getting your order wrong? Or finding a motorcycle in a parking spot you thought was empty?

3. What food best describes your personality?

4. What are your five most important personal values?

5. What kind of physical touch best says “I love you” to you?

6. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

7. Who is the person, currently alive, that you most want to meet right now?

8. What is your favorite type of romantic gesture?

9. What crazy thing do you want to try someday?

10. What’s one thing I can do to improve our relationship?

Now is the perfect time to get adventurous by exploring your community and creating quality time with each other. Play and fun builds intimacy in your relationship. 

Now, go have some romantic FALL FUN as you try out these date ideas!

Weddings are time consuming, expensive, and stressful.

We totally get it. There’s hardly any time to breathe, let alone enjoy this season with your soon-to-be spouse! But that’s why we created Preparing for Marriage Online. This online class will guide you both through the answers to these questions and MORE! And the best part is, you can watch each video in the comfort of your own home and on your OWN TIME – and right now, it’s all for FREE!

During this class, you’ll cover topics like…

  • Clear & effective communication skills,
  • How to handle the in-laws,
  • Conflict management,
  • The importance of dating your spouse,
  • Planning, budgeting, and finances,
  • What to expect your first year,
  • And more!

When your relationship has a high level of emotional intimacy, you share your feelings, needs, fears, successes, and failures knowing you will continue to be loved and cared for by your partner.

Building strong intimacy in your marriage can give your marriage the satisfying fulfillment you desire. 

Here are 6 exercises to strengthen emotional intimacy in your marriage:

1. Do something new and engaging together. 

  • Prepare new, exotic meals together from beginning to end. Search recipes for some cuisine the two of you would like to try. Together, buy the groceries, prepare the meal, and of course, eat together. 
  • Learn a new language together. Focus on learning relationship-specific words that will help you express appreciation, be affectionate, and flirt.
  • Create a marriage bucket list and then get started on completing your list.

Research shows that doing new activities can reignite the passion in your relationship. They help the two of you experience challenges, successes, and failures together. You’re able to see each other’s authentic self without the pressure of being perfect. 

2. Show affection. 

  • Each day, give each other a deep, passionate kiss for at least 20 seconds. Your body will release chemicals in your brain helping you to increase the connection between you. (We aren’t responsible for whatever happens next.😉 )
  • Each day, give each other a great big hug for a minimum of 20 seconds. This has a similar effect of increasing the bond and connectedness. Just good, old-fashioned affection.
  • Cuddle. Yes, that simple. Cuddle and rest in each other’s presence.

3. Do marriage enrichment together. 

All are good ways you can invest in your marriage to help you share, grow closer to each other and strengthen emotional intimacy.

4. Make time to talk.

  • Practice focused, uninterrupted talking and listening. Take 15-30 minutes each day to share whatever is on your heart. Your one goal is to make sure that each of you feels heard and understood. Some days the conversation may be a rundown of the day. Other days you may each reveal deeper levels of transparency and vulnerability. 
  • Be curious. Ask each other questions. Be vulnerable and transparent as you share your thoughts. Increase your intimacy with these 200 conversation starters for couples
  • Set aside regular time to connect. Dr. Linda Duncan, a marriage researcher and Professor Emeritus at Tarleton State University, shares that couples can build intimacy by intentionally connecting at four distinct points throughout their day: 1. When you wake up. 2. Before you depart for the day. 3. When you reconnect after work/school. 4. As you go to bed. 

How you connect at each of these four moments can have a tremendous impact on the intimacy within your relationship. “Connecting” can be as simple as getting your spouse a cup of coffee and saying “Good morning,” giving them a kiss goodbye, and saying “I love you,” giving them a hug when they get home, and some pillow talk before saying “goodnight.”

5. Celebrate your togetherness

  • Stroll down memory lane, revisit memorable date nights, or look at pictures and videos while reminiscing on the experiences you’ve shared. 
  • Take 15 minutes to exchange genuine compliments or express appreciation for each other.

6. Make the most of pillow talk

  • Eliminate the tech devices and potential distractions. Invest that time into one another. 
  • Give kids a bedtime or at least a quiet time when they are in their rooms for the night leading up to bedtime.
  • Share with each other how they can make you feel safe, cherished, and valued.
  • Talk about what arouses each of you.

Each of these 6 exercises on their own may not strengthen your emotional intimacy. However, if you do these with a heart of gratitude and appreciation toward your partner and you make them a habit, you’ll begin to feel closer and more connected. You’ll find yourself sharing more of yourself and getting to know your partner more fully. 

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE FULFILLING, NOT FRUSTRATING.

With the right tools, you and your spouse can have the best communication ever!

This easy-to-use virtual 5-day course guides you and your spouse to have the best communication you’ve ever had! Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to establish healthy communication habits
  • The secrets to creating a deep connection through communication
  • Skills to help you (and your spouse) be a better speaker and listener
  • How to celebrate and understand your different communication styles
  • And so much more!

Note: You don’t have to be a newlywed to play this game!

It’s been 6+ months of staying home a lot more, spending (never-ending) time together, and trying to come up with things to do so you don’t go crazy. If the phrase “distance makes the heart grow fonder” is starting to make a whole lot of sense to you, this date night game just might be what you need! Now’s the time to get comfy with your love and place this list of questions in between the two of you. Warning: Things may get steamy…

Supplies Needed:

  • Two white boards or two notebooks/large pieces of paper
  • Two writing utensils

Instructions for The Newlywed Game:

  1. Take turns reading each of the questions below out loud.
  2. After the question is read, both of you write down your answer on your own piece of paper.
  3. Once you’ve both finished writing, count to three and reveal your answer!
  4. If you both got the answers right, give each other a kiss! If you got the answer wrong, lose an article of clothing.
  5. Go through the questions for as long as you can! 😉

The Questions:

  • I feel closest to you when we…
  • What’s my favorite type of kiss?
  • What kind of music gets me in the mood?
  • What color underwear am I wearing?
  • On an average day, how many times do I think about sex?
  • What’s my biggest turn on?
  • What’s my biggest turn off?
  • What would be the easiest thing for me to give up for a month: TV, coffee or sex?
  • What color looks the best on me?
  • What’s my favorite body part to be kissed?
  • What body part am I most proud of?
  • What’s one thing you’ve done this month that makes me proud?
  • What attracts me to you the most?
  • What scent do you wear that I absolutely love?
  • Where is the craziest place we’ve had sex?
  • What’s my best foreplay move?
  • How often do I wish we had sex?
  • My favorite thing to do together is…
  • What am I thinking about right now?
  • What’s my favorite thing you do for me?
  • Do I prefer to take the lead or follow your cues?
  • Do I like shower sex?
  • Have I ever skinny dipped?
  • How old was I when I had my first kiss?
  • Do I enjoy sex more with the lights on or off?
  • What’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever done for you?
  • What’s my favorite physical trait of yours?

Looking for some more date night ideas? Check out all of our at-home dates here!

Image from FreePik.com

Want to take date night up a notch?

DISCOVER A DEEPER LEVEL OF INTIMACY IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WITH HOT LOVE.

This premium on demand virtual date night guides you and your spouse to learn the secrets to growing deep intimacy. You’ll work together to learn…

  • Tools to reframe your mindset
  • Ways to discover and remove roadblocks to intimacy
  • Strategies for turning up the temperature

You’re in love, you’re engaged, and you don’t want the butterflies you’ve had all this time to fly away. I mean who would? But sometimes, in the midst of wedding planning and preparing for marriage, you can forget to do the very thing that brought you to this relationship milestone: Date! And that’s what this blog is all about: dates every engaged couple needs to do before the big day!

You’ve probably heard it before and you will likely hear it again when you get married: date your spouse. The romance and wonder for each other doesn’t magically sustain itself; it needs fuel and your attention.

Dating can be extremely beneficial toward keeping romance alive, and making a practice of going on regular dates can be a great way to jump-start that habit,” says Denise Limongello, a licensed psychotherapist based in Manhattan. In an article by The Knot, Limongello points out that lack of romance is a common reason for breakups or divorce.

If you want to make a habit of something, you have to go out of your way and make time for it. A habit you’ll want in your marriage is dating each other, so while you’re preparing for marriage let’s jump-start this habit!

Dates Every Engaged Couple Must Do Before the Big Day:

1. Try a restaurant you’ve never been to before.

It’s easy to get comfortable with doing the same things over and over. It’s great to have your favorite spots, but oftentimes just switching up the location to a place you’ve never been will prompt fresh conversation. When you get married, it can become tempting to fall into a routine and not challenge it. Routines are wonderful, don’t get me wrong. However, it can be problematic when your routine becomes “going through the motions.” When you don’t even have to think about doing or saying something, life can feel monotonous. A simple way to practice getting uncomfortable, if you will, is trying something new!

2. Couple’s Massage.

There’s a lot of stress when it comes to wedding planning. Everything seems faster paced, small decisions have bigger implications, family and friends ask questions you don’t know the answers to and let’s face it—that can cause tension. Maybe the tension is physical, or maybe it’s between you and your fiancé. Whether you book a couple’s massage (Groupon always has a deal going!) or set-up a spa-like shop at one of your places and give each other a massage, taking the time to decompress and slow down together can do you some good. Release the tension, rest and relax. Trust me—you need it.

3. Quality time date.

Engagement season: when suddenly everyone needs your attention or wants to be best friends again. No wonder it’s easy to get distracted. All of the planning and excitement seems to creep in to every conversation and fill your phone with notifications. On top of that, anyone else guilty of sitting beside your significant other (for a time longer than you care to admit) on your phones without having so much as a full conversation?

To keep this from happening, this date has two rules:

1. Turn the phones off and turn your attention toward each other, and 2. Don’t talk about wedding details. 

What you do/how you spend this date is up to you. I suggest whatever it is, you give yourselves the opportunity for great conversation (so maybe not a movie night). You could picnic, make dinner together and set the table fancy, go on a hike or bike ride or to your favorite ice cream place. Whatever you decide, make your time together quality time.

4. Sing karaoke.

I know, I know. Not everyone’s cup of tea. BUT hear me out. You can do it in the comfort of your own home or if you’re feeling up to it, grace some strangers with your voice. The point of this date is to teach or remind you of some of the most important lessons that are essential to a happy marriage: Don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh at yourself and together …often. What better way to humble yourself than trying to reach a note Mariah Carrey invented?!

There is growing evidence to suggest that one of the secrets to a long and happy relationship is to laugh together often,” according to an article by Conscious Rethink. There’s going to be some truly difficult times in your marriage and circumstances that will be out of your control. In those serious moments, if you haven’t practiced taking yourself less seriously when nothing hard was happening, it could be much more difficult to switch gears and be positive under pressure. So pick your favorite song and get to singing!

5. Plan a date night surprise.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of someone who intimately knows you choosing a curated experience for you both. The time it takes to think about what you want to do shows your fiancé they are worth your time, energy and effort. Then the date itself is a gift. It’s a win-win! You could set up a little fort in your living room with tea lights, favorite snacks and a movie queued up. You could blindfold them and drive to a destination—could be a historic site with a picnic packed if they’re a history buff, or maybe a drive-in movie and the back of your car is already equipped for ultimate coziness with blankets and pillows. Or perhaps you move the furniture out of the way and have a dance tutorial pulled up and a glass of wine poured. 

You don’t need a birthday, anniversary, or holiday as a reason to surprise the love of your life. Loving them is reason enough. Taking this date into your marriage is a sure fire way to keep the romance aflame. 

Dating before “I do” is a great way to prepare yourself for the lifelong pursuit of each other. Keep it interesting, try new things, carve out time to be solely with each other—even if it’s not much! You’ll thank yourselves for it later.

If you need help figuring out a creative date night, we have tons of free virtual and DIY date night ideas here!

Additional Blogs You May Like: 

Weddings are time consuming, expensive, and stressful.

We totally get it. There’s hardly any time to breathe, let alone enjoy this season with your soon-to-be spouse! But that’s why we created Preparing for Marriage Online. This online class will guide you both through the answers to these questions and MORE! And the best part is, you can watch each video in the comfort of your own home and on your OWN TIME – and right now, it’s all for FREE!

During this class, you’ll cover topics like…

  • Clear & effective communication skills,
  • How to handle the in-laws,
  • Conflict management,
  • The importance of dating your spouse,
  • Planning, budgeting, and finances,
  • What to expect your first year,
  • And more!

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Right now, days seem to run together, time has seemed to stand still, and the past 6 months have felt like an eternity and a split second all at once. Life before COVID-19 is becoming more and more of a distant memory… Were we ever actually allowed to go to the movie theater? Or the bowling alley? Or out on the town? This date night is all about bringing back those good-old classic date nights, only this time while in quarantine! Below are a bunch of typical first dates. Pick one (or more!) to do together, COVID-19 style! Be sure to take along the list of questions to ask each other during the date night, too!

QUESTIONS TO ASK ON YOUR DATE NIGHT:

  1. What has been the hardest part of quarantine/COVID-19/the past 6+ months?
  2. What has been one good thing to happen recently?
  3. Do you think we’ve gotten closer or further apart over the past few months?
  4. What do you miss the most about the date nights we used to go on?
  5. If you could have one thing back that you haven’t been able to do since COVID-19, what would it be? Why?
  6. What’s one thing the two of us can do to help us/our family adjust better to our situation right now?
  7. What did you not miss while in quarantine?
  8. What’s one thing I can do to help you feel more stable/secure in the next week?
  9. How would you describe this time to our future kids/grandkids?
  10. What has been the weirdest part of quarantine/COVID-19/the past 6+ months?

DATE NIGHTS TO CHOOSE FROM:

GLOW IN THE DARK BOWLING:

Supply List:

  • 9 Water bottles
  • 9-18 Glow sticks (depending on size)
  • A soccer ball or similar ball
  • Blacklight (totally optional, but really fun!)
  • Tacky 80’s pop playlist (also optional, but really fun!)

Instructions:

  • Open up the water bottles.
  • Crack and shake the glowsticks to activate them.
  • Drop 1-2 glow sticks in each of the water bottles and put the lids back on.
  • Arrange the water bottles in a triangle like bowling pins.
  • Take turns trying to knock down all 9 water bottles with the soccer ball!
  • Keep score of number of “pins” knocked over.
  • The first to 100 wins!

MOVIE AT THE THEATER:

Supply List:

  • TV or Projector
  • Movie or streaming service
  • All your favorite theater snacks & drinks!
  • Cozy blankets
  • Blanket fort (optional)

Instructions:

  • Make/buy all your movie theater snacks (don’t forget to butter the popcorn!).
  • Make a blanket fort (optional, but takes it to the next level!)
  • Decide on a movie. Here are some ideas…
    • Research movies that came out the year you or your partner was born, the year you got married/started dating, or a random year of your choosing. Then watch the first movie you can find from that year!
    • Pick out 10 different movies. Assign them numbers 1-10 (or do alphabetical order). Have your partner pick a number 1-10, and watch that movie!
    • Grab a pair of dice. You roll one, and your partner rolls another.
      • Your Dice: 1: Rom-Com, 2: Mystery, 3: Action, 4: Drama, 5: Historical, 6: Adventure
      • Dice 2: 1. Starts with A, 2: Starts with T, 3: Starts with S, 4: Starts with M, 5: Starts with N, 6: Starts with R
  • Snuggle up to your partner and enjoy your in-house theater!

“THRIFT” SHOPPING:

Supply List:

  • Your clothes closet or dresser

Instructions:

When’s the last time you went through your clothes? If you’ve got pieces from the 90’s stuffed in the back of your closet, this date night will be a fun one for you. Set a timer for 7 minutes. You go to your partner’s closet/dresser/wherever clothes are kept, and your partner will go to yours. Your goal is to find the oldest/funniest/craziest outfit possible for your partner to wear for the rest of this date night! Go all-out with watches, purses, socks, jewelry, etc.

Once you have an outfit picked out, you and your partner have to wear them for the rest of the date night! Pick another activity on this list to keep the fun going.

ENJOY A CONCERT:

Supply List:

  • Your favorite band t-shirt
  • Stadium food (go all-out with nachos, pizza, etc!)
  • A recorded live video of your favorite band (take a look on YouTube! A lot of artists have put together live videos for their fans to watch at home!)

Instructions:

So live concerts are off the table for date nights this year… But what if you enjoyed them from home instead? Since March, a lot of popular artists have put up or created live shows for their fans to enjoy from the safety of their own home! Just look up your favorite artist on YouTube and search “live full concert.” Be sure this date night turns into a dance party, too!

INDOOR MINI-GOLF:

Supply List:

  • Golf clubs (use a broomstick if you don’t have clubs!)
  • Golf balls
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Plastic cups
  • DIY obstacle course (get creative with stuff from around your house!)

Instructions:

  • Set up your obstacle course on a carpeted area of your home (or lay down blankets if you don’t have carpet!) Here are some creative ideas to get you started:
    • You can use an open, upside down 3-ring binder to create a “hill” to go over,
    • Line up pens/pencils or books to create a pathway/funnel,
    • Use a chair or table as a “tunnel” it has to go through,
    • Crumple a blanket on the floor to make a “sand pit,”
    • More great ideas here!
  • Place a plastic cup on its side at the very end of the course.
  • Keep count of the number of hits it takes to get the ball into the plastic cup at the end of the course.
  • Take turns trying to get the ball through the obstacle course in as few hits as possible!

Want more at-home date ideas? Check out our ultimate list here!

Want to take date night up a notch?

DISCOVER A DEEPER LEVEL OF INTIMACY IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WITH HOT LOVE.

This premium on demand virtual date night guides you and your spouse to learn the secrets to growing deep intimacy. You’ll work together to learn…

  • Tools to reframe your mindset
  • Ways to discover and remove roadblocks to intimacy
  • Strategies for turning up the temperature

With everything couples have been having to focus on lately, it’s no surprise that enhancing communication in marriage might be a bit lacking. I mean, who has time to sit down and have meaningful conversation about anything besides work, school decisions, masks and hand sanitizer?

That being said, what if we get creative for you and give you some fun date nights that set the mood for some lighthearted fun along with the chance to enhance communication in your marriage? Good idea? Great, glad you like it! Let’s get this party started. 

Date Night #1 – Party Under the Stars

Grab some snacks, a candle or two (gotta set the mood for romance right?!), a quilt, change into some comfy clothes (depending on where you live, clothing could be optional ;-)), one smartphone with a stargazing app (Skyview and Star Gazer have great reviews), make sure the kids are tucked into bed, and head on outside for a date under the stars. This is especially fun if you are in the midst of a meteor shower.

While you are searching the night sky for the different constellations, play a variation of the game Never Have I Ever… One person starts by saying, “Never have I ever…” and then finishes the sentence with something they have never done. If neither of you have ever done it, give each other a smooch. Then it is the other person’s turn to say it and complete the sentence. If the other person has done it, no kissy face for you! Unless of course you decide to cheat a bit.

After you’ve played a few rounds, spend some time sharing the answers to these questions:

  • What I love most about us is…
  • One of my favorite memories about us as a couple is…
  • Something I would like for us to do more of as a couple is…

The goal here is not to create a major production, but just something simple that will give you some time to yourselves. Believe it or not, even 30 minutes (we hope you will take longer… just sayin’…) to just be together, playful with each other and talk about lighthearted things will help you feel more connected to one another. Part of what makes a date night great is the anticipation of knowing it’s coming, so grab your calendar and make it a date! Oh, and don’t forget, this is your time to reconnect—so no talking about the kids, bills, work, the in-laws or anything else that could create space between the two of you.

Date Night #2 – Shut the door and turn the lights down low… Spa Night

Talk about a great way to de-stress and create conversation. This date starts earlier in the day as you send text messages to each other creating anticipation about the experience. It’s all about pampering each other. Oh yeah! 

Grab some towels, scented candles (lavender, lemon, or jasmine scents all promote calm), massage oils, bath salts or bubble bath, cucumber slices, and face masks (No, not that kind, silly—the kind you rub on your face and peel off later :-). Create or select a romantic playlist (check out this Warm Fuzzy Playlist on Spotify). Oh, and don’t forget some yummy snacks you can feed to each other. Lock the door and let the fun begin.

To get things started, turn the lights down low, hit play and light the candles.

Next, draw a warm bath and include a bath bomb or bubble bath (hopefully there’s room for two for a nice long soak). If a bath isn’t an option, there’s nothing wrong with a nice steamy shower or just a simple soak for your sore feet. It’s all about washing away the stress and tension of the day and focusing on your love.

Now that you’re a bit more relaxed, it’s time for a couple’s massage. What? You aren’t a professional masseuse? No problem. Actually, massaging each other builds intimacy, creates opportunity for bonding and opens the door for conversation. Don’t underestimate the power of your touch. Oil up the areas you want to massage and teach each other what you like. Try massaging different parts of the body—feet, hands, neck, shoulders, back, etc.

As you continue on your journey to relaxation, you may find putting cucumber slices over your eyes after slathering on a face mask refreshing. If you’re not into the whole face mask thing, maybe just cuddling is your next move, or… well, I’m sure you guys will figure it out. 

If you are looking for a few conversation starters to enhance communication in your marriage…

  • What’s one thing you love about our sex life?
  • If I could have more of one thing from you it would be…
  • One thing I would love for us to do more of together is…

Date Night #3 – Dinner and a trip around the world—virtually

a staycation of sorts. This date starts with the two of you dreaming about the places you would like to go, but can’t right now. Once you have made your list of places, narrow it down to your top three. Based on your top three choices, decide on a food theme, where you will eat your meal (at the table, on the patio, in bed or somewhere else). What kind of environment do you want based on the places you will visit? Music? Candles? What’s the appropriate attire for your date? Do you want to cook the meal or will you order it from somewhere? Cooking together can add to the fun… or not. That’s for you to decide. 

Now that you have all of that decided, once dinner is ready and you are eating, you can either take a trip around the world visiting the places you would like to go some day OR you can take a trip down memory lane and go through pictures from previous trips to the places you love and want to visit again.

Here are some conversation starters for the trip you decide to take:

  • What makes our marriage adventurous?
  • One of the things I look forward to most about taking this trip with you is… OR My favorite memory of us on a trip was when…
  • One day, I would love for the two of us to…

★ Now, you may be wondering how in the world any of these dates will enhance communication in your marriage. Glad you asked.

For communication to flow easily between spouses, people need to feel cared for, connected, a bond, safe, valued, and a sense of closeness. 

When you are intentional about dating, especially dates where you take the time to open up to each other, check in, where you can be playful with each other, and dream together about the future, you are laying the foundation to enhance communication in your marriage.

Wait, what? You’ve had so much fun with these three dates, you want more?! Well okay. 

How about this? FTF has created a special couple toolkit—5 Days to Better Communication in Your Marriage. Don’t worry. It’s not intense— just filled with practical strategies for helping you get to where you want to be as a couple when it comes to communication. Go ahead, check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE FULFILLING, NOT FRUSTRATING.

With the right tools, you and your spouse can have the best communication ever!

This easy-to-use virtual 5-day course guides you and your spouse to have the best communication you’ve ever had! Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to establish healthy communication habits
  • The secrets to creating a deep connection through communication
  • Skills to help you (and your spouse) be a better speaker and listener
  • How to celebrate and understand your different communication styles
  • And so much more!