When you’ve been married for a while, it can become difficult to plan dates with your spouse that are fun and meaningful. It’s easy to find something interesting and new to do for your second, third, or fourth date; but it’s another thing entirely to come up with something different for your 500th date as a couple. Add to that the potential complexities of kids and the general busyness of life, and many married couples find themselves hardly dating each other at all. Odds are, you want to do fun things with your spouse, and you know it would help keep your relationship strong; you just need a way to make it happen.
One creative way to do that is to make what we’re calling a “date night bucket list.” The core concept is simple:
- Take some craft sticks or strips of paper and write down dates that you and your spouse would like to go on together.
- Put those date ideas into a container (like a jar, a small box, or an actual bucket).
- When you are deciding what to do for date night, draw one of the ideas at random and do what it says.
There are many ways you can adjust that basic premise to best fit your personality and your needs. For example:
- You could write down big “bucket list” date ideas—things that will likely require some advance planning or budgeting, or which only happen at specific times (like the Super Bowl or State Fair). In that case, you could draw a set number of date ideas at the beginning of the year and put them on your calendar.
- At the other end of the spontaneity spectrum, you could write down ideas that require no planning at all. That way, you could schedule a date night and just grab an idea on your way out the door, so that you are both surprised.
- You can use color coding to include all types of dates. For example, last-minute date ideas could be green; ones that require planning are red; and at-home ideas that don’t require a babysitter could be blue. Then, depending on the situation, you would just pick one with the color you need.
- Your date ideas can be as specific or general as you want. You could have “dinner and a movie,” or “Japanese dinner and a Japanese movie,” or list a specific restaurant and movie title.
- You and your spouse can work together on creating the list of date ideas; that way, you know every date is one you would both like to do. Or, you can each work separately to add your individual dream dates to the pile, which means that one of you will be surprised each time you draw a date.
- You are free to decorate (or not decorate) your container however you wish.
So, what if you think having a date night bucket list is a great idea, but you don’t have any ideas of what date nights to write down? We have you covered. Below is a list of date ideas you can download and print out. Each date idea can be cut out and, if you want, glued onto “jumbo” craft sticks (3/4” x 6” size). Keep the ones you like, and use the blank spaces provided to add your own ideas!
Want more ideas for how to improve your marriage—and have fun at the same time? Join us at the Uncommon Marriage Conference on November 4 and 5, 2022, for a weekend of encouragement, equipping, inspiration, and fun. You can learn more and register here.