Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Date Night Challenge

We have been married for 14 years.  Wait.  What?  I am not old enough for that.  Yikes!  Okay, well I guess I have to face the facts.  14 years is a long time. We have had a lot of highs and lows in the last 14 years, but I am so happy to be married to a man who still makes me laugh every single day and who was made perfectly for me.  However, there are times when we just go through the motions.  I have learned that you don't necessarily lose the passion, but instead the burning passion develops into a slow burn that keeps you warm and toasty and brings much happiness.

I also love to laugh and make sarcastic remarks to the people who say "you should go out on weekly dates with your husband to keep your marriage alive".  That is great...until you have children and/or one income.  Then those weekly "dates" become almost impossible.  You are in the trenches and you must hold on to each other for dear life.  It gets harder and harder to make the time and money to go out on a date.

Then when the date finally comes, you just stare at each other.  Not sure what to say.  However, as the night wears on it becomes comfortable and nice and by the end of dinner you are having a nice conversation.  And just when it is rolling....... it is time to go back to the trenches.

I am not sure how dates go with other married peeps, but for us they have been a little boring and predictable.  We both LOVE movies and when you have kids, it is always a treat to see a movie that is not animated or fraught with kid humor (aka fart/poop jokes).  So when we do get a night out, we like to go to movies.  That and we can never think of anything else to do.  But by the time our conversation got rolling, it is time to go to the movie and then it's the end of conversation.

We were in a rut.  My husband has so many wonderful gifts, but romantic dates nights has never been his strong suit.  It used to kind of make me mad.  But I have recently come to a startling realization.  Why can't I come up with a fun, romantic, out of the box date night?  I have always been frustrated that he didn't come up with a creative date night, but I never challenged myself to do it either.

So last Friday night, I did it.  I planned a date night.  Now I know why he doesn't do it.  It was really hard to come up with something fun, interactive, different and fairly inexpensive.

However, thanks to Pinterest and some added "free" time while I was subbing I came up with the brilliant idea for our date night.  I texted my sister to see if she could watch the kids (free babysitting always makes for a cheaper date night.  If you don't have family around think about hooking up with another couple and swapping date nights/babysitting) and I texted my hubby to let him know we were going on a surprise date night.

We got in the car and I told him what we were doing.  The great thing about C-Lo is that he is always a good time and was totally in for our night.  Made it so much fun!  Total participation from both partners is a must.

Our Date Night:

We did a photo scavenger hunt.  I came up with 14 things (one for each year of our marriage) that we had to do and take a picture of while we were on our date.  I decided that we would go downtown to the 16th street mall so that we could accomplish all of our "activities" in one place.  However, you could go to several different places.  I just wanted to get out of our "Littleton" bubble and try some new places.

Here was our list.  Take Pictures of us…….

1.  Celebrating being married.
2.  Sharing dinner at a restaurant that is new or out of the ordinary.
3.  Sharing dessert somewhere different.
4. In a store we have never been into.
5.  Posing with a mannequin.
6.  Our reflection.
7. In a mask or costume.
8.  Holding hands.
9.  Jumping.
10.  Finding the letters of our last name.
11.  With a book or music that you/we love.
12.  With something outrageous you/we want to buy.
13.  Trying on shoes/clothes.
14.  Kissing.

We spent 4 amazing hours downtown doing all of these things.  The best thing about it was that it gave us a purpose and we had 4 hours just to talk, laugh and be silly together.  I felt like a teenager again.  We have already said that our next date night will be very similar.  But next time, C-Lo has to come up with the list of things for us to do.  Much easier than coming up with a new romantic idea.  

Another rule that we had was that we had to share appetizers, dinner and dessert so that it would cut down on costs and to make sure we weren't going to kill our calorie count for the entire month!  We did this date for under $75 (with drinks, appetizer, dinner, dessert and parking).  Cheaper than dinner and a movie!

Another bonus of the night.  A photo diary of what you did.  Great for memories!  

Here is our photo diary.   I took the night off from professional photography and left the big camera at home, so please excuse the low lit iphone pictures!  I put them in the order we did them, not in the order of the above list.

I giggled and smiled my way through these pictures as I was editing them.  Another bonus to the night.....reliving it on the blog.

Ladies, if you are craving a fun night out PLAN IT YOURSELF!  You won't be sorry.
Guys, I just made an easy, creative, romantic date night plan for you.  DO IT!  You're welcome.

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