As promised last week, here are some great ideas for date nights with your partner. If you have children, then date nights are as important as making sure that the kids have done their homework. It's so important you put the work in to keep the relationship alive with your other half. Here are some ideas that don't take a lot of money, but with a lot of effort you will have a great time I guarantee it.
1. Cook a meal together.
You can make this as fun as you want it to be. Plan a 3-course romantic meal together at home - plenty of recipes on here for you to choose from. Make sure the kids are in bed or out. Light the candles, find a romantic playlist on the internet and dress up as if you were going out. You could go as far as a bit of roleplay, how about having a husband butler in the buff, or you could be the sexy waitress. You will find that just dining alone for a change adds to the air of romance. How ever you have your meal, make sure there are no phones allowed, it's about connecting with your parter, not sharing with the world.
2. Suppertime picnic.
This is good if you can get out without your children, even just for an hour or so. Pack some tasty treats and a warm blanket and go to the nearest scenic location - if you can't get a babysitter, sit in your garden, the stars are available for everyone to view, from any location. Sit talking about your hopes and dreams for the future together, it's good to re-evaluate your goals from time to time.
3. Have a photoshoot together.
I'm not talking about paying out, for a photographer to take some shots of you for the living room wall. Most of us own a camera phone or a digital camera these days, have fun and dress up/ or down for the occasion. Get your partner to pull some poses for you then swap and be the model for them. This must be done with someone you trust won't to share them with anyone else.
4. Movie night.
With the availability of things like Amazon movies or Netflix, there's no need to go to the cinema if you can't afford to. Turn the living room into a romantic movie zone. Popcorn, treats and blankets. Watch a romantic movie marathon together to get you in the mood for love. Keep off the phones, it won't work unless you immerse yourself in each other's company.
5. Recreate your first date.
A great way to rekindle the romance, is to relive your first days together by talking about how you met, to going as far as recreating your first date. This will bring back the memories of why you fell in love, remind you how much you fancied them and what it was that attracted you to them in the first place. If you can't recreate it for some reason, you met somewhere on holiday for instance, then spend the night taking about your first days and enjoying something together you did back then.
6. Get out of your comfort zone.
Date night doesn't always have to mean cosy and romantic. There's nothing like adrenalin to make you feel alive. Whatever you and your partner usually do - scrap that and do something you wouldn't normally do. It could be anything from going on a scary ride together at a theme park, to a bit of urban exploring - just be safe near derelict buildings! Can't do any of those things? Try a walk in the dark after a scary movie. If you are scared you will naturally want to get close to your partner, there's nothing sexier than someone protecting you.
7. Camp out.
For those of us with children this would require a babysitter while you camp somewhere, or an older sibling being in charge in the house, while you camp in the garden. Grab your tent, a disposable barbeque and some food and hit the road together. Having adventures together is a great way of keeping a relationship going. Yes, there will most likely be a row if you get lost, the tent doesn't go up straight away or someone forgets the lighter, but it will be so much fun bonding together in the outdoors.
8. Beach date.
Living by the sea, I couldn't not include a beach date. Pack a picnic, set up a fire - responsibly - and wait for the sunset. A walk together along the shore, listening to the waves is a perfect way to spend time with your loved one. Talk about the things you loved when you were younger, find your inner child and go for a paddle or build a sandcastle together. Be free of the daily demands and let your hair down.
9. Start a project together.
Apps such as Pinterest are great for getting the creative juices flowing. Sit with your partner and find something you would like to make together. It could be an herb planter for the garden, a busy wall for one of your children or something for each other. Whatever you decide, just have fun doing it. See how good a team you both are, or find out which areas your relationship needs work? Are you being bossy or is your partner doing it all and not letting you help? It's a good way of learning to compromise with each other and seeing where there might be any problems that need addressing.
10. Pamper night.
Having some time, where you focus on relaxing and pampering each other, will do you both the world of good. One week could be dedicated to one of you and the next the other. You could take turns on the night giving massages, apply face or body masks and give foot rubs. Set the scene by having some oil burners, candles and music. Sit and meditate together or try some yoga, again it's about letting go and having fun together. The main ingredient of a successful relationship should be laughter.
I hope you enjoy these ideas with your partner, they will only have the desired effect if you throw yourself into them properly. They won't work if you are too busy trying to show the world what you are up to on your phone. Make sure your partner has your full attention and you theirs. Your children will thank you for it, when they have happy parents in a happy home.