If you're anything like me, you love a good night out (especially if you're a parent). Back in the day, date night was made up of a night on the town, eating dinner at a high end restaurant, maybe some shopping, perhaps a round of mini golf, or possibly seeing the latest blockbuster hit at the movie theater.
Movie theaters...weren't those the good ole days? How I miss seeing a movie in a crowded theater, but these days it's entirely possible that theatrical releases are a thing of the past as movie theaters continue to keep their doors shut and even go out of business entirely. And it seems like a lot of city restaurants are temporarily closed or offering take out only. Don't forget about the masks. Why bother doing your makeup if you're just going to cover your face most of the time?
So, what is a couple to do in this day of limited night out activities and take out only dining? I'm so glad you asked. Today I'm starting a series to help you plan AMAZING at home date nights. Read on for 5 tips to a romantic at home date.
5 TIPS FOR A ROMANTIC NIGHT IN
1. PUT YOUR COOKING SKILLS TO THE TEST
We've all experienced the disappointment of finally getting home with your take-out only to discover that your food is soggy and dissatisfying. Unfortunately, take-out doesn't always come through on taste. My recommendation is to try your hand at cooking your own fancy dinner. I know not everyone is a skilled cook, but with a little help from YouTube and Pinterest, you too can make the smoothest, silkiest mashed potatoes your taste buds have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
A week before, start searching for dinner ideas. In Pinterest search "fancy dinner recipes" or "romantic date night dinners" and a lot of awesome ideas will pop up. One of my favorite and easy chicken recipes is One Pan Smothered Chicken. A few days before, head to the grocery store and pick up your ingredients. The day of, throw on your favorite upbeat playlist and cook the meal together. Also, don't forget dessert...a warmed up brownie and scoop of ice cream go a long way.
2. DRESS TO IMPRESS
Just because you aren't going anywhere doesn't mean you can't get fancied up. My recommendation is to have fun with it and go all out. Your partner's gotten used to seeing you in sweats, so why not shake things up and dress as if you're headed to a five star restaurant? Your partner will have stars in their eyes, guaranteed.
Also, don't forget to take a selfie together to document the night and how hot you look.
3. LIGHT THE CANDLES AND PUT ON SOME MUSIC
Want romance? Then you need to set the mood. Get a lot (A LOT) of candles with a scent you both like and light them up. The more the dreamier. Switch that upbeat playlist to something soft and melodic. Throw a table cloth over your table, grab the fancy dinnerware, set out some simple statement flowers, and you've got yourself a high end restaurant at home! And don't limit it to the dinning room. These mood setting tips can be used elsewhere in your home.
4. SLOW DOWN AND SLOW DANCE
When was the last time you danced together??? Seriously, take a moment after you've eaten to get close and slow dance. Don't even worry about cleaning up just yet, that can wait. However, the love that's being nurtured needs some physical touch, so put on your song and just enjoy being together. And if you don't already have a song, now's the perfect time claim one. Take your time and let everything else go.
5. BUILD THE ANTICIPATION
I know this is the last point, but it's kind of the most important one. A well-planned date night can be a total dud if you don't build the emotional anticipation leading up to the day. So start the week with little moments to show how much you love each other and how excited you are about your date night. This can be in tender touches, little hand-written notes, small gifts like your partner's favorite candy bar, or even doing chores for each other that you normally wouldn't do. In those days, make an effort to speak gently to each other, whisper sweet nothings, give longer hugs and sweeter kisses. All these little moments of love and intimacy will help build that excitement and make your romantic night sizzle.
And honestly, this is just a good tip in general for marriage. Love needs to be nurtured and given attention. Don't just treat each other as precious because you have an awesome date planned. Treat each other this way always because you love each other.
FADE TO BLACK
Honestly, you already know how to do all these things, so make time and put in the effort to do it. Your relationship is worth it. Your soulmate is worth it.
For those of you who are more into activity driven date nights, I hear ya! Coming up next: Date Night in the Age of Coronavirus - The Fun One
We are Rich and Cynthia, the husband wife wedding photography team behind Cyn Davis Photography. We are based in Steubenville, OH and tell vibrant stories in Pittsburgh and throughout the Upper Ohio Valley. We are currently booking 2021 and 2022 weddings. Contact us to start your photography journey.