If you have come seeking creative date ideas, you have come to the right place. Shelly and Jershon are the most fun, creative couple I know. It is a pure delight to hang out with them and participate in some of their creative genius. I feel like most date nights Rich and I are “too tired” to think of something creative. Good thing we have such great friends to remind us that creativity does take more energy but it is so worth it to have fun and awesome memories with your spouse.
Also Shelly is all-knowing about all things always. She is endlessly inspiring, giving and wise. And she’s moving away from me this month!! Waaa 🙁 How does anybody live without Shelly??? I don’t think I can do it. Anyway, creativity onward. – Celeste
“I wish I knew if he liked me or not…”
“He talked to me! Aaaaaaa!!! This is getting serious….”
“Does he LIKE ME like me? … or is he just being nice?”
“I wish I could read his mind to see what he really thinks of me.”
“Yay! He asked me out!”
“Yay! He asked me out again!”
“A walk? What does he want to go on a walk for?”
“I’m so bummed. He wants to take a break.”
“Yay! He wants to date again!”
“What… another walk?”
“Ok, fine, we’ll break up for real this time.”
……………..”Oooo, he’s cute!”
These are just a handful of real thoughts that I had while playing the dating game during college. And what a stressful, brutal, heartbreaking, exciting, fun game that was. I join the masses of married people who express the thought of “Phew! I’m so glad to be done with the dating phase of life. Playing those games can be so exhausting.”
But although I may be past the stage of looking for a husband, I am definitely not done dating. Quite the contrary actually. Getting married was the beginning of the most important dating relationship of my life.
Continuing to date your spouse after marriage is extremely important. In a sense, your wife should be your forever girlfriend and your husband your forever boyfriend. The dating should not decrease or stop after marriage. If anything, it should increase and be even more consistent than before.
My husband, Jershon, is really creative. So when we were dating before we got married, our dates were really fun and not your average “dinner and a movie.” We did usually have a meal together (at a restaurant or one we cooked together) but after the meal we did fun things like painting a mural on an old door, taking fake engagement pictures, visiting a Catholic Cathedral, going on a tree tour on our college campus, and painting a collage of our previous dates on a plate.
One of these dates (and the one that I still look back on with fond and hilarious memories) is from September 2009. I was 35 weeks pregnant with our first son. Jershon somehow had the creative idea to blow up and print pictures of two people’s faces that we thought looked similar. We ended up choosing Tom Cruise and my cousin Nathan. We blew them up, cropped the picture to just include the head, and then made them into masks. Then we walked around our college campus taking pictures of us in random places and with random objects. I remember laughing so hard during this date.
We have also turned gift giving occasions into dates. When we were first married we wrote songs for a few of our family members and sang to them on their birthday. Jershon taught me how to play a few chords on the Ukulele and with our very limited (or lack) of musical talent, we would perform the song. We had a lot of fun doing this and named ourselves the LoDown.
I give all these examples to illustrate that Jershon and I have tried to make dating a priority since we got married. Having kids (we have three) has definitely made it more challenging though. Over the past couple years we have fallen into the habit of doing the same type of date (going to dinner) over and over again and our dates were getting a little bit monotonous. It was still fun to go out together but the agenda (usually just a restaurant) was never planned until two seconds before we left. We still had a good time but we both recognized that doing planned, creative, fun (and sometimes humorous) things for our dates really strengthens our marriage and adds a spark to our relationship. I love seeing Jershon get excited about an idea. I also love being reminded of some reasons that I fell in love with him in the first place.
This resolution was sparked because of the gift that I decided to give my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas a few weeks ago – “A Year of Dates”. I sent them packets for planned/paid for dates for each month – one night out and one home date. I have actually only sent them two so far (December – which was a little getaway for their anniversary) and January. I will be sending their other packets at the end of the previous month.
As I was planning and preparing the date information and ideas for my brother and sister-in-law, Jershon was sneakily planning some of his own! He ended up surprising me on our anniversary (which is a few days before Christmas) with a year of dates of our own! He presented me with a calendar where he had written out a brief description for a date on every Friday for this entire year! That’s 52 dates that have already been planned and are waiting for us. 🙂
Some of these date ideas are long. Some are short. Some require some planning ahead to buy supplies. Some are free. Some require going out. Some are home dates. All are guaranteed to strengthen our marriage. 🙂
When he was researching ideas he found very few that appealed to him and were creative/unique enough. So he just started brainstorming ideas of his own. He came up with way more than the 52 that he needed for the calendar. So he started a date ideas spreadsheet/database.
I don’t say all of this to brag. Ok, who am I kidding… it’s hard not to brag about my husband. He is amazing. I can’t get enough of that guy. 🙂
But I do say all of this to emphasize how important dating your spouse is and how fun it can really be with a little thought and preparation.
Here is the list of dates that we will be doing this year…
A Year of Creative Dates:
- Make our own record player, buy some old records
- Play dungeons and dragons
- Dress up as ninjas and prowl campus
- Make a family handbook
- Knit a hat
- Watercolor painting
- Learn how to massage
- Make a lamp from something cool
- Learn lock picking
- Learn Jiu-Jitsu
- Learn and practice photography principles
- Make jewelry
- Write our bucket list
- Make a fire without matches
- Learn to draw portraits
- Recreate dating/engagement pictures
- Make a clock out of something cool
- Wood carving, make a relief
- Buy and fly a drone
- Random secret Santa on a budget
- Plan our dream home
- Play a new 2 player board game
- Find a small mom and pop shop, make friends, buy stuff
- Learn CPR
- Make our own constellation, stargaze, and eat snacks
- Make a piñata
- Pinterest re-purpose project
- Do street magic
- Make wooden rings
- Rock balancing competition
- Home spa
- Gourmet cooking
- At-home photo shoot
- Learn to step, make video
- Bird watching
- Record a video for our posterity
- Visit someone lonely
- Learn calligraphy, lettering
- Prepare exotic cultural dish
- Watch an academic lecture online
- Wash someone’s car
- Bury some treasure, make treasure map for someone
- Learn to salsa
- Paper craft a deer head
- Rake leaves for someone
- Voice lessons online
- Balancing competition, coin stacking, card stacking
- Make a care package for someone
- Knife throwing
- Plan our dream vacation
Feel free to join us on this year of dates journey by copying these ideas or coming up with your own!
A Few More Dating Suggestions:
- Dress to impress! Ask yourself “Would I wear this if I were going on a date in college?”
- A good date with your spouse doesn’t have to be expensive. Leaving the house isn’t always required either. Planning ahead (leaving some room for spontaneity) and being creative are key.
- Have fun! Be a good sport if you weren’t the one to plan the date. You might be surprised by how much fun you end up having. Like I said, if I’m not careful, I can miss out and keep myself from having fun by rejecting my husband’s date ideas.
- Take pictures! Enjoy keeping a record of your dates. This is something we are trying to improve on.
- Turn regular nights into “date nights” (play a board game, just sit and chat, answer “newly wed game” questions, use a conversation jar, etc.)
- Make going to bed together a priority. Pillow talk conversation time before falling asleep can be like a mini date every night.