Ryan and I have different love languages; his main one is physical touch and mine is receiving gifts. While we don't match up on our main love languages, we do on our secondary love language, which is quality time. Date nights are really important for us because it's a good time for us to connect, get to know each other a bit more, and shake off all of the crap we've been dealing throughout the week and just be together. Before the quarantine, we would get dressed up and go out for drinks or dinner, or we would go out to a movie or something a little bit more active like Jump. With this whole stay-at-home order here in Virginia and all of the restaurants and other recreational dating activities are closed, my husband and I have had to be a little creative about how we get that quality time together.
Make Dinner Together.
This might seem like a no-brainer normal thing for couples to do, but before the quarantine, I was working six days a week between two jobs and Ryan was (and still is) working two jobs alternating between six and seven days a week. We rarely got time together to go out, let alone cook together. The nice thing about being home so much with the restaurant being closed is that we've been able to buy better groceries, plan meals, and hang out in the kitchen and cook together. It's fun to be creative with food and flirt with each other over the stove.
An Epic At-Home Movie Night.
I don't mean flip through Netflix for twenty minutes and settle on some random tv show you've watched a million times. I mean pick a movie ahead of time, do some dinner with it, plan some snacks, get a big comfy blanket, and make it a whole big thing. We recently just watched Onwards on Disney+ and we made tacos, got the cats involved, and had a great cuddle session on the couch. Simple, easy, but still feels like you're putting in some effort.
Date Nights Centered around Your Individual Likes.
Our at home activities are very different; he likes to play video games on his computer or his playstation, and I like to read, play Animal Crossing, or work on my creative projects. Finding a middle ground for at home dates took some work, but we finally got there. That being said, part of any relationship is compromise. One of our date nights these past weeks was a Minecraft date. He set it up on my laptop and got on his computer and we created a cute little world. Well, he created a cute little world, I just kind of walked around and stole all of the stuff he dropped. Lol. Something that I've learned about Ryan throughout out relationship is that when he enjoys something and is passionate about it, he love to show it off. So while I kept sleeping in the wrong bed and creating random materials, he was like a little kid showing me all of the cool farms and buildings he could make. Another time, we did a puzzle together, which is more my thing than his, and that kind of forced us to slow down and talk while intensely searching for pieces that fit together.
Get a Date Box Subscription
As a wedding gift to ourselves, I bought us a six month plan from happily, a datebox subscription. Each box contains some food or drink item, an activity, and typically some sort of game. The last one we did had homemade ice cream, a link to a dance class, and a game called "I Bet I Know You Better." I mean, we accidentally gave ourselves minor food poisoning because the heavy cream we used for the ice cream was expired, but still, it was a fun date. I can't say that EVERY single box we've gotten has been a winner, but it is nice to have something planned for us ahead of time that we can just set a night aside for.
Obviously, I don't mean I'm dragging Ryan to the mall while I'm trying on clothes or him sitting on the couch while I scroll through Target's website. I mean if you have something you need right now, like Ryan needed pants for work and we needed new bedding, then make it a date. Get some drinks, get some snacks, and get to work. We managed to get him two new pairs of pants on sale and got some new sheets and a really pretty comforter set that should all come in this weekend. It took maybe 30 minutes total, but it was still fun.
Date nights are not one size fits all, so if these don't work for you and your partner then keep looking until you find what works for your partnership. I think the important part is finding that special and set aside time for the both of you to grow closer together. Just be intentional, that's really what dates are all about in the long run, because before you know it, everything will be open again and we'll all be running a million miles an hour; and we won't have this much time with each other.
Take a shot for all the weird things we tried before this and toast to the fact that we're kind of figuring this whole being married in quarantine thing out.