It only takes one extraordinary event such as a global pandemic to throw our world from its daily routine into a monotonous, and stressful, life at home. The disruption felt will be on a spectrum from catastrophic to simply inconvenient with most falling somewhere in between. One thing is absolutely certain: every relationship will experience some level of strain. We know that a healthy relationship requires attention, and when options for dates are limited to the confines of the home, it gets tricky to keep the spark alive.
So how can you keep things interesting if you’re stuck at home? How do you navigate the monotony of the new normal? And what if you have children? Below are six date night at home ideas to help keep the spark alive.
- Have a picnic.Order in your favorite food from a local food joint or make your favorite comfort foods. Pick out the perfect blanket, find a spot inside or outside, and sit close together for this cozy meal together. Simply changing up a dinner routine can create excitement, and you are sure to make a fun, happy memory during a stressful time. If you have kids, you can set the table for them and escape with your spouse to another room.
- Go backyard camping. If the parks are closed in your area and camping is your thing, there is absolutely nothing that says you can’t pitch a tent in the backyard, light a fire in your fire pit, and spend the night under the stars. This can be a fun and easy way to enjoy a pastime you may be missing during lockdown. If you have kids and want to make it interesting, let them camp in the backyard while you, eh, camp in your room alone. They will love it, and you will carve out some uninterrupted time together.
- Make movie night special. It’s okay to stream movies and chill, but every now and then, make it special! Order or make homemade pizzas, pop popcorn, buy your favorite snacks, and dress up in the theme of the movie (if that’s your thing) to create a special experience for you and your spouse. If you have kids, you could put them to bed for an early bedtime and do this alone, or you can invite them to the party. It’s a simple, easy way to keep dating during lockdown.
- Go for the cheap thrills. Especially if money has become tight, open yourself up to less extravagant options for dating and creating special environments at home. Buy the inexpensive backyard lights and string them up for a night together under fancy lights. Find the cheap little trinkets that communicate fun and love to your spouse or partner. You don’t have to go big to communicate to your spouse that you love them, you think they’re special, and you’re thinking about them.
- Overuse early bedtimes. Your kids will not be scarred by early bedtimes, though they may be a little cranky. It’s okay for you to determine that you need alone time with your spouse or partner, so use it as needed and do what you want with that time.
- Go on a walk or hike. Most trails and sidewalks are open, and this is a very simple way to get outside, get some vitamin D, and avoid crowds. If you’re worried about encountering other people, take a mask to slip on and off when needed. Hold hands, talk, or just be silent. There’s something about a walk together that is simple yet effective at keeping the relationship strong.
Date nights are crucial for healthy relationships, but one parting suggestion: support each other’s mental health. Especially during stressful times such as during a pandemic, ask about your spouse what they need to stay mentally healthy. If they need to be alone, support them in that need and help them carve out time to be alone. If your spouse needs to work out, ask how you can help them meet that need. Supporting each other will communicate love in a way that no date night can.
There’s no reason you can’t have fun together at home. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and some thoughtfulness to make a meaningful, engaging time together. Don’t be afraid to get a little silly! Humor changes everything, especially when keeping love alive during lockdown.