When was the last time you enjoyed an amazing date night? Does it feel like forever? Has your relationship slipped into a routine? Does it need a little pizazz?
Date nights are important for keeping your relationship strong and maintaining intimate bonds. Whether you’ve been in a relationship for years or you’re just starting out, it’s vital to set aside dedicated time and space for you to enjoy each other.
Going solo? Don’t worry hun, you can enjoy date night too. You don’t need someone else to have a fabulous time! I’ve included some tips on solo dating at the end of this article.
It’s easy to let this slip to the bottom of your "to-do" list when you've got so many other things going on. But the benefits of date night have been scientifically proven, so it's time to stop putting it off.
What are the benefits?
For a really entertaining and well-researched overview of the benefits of date night, check out this great video from relationship counsellor Amanda Lambros.
Some of the benefits of date night are obvious. Spending quality time with a partner is a great way to strengthen bonds and increase intimacy. Dedicating time for each other - especially when you’re living a busy life - is in itself a beautiful gift. Couples that regularly share time together have a better chance of staying together over the long-term, and also tend to have happier, more positive relationships.
Date nights encourage healthy communication between partners, allowing a safe space for conflicts to be amicably resolved, and giving both parties the chance to learn about their partner on a deeper level through talking and shared experience.
If you have children, you may worry that date nights are a selfish activity, but this isn’t the case. It’s actually important that you pay attention to your own needs and those of your partner in order to be great parents. Regular date nights can strengthen your bond with your partner, which can in turn have a positive effect on the way you both parent your children. In addition, it’s important for children to have the opportunity to observe respectful, loving relationships, so the more you take care of your own relationship, the better the chance your children will have great relationships when they grow up.
If you’ve been with someone for a while, chances are you’ve settled into a comfortable routine. Injecting some date night fun can reinvigorate your relationship and reignite the passion you had for each other when you first met. Revisiting experiences and places from that early period in your relationship can significantly enhance this effect.
If you’re anything like me, your free time is one of your most prized possessions. Therefore, giving it freely to someone you love is a wonderful thing. Dedicating your whole attention to someone - and having that reciprocated - can increase intimacy and build feelings. Simple things like gazing into each other’s eyes, holding hands, and chatting can greatly increase feelings of intimacy between you.
So, you can see that there are lots of benefits - and this isn’t an exhaustive list. But how do you go about planning the perfect date night?
Put it in your diaries
One of the best ways to ensure your date nights happen is to put them in a calendar. Whether that’s a shared calendar on your phones or a simple magnetic planner on the fridge, setting aside that time in advance will make it easier to plan. Make it a regular event that happens around the same time each fortnight or month, and that way it will become part of your routine that you can both look forward to.
Take it in turns
Take turns to plan the date each time. A date should have some element of surprise to it, so the planner should make sure their partner doesn’t have a full idea of what’s going to happen until it’s happening. Taking turns also means that the pressure to organise date night never falls on just one person. It’s a shared responsibility and a shared joy. If having to plan a date night worries you, there are plenty of guides out there for making each date a success.
Don’t make it too heavy
Yes, it’s important to communicate with your partner on a serious, emotional level, and date nights are a great opportunity to do that. But if you spend the whole evening discussing heavy topics, or going around in circles trying to resolve a conflict, your date night will leave you both feeling exhausted. Instead, try to mix the tone so that important conversations happen in the context of something light and fun, so you don’t get bogged down in deep chats.
You can do date night in lockdown
Right now it may feel like you don’t have many options when it comes to date night activities. But there are plenty of fun ideas out there to spice up your date night even in lockdown. No matter your situation, try to make date night a special event.
Recreate an intimate night of drinks in a bar by ordering ready-made cocktails, delivered to your door. And lots of restaurants are providing cook-at-home gourmet meal boxes that will give you the chance to wow your date with your culinary expertise. Bonus - you can help support your local restaurants.
Of course, Netflix makes it easy to set up a cosy movie night - but fairy lights and blankets will make the experience feel that little bit different. Browse these romantic movies for inspiration.
Pay attention to the little details
Lighting a candle can make the difference between a normal mid-week meal and a special dinner date. It’s easy, quick and cheap to do, but it really changes the atmosphere.
If you’re doing the cooking, make it something special. There are lots of delicious recipes you can try that are perfect for intimate dinner dates.
Get dressed up, even if you’re staying in. Put on your favourite "getting ready" playlist to get yourselves in the mood. Build up your anticipation by getting your glam on - in separate rooms if you can, to increase the sense of mystery. The "wow" moment will set the tone for the rest of your evening.
Little touches will make you both feel like you’re doing something special, which will make the date night feel more like an event.
Try something unconventional
When you hear the phrase "date night" most people's minds jump to intimate candle-lit dinners. Don’t get me wrong, dinner-dates are a wonderful way to spend time together, but an important part of date night planning is ensuring your dates don't become too repetitive. So why not try something more out of the box? Romantic means different things to different people, so if you’re the kind of couple who likes to break the mould, these activities might be more to your taste.
The Adventure Challenge have created these great books packed full of unique date ideas. The best part is that you don’t know what activity you’re going to be doing until you get to it. You scratch off a panel to reveal the fun, and you can even take snapshots for posterity.
Have you tried geocaching? This activity turns a regular walk into a treasure hunt. Geocachers all over the world hide little treasures in unique locations, encouraging you to get off the beaten track and explore new places. Use the free app to find geocaches along your favourite walking routes. No two experiences are the same, so if you and your partner have an adventurous side, this might be right up your path.
Do you have a garden? Why not turn it into an outdoor cinema? This is something the whole family can enjoy together, or you can create a little den just for the two of you.
It doesn’t have to be about sex…
Organising date nights may feel you’re under pressure to have sex each time. But it shouldn’t be this way. Date nights don’t have to lead to sex - there are so many other fun and exciting things you can do together! Ensure that you both have the same expectations going into the night to remove that feeling of pressure.
...But if it happens, the sex can be amazing
After spending all that quality time together, eye-gazing, hand-holding, talking about deep and meaningful things, if you do go on to have sex, it’s going to be mindblowing!
Why not start with a relaxing massage? Fragranced massage oils make this experience more sensual and intimate.
Our monthly date night subscription box will ensure you both enjoy a fresh and exciting experience every time. Including a range of stimulating toys, accessories and games, this mystery box will keep you on your toes. Never worry about planning your date night again - our subscription plan means your box of goodies will arrive on time every month without you even having to think about it.
For couples, I can’t recommend the Rocks-Off Truly Yours Red Temptations kit enough. With a bullet vibrator, cock ring and prostate massager, it includes a little something for everyone.
If you’d like to lighten the mood, a sexy game might do the trick. Foreplay dice offer an enticing and fun way to choose your sex flavour. Alternatively, try the Lesbian Sex card game to explore new realms with your partner. If these don’t tickle your fancy, there are no end of other exciting sex games to try, so you’re sure never to get bored.
And why not? Self-love is so important. This is an opportunity to truly pamper yourself - with no compromises! Do whatever brings you the most joy. Whether that’s relaxing in a candle-lit bath with a glass of wine and a good book (have you read Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty First Century yet?), or indulging in your favourite foods, make the most of this time to really enjoy yourself.
And of course, just because you’re on your own, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! There is a whole world of self-love sex toys out there - like this Lelo Insignia Lyla 2 Remote Control Love Egg Vibrator - designed to give you an amazing orgasm. Who needs a partner? We’ve got you covered.
I hope you enjoy planning and experiencing your date nights, whether you’re going solo, rekindling a spark with a long-term partner, or getting to know someone new. Remember to keep things fresh and exciting! And if you’ve got any tips of your own for a successful date night, do get in touch. I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Lovingly, Victoria xoxo