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Getting “Good” at Date Night

Featured blog writer, Angela McClinton and her husband. KPhoto by Kristin King Photography

How one Katy couple Makes the Most of their Time Together

March 23, 2010 – Katy, Texas – Before we were married, my husband and I heard the same bit of advice over and over: “Don’t ever stop dating.  Don’t ever feel guilty for spending time and money on dates.  Be purposeful about dating each other.” 

We’ve taken that advice to heart.  Who doesn’t love to be instructed to do something fun like dating?  Before we had children, we picked one night out of every week (it was Sundays for us) and went somewhere together.  Once our children were born, date night became a once-a-month thing.   Dating monthly is less often than we were challenged to, but nevertheless, it is one of my favorite family traditions. 

If I’m honest, I’ll admit that not every date is romantic-movie spectacular.  Sometimes we’re so worn out that a movie is all we care to do.  And after a long week with two young children, we might not be feeling creative so we’ll eat out and head back home to catch up on our DVR’ed shows. 

But some months are different.  Sometimes we’re really good at dating.  Once in a while, we’ll have a surprise date: one of us will plan the entire night, from start to finish, and leave the other guessing.  The fun is in the suspense.  I love listening to my husband out loud about where he thinks we might be headed as I pull our car out onto the Grand Parkway. 

This month we’re trying something new: the date box.  I’ve collected a whole slew of ideas for inexpensive dates, and once the children are dropped off with their favorite babysitters (my parents), we’ll draw an option out of the box.   Whatever we pull out of the box will be our date plans for the night.

Some ideas I’ve included in our mystery date box include:

*Bike ride and picnic around our favorite pond

*Head to the grocery store and choose ingredients for fondue

*Window shop at La Centerra

*A “progressive” dinner: appetizers, main dish, and dessert each at a different local restaurant

*An ice cream sundae challenge: each of us build our partner’s favorite ice cream sundae and then reveal them to each other.  No matter who gets the sundae favorites right, we both win!

*Rock wall climb at Katy Mills Mall

*Bowl

*Movie – my pick

*Movie – his pick

*Drive out towards the country and star gaze; look for small diners to eat at along the way

*Go geocaching

*Get in the car and let the flip of a coin decide which direction to head.  See where it takes us.

*Coffee and a good magazine or book

*Paint a piece of pottery together

*Random deeds of Kindness night: Make cookies together, wrap them up on several small plates, and then drive around sharing them with friends and neighbors.

The most important part about dating my husband is the time spent together.  When I have nothing else pressing on my mind but being with him, I’m able to refocus and spend time falling for him all over again.  On the date nights when I’m too tired to think straight, I’m still able to appreciate the silence alongside my favorite man.  And when we have the energy to be really good at dating – on those months when we’re trying something new or surprising each other – the thrill of being different or creative together makes it even sweeter.

I’m always looking for new ideas for our date nights!  How do you make your date nights special?  What great ideas have you found?

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