Wedding Photographer Blog

7 ways to plan the perfect date night

Deevo Tindall - Monday, February 05, 2018
7 ways to plan the perfect date night

Coming up with date night ideas isn’t some challenge that only the most romantic people can do well. It’s really just about following some simple rules, consistency, build-up and a little flirtatious communication with your partner to show them that you care about them. Where to go, choosing what to wear on your date, and learning to focus on each other are skills that you can learn to keep your relationship fresh and on track for years to come.

#1 Show that you’ve listened

Your partner wants to know that you care about their wants and needs just as much as your own. Nothing warms their heart faster than seeing that you’ve put in the time, made a plan, and actually considered what they might also enjoy doing.  It’s a genuine way to show them that you have listened and that you care enough about what they wants to take action.  Believe me when I say this - words in this context mean nothing, action means everything.

This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Your partner probably drops hints for date night ideas all the time and you just need to take note of them. Pay attention and keep a running list in your phones notepad.  Personally, I kept a journal with just her name on it when I was dating someone.  Whenever she would say something she liked to do, wear, want to see, I would discretely add it to her "file".  Personally, I have a shitty memory, but even if I was Nostradamus, keeping a list makes perfect sense.  Then when it’s time to plan the dates, you have a brainstorming list already started.

bride and groom walking down the street together

#2 Make it a regular commitment

Consistency is key!  Putting in the time and effort to maintain a scheduled date night will go so far for both of you.  It gives you both something to look forward to, not to mention the other cascade affects (wink wink) that I will address in a moment.  Personally, I think once a week at the very minimum should be planned.  If you have kids, find a sitter, your mom, a trust-worth neighbor,  a well trained dog ... someone reliable, trust-worthy and that your kids love - ask them to add to their recurring calendar come hell or high water to be at your house for child watching.  If you are in a place in your life where your careers and family responsibilities make a weekly date night nearly impossible, then it’s all the more important that you still make time for each other in other ways.

Surprise her with a lunch date at the office. Turn off the TV in the evening and have a conversation.  Break out the board games.  Remind each other, why you fell in love in the first place.  Do something special if you can’t be together. Fix something that’s broken or buy a small present that solves a problem. Thoughtful gestures go a long way when being together is difficult. It shows your partner that they are still on the top of your mind.

woman and man playing with scrabble letters together

#3 Set conversation ground rules

Date night shouldn’t be a time to talk about your finance issues, complaints about your job, or any other topics that are less than scintillating or anything to do with misery, pain or anything else undesirable.  Focus on FUN, light hearted topics unique to the two of you. Your date should be a time for you to connect with each other in a more intimate way.  This will lead to greater connection in other facets of your lives together as well as in the bedroom later on

Your conversations could be focused on a great movie that you’ve both seen and enjoyed or a book that you both read. Even the news of the day can be a stimulating topic. Focusing on these kinds of ideas rather than the mundane day-to-day topics help you to know more about your partner’s thoughts and will strengthen the intimacy between you.

woman and man on a date night in the city and kissing

#4 Collect resources for ideas

If you’ve been together for a while, it can be easy to slip into a regular routine for date night. Maybe you’ve fallen into going out to the same two or three restaurants because they’re your favorites. Having regular standbys for date night is fine, but be sure to throw in something new once in a while.

There are online lists that organize local events for you easily. Facebook Events is a really nice tool. Join a Meetup Group together.  Take an acting class or some of these new adventure scenario companies that are popping up - find something you BOTH like and plan it.  It’ll show you what’s coming up in your area and has lots of ideas for date night in Uptown Charlotte. You can also see who else in your friends network is interested in going. You’ll likely find something in this list that interests you that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.  If you can't think of anything, I have provided a cheat sheet at the end of this post.

lcouple sitting on a park bench in the city enjoying each other

#5 Your date doesn’t have to be expensive

I have always personally felt that if you really dig the person you are dating, married, kink partnered with - whatever your fancy, It’s not where you are or what you are doing -  it’s whom you're with.  With the right person, I can be content skipping stones on a pond, taking a walk around the block, repeatedly because we lost track of time, cooking together, etc.  It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to enjoy each other‘s company. A simple date, like fixing a homemade cocktail and taking a walk around the neighborhood or having a Sunday afternoon picnic in the park doesn't cost much but can be a special experience for you both to share. Maybe they mentioned a place in a favorite place in Charlotte they love (refer to your list from above) and take them there.  Bottom line, if you put in the time to come up with ideas and you enjoy their company then finding fun things to do should A. never be a burden, and B. always be fun.  Now if you hate being around your partner, you might need to find another blog post for ideas.  I'm just sayin.

couple sitting by the fire for date night at the house

#6 Reduce distractions

You probably already know where I am going with this dummy!  Yes!  Put down your GD phone and pay attention to each other.  Your sister's annoying rant on Facebook or your favorite selfie update can wait.  This is your time with your partner that you set aside for them.  Be PRESENT!  Suggestion - agree to put your phones in your car glove box.  Bring in ONE phone give your child care provider a key word to text you if there is an emergency, agree to check every hour on the hour for this secret message, if you have not received one, all is good on the home front.  If possible, just turn your phone off or put it in airplane mode. If it’s really necessary that you be reached in an emergency, you can answer your phone if it rings, but don’t just tune out and start reading your phone if the conversation lulls.

couple on a date night dancing in the rain

#7 You don’t even have to leave the house

Creating a special experience doesn’t mean getting in the car and driving across town together. It means turning off distractions, focusing on each other, and connecting as a couple. This can be done at home and you can skip the concern of what the bill will be or what to wear on your date.

Personally, I LOVE to cook. Plan a special meal that you can cook together. Include alcoholic beverages and appetizers or a nice dessert. Make it a special event, not the one-pan weeknight meal that you throw together on Wednesdays.  And you don't have to be me to prepare a nice meal (yes I am an amazing chef), they have these things called recipes - they are meals that others have prepared before you and written down what to buy, the amount to buy and even step-by-step instructions on how to fully prepare the meal from START to FINISH. So you have ZERO excuses!

Maybe you can rent an old movie that you have both reminiscing about and enjoy it together. It’s fun when you make the plan ahead of time and work toward that plan. If date night and babysitters it’s just an overwhelming task to add to your already full schedule, then wait for the kids to go to bed and go through old photo albums together or have a short dance in the living room.

couple sitting on a car kissing

BONUS TIP: Send them personal musings throughout the week of day of

Send your partner private texts and musings, or maybe even write them little notes - yes with a pen and paper, throughout the week leading up to date night expressing how excited you are about spending time with them.  You might even muster the courage to spice it up with secret musings about the intimate time you want to spend with them after the date night.  Fellas, this isn't the time to throw in your secret fantasy about her dressing up in a cape with garters and inviting her best friend over to spend the night - be REAL, this is about your partner only.  Example:  "I really can't wait for Friday to get her, I've been thinking about ravaging you in that new sexy bra you bought last week" yada yada yada

Planning a date night is really just about showing your partner that you care about her by making time for her. That time should be used to connect with each other and keep your bond close. It doesn't matter how long you've been together, making time for each other is important for a happy life together.

My Top Ten Ideas For Date Night

  1. Visit a winery or a swanky wine bar.  My personal favorite around Charlotte is Raffaldini
  2. Plan a cooked meal that you BOTH participate together.  Or, check into see if your local city offers nightly cooking classes - most let you cook and then eat your creation.  Charlotte has a cool spot call Sur la Table where you can this very thing.
  3. Date night at the art museum.  Mint Museum in Uptown Charlotte offers free admission every Wednesday night - the whole museum at your disposal!
  4. Personally, I am not a huge sports fanatic, but if you are - look up your local Minor league teams (any sport) and attend.  It will cost you significantly less and the fans are not as - how do I say this OBSESSED.  Charlotte offers year-round minor league sports for your viewing pleasure.  Charlotte Checkers (hockey), Charlotte Knights (baseball), Charlotte Independence (Soccer), Charlotte Hounds (Lacrosse), Carolina Phoenix (Women's tackle football)
  5. Theatre - not just the big ones.  Look up your local playhouse, like Matthews Playhouse in my hood, they always have local productions that are worth seeing and again - won't break the bank.  Belk Theatre in Charlotte if you prefer more Broadway based productions.
  6. Take her Go-Kart racing at one of the more sophisticated raceways.  in Charlotte, there are several. Go-Pro Racing and Victory Lanes
  7. Take each other shopping for some new clothes, wear them and get reservations at a cool spot and go out to eat.  Consider vintage shopping at one of your cities local and hip vintage shops.  Maybe try on something neither of you would wear just to have fun and wear that out.  Strength in numbers.  Personally, I love shopping at the Rats Nest in NODA.
  8. Rent some bikes, buy a six pack of your favorite brews/or wine, hide them in a bag, grab some snacks and take a ride around the city, stopping at local parks to share your local confections during a picnic.
  9. Plan a day-hike and a picnic! Your city is bound to have cool spots that are already paved if adventure is not your thing, bring along some food and bevvies and get some exercise along the way.  You'll be intrigued with what a little endorphin rush together can do for your libido!
  10. Take dancing lessons at a local dance lesson establishment.  It's a great way to stay close to each other all night and what better way to have fun than dancing!  There are a lot of really fun spots in Charlotte to take dance lessons and they won't break the bank either, one of my favs is Midtown Ballroom

If you have any really cool ideas, feel free to comment below - I am sure anyone and everyone loves date night ideas!  Happy Dating Everyone!


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