Fun Night Date Ideas

As far back as 1988, we were looking for fun night date ideas. We had just attended a Marriage Seminar and been encouraged to have weekly date nights to consistently develop our marriage. As a young couple, there were some obstacles to this idea:

  1. We were both over-committed to work and volunteer activities.
  2. Our young children seemed to need our constant attention
  3. Finances were always tight—we couldn’t “afford” to go out or add a touch of romance to our lives.
  4. With the pace of our lives, planning for our “date night” seemed like a big chore.

fun night date ideas, romance

How to Address the Obstacles to Fun Night Date Ideas
If your lifestyle, budgets, and calendars resemble ours, then perhaps you can benefit from a few solutions that you may not have thought of!

Finances Stopping You From Using Fun Night Date Ideas?

  1. Exchange baby sitting services with other young couples you know. In this way, you greatly reduce costs.
  2. Rather than leaving home for your date night, disconnect all phones, PDAs, and computers and set up a candlelight rendezvous on the floor of your bedroom or basement—somewhere different from where you’d usually sit together and where you can be alone.
  3. Set up a “coins” jar in your kitchen, into which spare change can be emptied from purse and pockets. Saving a few dollars for a snack together heightens anticipation for your date!
  4. Is it time to “call in” some favours from friends and relatives? As a variation of #1, asking friends to participate as part of the Fun Night Date Ideas project might start something very exciting!
  5. Borrow a friend’s row boat (for a romantic Sunday afternoon paddle in exchange for allowing them to use your riding lawn mower, or borrow your new car! (just an example—you get the idea!)

Are Time and Scheduling a Problem?

  1. Everything worthwhile usually takes concerted effort to accomplish: it is true with scheduling meaningful, regular date nights. Would you miss a doctor’s or specialist’s appointment? No! You place the appointment on the calendar and everything else works around that appointment. Similarly, schedule date nights—and treat them like doctor’s appointments!
  2. The harder it is to schedule your date nights—the greater potential you have for life changing great-times together! Make the dates consistent, regular, and fun! The more fun you have, the easier it will be to do it again!
  3. Schedules are always easier to keep when other people are involved. Why not encourage a group of like-minded friends to do the same thing—and interchange giving baby-sitting services among each other. In this way, schedules are matching and intertwined—everyone depends on each other!

Check Out These Fun Night Date Ideas!

    1. The standard romantic comedy movie followed by dinner or drinks is still a favourite!
    2. Take 30 minutes in a coffee shop, restaurant, or sitting at a picnic table to write each other a love letter. If the ambiance is quiet and romantic—read them to each other.
    3. Fake a power outage at home! Turn off lights, phones, PDA’s, computers, and everything electric (try throwing the power switch!). You have few options—take out the candles, and huddle around the fireplace and communicate!

romance

  1. For a FREE night out: pick flowers at the side of a country road to give to your love; watch for shooting stars; kiss for five minutes (at a time!)
  2. Take 2 dictionaries together when you go out for coffee or a drink. Make lists of words that could be used to describe your partner. Share your lists with each other—and then look for words that you wish would describe them!!!
  3. Attend a lecture together, or take a night-school course you know you both will enjoy. Every class you attend will be your night out—make sure you start or finish with quality time together.
  4. Surprise your partner with a night out—as simple as dinner and a movie—but write clues to where your surprise will take place, and hide them in easily accessible locations. Finding the clues and placing them in order will add to the anticipation of and add a touch of romance to the evening.
  5. Radical change is hard to bring about. Introduce the Radical Date Night as an attempt to introduce change one night at a time.
    • Radical Romance Night: the man plans the date, and must introduce radically romantic elements to the entire evening. The purpose is to go overboard! Flowers, music, special attention to detail, cards, songs, gifts, will all be a part of this evening out.
    • Radically Thankful Nights: use your time together to clearly communicate areas where you appreciate your wife’s works, efforts, insights and wisdom, knowledge and skills. Write down the skills she has developed over the years, and comment specifically on her character.
    • Continue with more dates focusing on going totally overboard on other themes.
  6. A fun night date idea with your partner that will cost a few dollars: go shopping together and gather things that will be contained in your romance box: your personal collection of romantic things to always have in the house.
    The idea is to randomly, spontaneously present your partner with something from your box in anticipation of future date nights:

    • A favourite candy, a romantic card, attractive stationary to write a love note; a sexy card; wine; a series of small gifts… anything to help add a touch of romance!
  7. Find a location for your date night that is secluded enough that you can read to one another. Choose a marriage book that will deepen intimacy like, Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. Take turns reading to each other, and commenting on what you’ve read.
  8. Go out for a dinner together, and use the night to plan a recommitment of your marriage vows! Renewing your vows can take place on significant anniversaries: 5 years, 10 years, etc. Renewing your vows can be as simple as inviting a few people to witness the occasion, or as detailed as asking a minister to administer the vows. This is your chance to do what you wished would have been done first time around!

Be sure to visit our website again as we’ll be adding more fun night date ideas for you to use!

Get Inspired with these Love Letters!

The following free love letters are all original to us—non hallmark, we like to say! They are here so that you can freely “cut and paste”, or use phrases, imagery, and words for your own love letter to that special person.

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com

These free love letters are categorized under topicsbut most of them could easily be adapted to any situation: the key is creativity!

Free Love Letters: Absence From Each Other

Dear _______ ,

I want your absence to be a reminder to me—reminding me that I love you so much that it hurts when you’re not with me. Strangely enough, it is a kind of hurt that does the heart good—making our times together even more wonderful than before!

It seems the times we are together are so short—yet the few stolen moments we will have with one another will compel us to look forward to the time we will be together forever!

A lifetime together lies shortly ahead; it all seems to be a blessing too great for me to receive!

Perhaps now I should share with you how much I am affected when you tell me that you love me! I can think of nothing else that means more to me than your love; your love has captivated my mind and heart, and in this respect you have made me your prisoner! I want to pledge to you my sincere, heart-felt affection and deepest devotion.

 


Dear ______ ,

While I’m writing this note, you’re away…and I’m here thinking about you.

I’m remarking to myself how fortunate and blessed I am to have you as my wife. I feel so happy to be married to you! Even as I write, a smile is spreading across my face attesting to that fact!

I found it difficult in the past (and more so now) to wonder why I would be so blessed as to have you!?

In some ways, I suppose, we are very different from one another; not so much that we are in conflict—but enough to make our life together fresh and dynamic.

I reminisce with fondness our engagement and our first year of marriage; yet, I am enjoying you as my wife at least as much as then—and probably more!

I love you deeply, sweetheart, and desire to make you happy and fulfilled. I so appreciate you and your abilities, your character, your smile, your beauty! You are exactly what I think my wife should be! In fact, you are more than I could have wished for, sweetheart.

Free Love Letters to use on Your Wedding Anniversary

Dearest ­­­­_______ ,

Wow! Where has the time gone? I can’t believe that our lives have been interwoven now for ____ years, and we have __ children to prove it! What a journey it has been with all of the ups and downs of life—and yet we have been spared some of the life-altering tragedies that so many face…

It is awesome to consider that although many couples’ love grows cold over time, ours is as strong as ever. I am the envy of everyone who knows me!!

To recount the things about you that make being married to you so easy, is pure joy!


My Most Wonderful Wife of ____ Years!

Being married as long as we have–I almost feel like we have a secret that no one else knows about! Remember when you discovered you were pregnant with some of our children and we didn’t tell anyone for a number of weeks. It was kind of exciting to realize we had a secret that no one else knew about! That’s how I feel now. The secret we share is the level and depth of love we have for each other. Imagine it’s like this: I look at you from a distance–say in a crowd of people where you are on the other side of the room–our eyes meet, and we both feel the excitement of the secret!

Over all the years we have grown together and love each other more than ever before! (How cool is that!)…we’ve been married ___ years! Wow–where has the time gone?! I know I don’t say it nearly often enough, sweetheart–but I love you! May this next year together be my opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude to you as you deserve!

Free Love Letters: Plain Romance!

Dear ________ ,

I’ve just been thinking about you, and reminding myself of some of the reasons why I love you:

    You are so kind–I can see that you enjoy being nice to people.

  • Our lives are interwoven together—I can’t even fathom what life would look like without you.
  • You are so hard-working—never afraid to apply yourself to work hard at something; you are a great example for us all.
  • How integral you are to our ministry together—and to our influence on others around us
  • I am addicted to you! I love being with you, around you, beside you, and close to you.
  • If I had the opportunity to “do it all over again”, I would!

Free Love Letters: Part of the Same Team

Dear _________ ,

Confession time: you are “without a doubt” my favourite Team member! (Don’t tell the others, but, yes, it’s true!) Watch the dynamics at the Team meetings: when you speak, everyone listens! Me too! In fact, sometimes, I find myself staring—and then I’m mesmerized! I start fantasizing about touching you, kissing you, and squeezing your beautiful… oh!… Just about this time, I get hot and bothered, and try to refocus and come back to earth.

What a valuable addition you are to our team!

You’re smart, sensitive, full of integrity, and a body to kill for (in a manner of speaking!). You love the people on our team, you love administration (whoa, now this is scary!), and you are actually irreplaceable!

Free Love Letters: Silly Notes

(This particular letter is silly in that it was written in a spiral shape around the outside of the paper, wrapping toward the centre.)

Dear ________ ,

You are everything I could want in a wife! I LOVE YOU!

To quote from a semi-famous guy, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!”

I love you…

  • because of your love for God
  • because of your smile (especially that flirtatious smile!)
  • because of your unswerving support
  • because you take our relationship seriously
  • because you are so beautiful and sexy
  • because you can still enjoy the simple things of life (good conversation, lazing in bed for an extra hour once a year or so)
  • because you’re a great mother to our kids
  • because you’re such a hard worker!
  • because your eyes are green
  • because you’re so good at everything you do!
  • because you are willing to converse with me about anything
  • because you enjoy being and looking “classy”
  • because you’re readily agreeable to give me a turn, even when you’re not interested in one yourself
  • because you are beautiful and sexy
  • because you’re committed to our family being godly
  • because having the newest and best of things is not important you
  • because you are a great organizer
  • because you help me get better by being my favourite administrative assistant
  • because you can turn me on like a switch and take my breath away
  • because you have beautiful eyes and other body parts that make my head swim
  • because you like to tell stories
  • because you want all of our children to become all God has designed them to be
  • because you’re interested in our health and well-being
  • because you always care about doing what’s right
  • because it’s OK with you that I grope and gawk at you!
  • because you are so unique and not so concerned about being like other people
  • because you will talk about things that are important to me, even if they’re not as important to you
  • because you read stories to the kids
  • because you are you!

This particular letter was part of a large card, entitled “For My Wonderful Wife”. Inside the card, the following comments were written around the perimeter, and in all different directions.

I Love…

  • …telling other couples how much I value our relationship
  • …the way you smile at the baby
  • …watching you talk to a friend on the phone, and seeing you laugh and smile
  • …when you take time to have one of those special “mother-daughter” talks with our little girl, Elizabeth
  • …telling people that you are very gifted, skillful, talented, industrious, sexy, generous, down to earth, sincere, pretty, thrifty, caring for others, responsible, practical, encouraging, conscientious, simple minded (but not a simpleton, mind you!) tenacious, great at remembering phone numbers, aware of our need to encourage others, sexy (did I say this already?), easy to talk to, approachable, loves being with me
  • …doing little jobs around the house that I know you don’t like doing; in this way I know I’m really doing them for you and not for me
  • …it when you pat the couch beside where you’re sitting, and you say, “Want to sit down?”
  • …laying in bed in the morning, watching you, waiting until you wake up
  • …when you read from a book to me in bed at night
  • …bragging about you to my friends
  • …watching you read my love letters and notes
  • …to know you are happy and content
  • …snuggling up to you, wrapping my arms around you, and whispering, “I love you!” in your ear in the middle of the night
  • …when we go to bed early and just snuggle (that’s right…I said, just snuggle!)
  • …watching you hold one of the children on your lap while you read a story to them
  • …hearing you sing while working and hanging out in the house
  • …the wild evenings followed by warm embraces
  • …it when I can sense you are feeling cherished and valued

Then on the back of the card, write…

Dearest ______ ,

I echo the sentiments expressed here—especially the line that reads, “there aren’t enough days in a life time with you!” How fortunate and enriched I am to have you, Sweetheart, as my wife!

Even after being married to you close to _____ years, spending time alone with you is as pleasurable as ever! Our friendship and love has not diminished, but deepened; our intimacy means more now than ever.

You, my dear, are a wonderful wife and mother!

The Science of Intimacy!

For many years, neuroscientists have been interested in the role of the hormone, oxytocin, released in large quantities during childbirth. This hormone helps the birth mother experience intense bonding with her new born (despite all the recent pain the baby has caused!). This same bonding hormone is released during orgasm, leading relationship experts (see www.the-intimate-couple.com) to refer to sex as “the Super-Glue” of marriage!

PillowTalk

More recent studies indicate that oxytocin is also released during specific social interactions, and play a neurological role that tends to promote trust, empathy, and feelings of closeness:

  • appropriate physical contact between individuals
  • hugs, non-sexual touching
  • a genuine smile
  • active listening—demonstrating authentic interest
  • constant eye contact during a conversation

Differing degrees of closeness can be developed in most relationships. It is apparent that neuroscience confirms the fact that God has wired us all to experience intimacy. Even using the few techniques and new understanding briefly described here, we will be able to develop deeper levels of significant intimacy!

5 Popular FREE Marriage Resources for 2014!

Will 2014 be the year you decide to take the most important relationship in your life to the Next Level?

marriage-next-level
In our November 2013 newsletter, we announced the 30 Day Challenge: an opportunity to receive a free daily email reminder to complete one small romanced-based action directed toward your spouse. These small actions, each arguably insignificant individually, accumulate into 30 days of noteworthy investment in your marriage!

In Jim Collins’ seminal book, Good to Great, he documents the effectiveness of the Flywheel Principle in business. An organization’s ability to transition into greatness is not by means of one large leap; it is the cumulative effect of many, small incremental changes-much like very small pushes moving a flywheel. This is the same in our marriages!

It is not the one huge effort you make, or the one action you undertake that will make your marriage transition up to the next level. It will be the many, incremental things you do!

Why not start now? Not by trying to bring lots of changes-but by bringing strategic, small, well-planned changes that will, indeed, bring you to the next level!!

Use any of these FREE resources to help transition your marriage to the next level this 2014:

  1. Begin the 30 Day Challenge (if you haven’t already!). FREE!
  2. Read the Marriage Retreats for Vision and Goal Setting article FREE!
  3. Set up a reading schedule with your spouse to read short articles on intimacy from the-intimate-couple.com FREE!
  4. Download the 4 page, Marriage Retreat Worksheet (complete with the calendar!), and spend a date night together working through plans and goals for your marriage! FREE!
    • Take the completed calendar from the retreat worksheet and transfer all the dates onto your electronic calendars and devices; place them on your Family Calendar; on the fridge-or anywhere you put important appointments!
  5. Browse the Marriage Resources page on our website. FREE!
    This page has lists…

Yes, all of the suggestions we’ve listed above are free! Nevertheless, don’t ever hesitate to invest in your marriage! Whether you…

  • pay money to obtain resources
  • invest time in conversation with your spouse, or
  • re-allocate a moment of “me time” so you can serve your significant other

…investing in your marriage is always worth it!

Make the Call: Strikeouts or Homeruns?

Phones in the bedroom… yes or no? Let me tell you about a couple’s recent experience that helped them decide whether keeping a phone on their bedside table was a good idea or not. (This is a true story though names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

Harry and Sally enjoy “morning sex” on their days off especially because they can relax, take plenty of time, and really take pleasure in lingering in each other’s arms. This story begins on their day off when they woke up about 7 am.

7 AM
After a quick visit to the washroom, Harry and Sally brushed their teeth and then returned to bed for some relaxing “skin time”. For the next 30 minutes, they dozed on and off as they talked about plans for their day and prayed together.

8 AM
Shortly before 8 am, Sally cuddled up a little more closely to Harry and they began foreplay. As time progressed, lovemaking became more passionate and heated!

CALL #1
Suddenly, Harry’s cell phone rang! After letting it ring several times, Harry scrambled to find the phone and answer it. He ended the call quickly and politely but the interruption was enough to set them back in their lovemaking. Sally teased Harry, “That’s strike one!” Harry and Sally immediately re-engaged in foreplay and, after a few minutes, were back to where they were before the phone call.

CALL #2
Suddenly, the home phone started ringing! A quick peek at the caller id indicated an early call from the office…probably not urgent but still important. Harry answered the call, promising to call back later with the information being requested. Sally smiled, “That’s strike two! What happens if we get another phone call? Strike three? Strike out?!”

Harry and Sally were determined to get back into lovemaking and finish without any more interruptions! Their passion escalated with a hint of desperation. Soon they were lost to the world…only focused on each other. Passion gave way to climax! Homerun!

CALL #3
Just seconds later, Harry’s cell phone rang again! Harry, still trying to get his breath from the passionate lovemaking gasped, “Sally, you answer the phone! I can’t talk!” Demurely, Sally answered the call and politely offered the caller, “Harry’s not available at the moment. He’ll call you back soon.” She hung up the phone. Sally turned to Harry, “That was a close call…almost strike three!”

Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Over the next few minutes, Harry and Sally realized that either all phones needed to stay out of the bedroom or phone ringers needed to be turned off to “silent”. They were determined … No more strikes during lovemaking! Only homeruns!

MAKE THE CALL
Do you and your spouse need to have a “no phone/no texts/no email” policy to protect your times of intimacy? Like Harry and Sally, do you risk “striking out” in the bedroom!?!

Why Porn Will Kill Your Sex Life

We’re not going to approach this topic by appealing to your morality, even though the overwhelming majority of married, porn users readily acknowledge it’s wrong. From a morality point, nothing else needs to be said: when we feel something is wrong, we hide the fact that we’re users and that we’re addicted. Let’s leave the morality issue for a moment.

Instead, here’s another thought: if you value marital sex, you need to realize that porn will kill your sex life with your spouse. Consider the following 4 reasons:

  1. Your spouse can’t compete with a virtual sex partner.
    There will be many sex acts you fantasize about through porn that your spouse will not participate in when you’re having marital sex. This will lead you to degrees of disappointment that you can’t mask.
  2. Arousal eventually will only occur by using porn.
    The hormones released into the blood stream to bring the onset of arousal become triggered with pornographic images. Just as water or electricity flows through a pathway of least-resistance, arousal via porn will define a neural pathway that demands arousal occurs with the same or greater level of pornographic intensity.
    Simply stated, eventually arousal with your spouse becomes more difficult.
  3. Shame and guilt will take their toll.
    Assuming the husband is the porn addict, his guilt will trigger a response of withdrawal from his wife, sexually. Compounding this, she will then experience shame as she realizes she no longer arouses him sexually.
  4. Porn is solo sex.
    Use of porn is solo sex that undermines the very design of sex in marriage: meeting your partner’s sexual needs and desires. A mental shift towards selfishness occurs. Eventually sex becomes self-focused in the life of the porn user. Rather than sex being the super-glue in marriage, it becomes the issue dividing the marriage! Why? Porn.

Do you want more sex and better sex? Follow these 4 steps:

  1. Forget porn.
  2. Focus on loving and serving your marriage partner.
  3. Study our site with your spouse.
  4. Take the 7-day Sex Challenge.

 

Father’s Day and the Attitude of Gratitude

I suppose every father is secretly hoping that Father’s Day will do something to help his relationships with his children and his wife. Most guys are not as emotionally intelligent as their wives (hey, just sayin’…), and relationships, with women, at least, almost always hold a degree of mystery for most men!

It’s true, though, that marriage and family relationships take an up-turn during Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Why? Simply, it’s because our focus is always on the bright side, remembering the good times, and basically trying to be positive and thankful for someone.

Of course, this dynamic doesn’t come into play for those people embroiled in caustic, emotional battles and destructive relationships. No pretty cards, expensive perfume, or chocolate can fix that kind of damage!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What we are saying, though, is that a very simple, yet powerful technique for enriching our relationships—every day of the year—is to adopt a posture of thankfulness. Our kids would sometimes refer to the attitude of gratitude.

Here’s a free suggestion that you can take to the bank: express gratitude for 5 things about your spouse every day, and your marriage and family will change forever!

Appreciating Your Way to a Great Marriage!

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • appreciation  [uh pree shee ey shun]
  • gratitude [grat i tood]
  • thankful [thangk ful l]

Unfortunately, we all know (and tend to avoid) people who are unappreciative. They are easily recognized by how they…

  • rarely say “thank you”
  • take others and what they do for granted
  • live with an attitude of entitlement
  • believe “I’m owed”

On the other hand, all of us are drawn to those who are in the habit of expressing gratitude! These are people who don’t live with an entitlement mentality or take others for granted.

Now, imagine being married to someone like that who is grateful for you! Someone who

  • constantly points out the positive contributions you bring to your marriage
  • praises you for your acts of service
  • recognizes your depth of care and expression of excellent character
  • sees the strengths and potential in you that you don’t
  • treasures you as God’s gift!

What marriage wouldn’t thrive with an appreciative partner like this? Why don’t you be that partner?

Start today by listing 5 reasons you appreciate your spouse. Most importantly, share that list with him/her.  Then watch your appreciation for one another grow!

Beyond Ordinary: Book Review

Justin and Trisha Davis have opened their lives and souls for us that we may benefit from the pain of their journey. In fact, their story is so compelling, so powerful, that you will be drawn in to the fabric of their lives. Though you may begin as a sideline observer, very soon after you pick up Beyond Ordinary you will experience a connection with Justin and Trisha that makes you think, ‘Wait! This is my story!’

Although the facts of Beyond Ordinary may not include the same details as your personal journey, Justin and Trisha’s exploration of the depths of their inner brokenness resonates with all of us. This is not simply the journey of two people in a marriage; it is the record of two broken souls finding wholeness in Christ, and healing in their marital relationship.

Every couple would do well to consider Beyond Ordinary as a must-read! This deep, gripping narrative is also a teaching tool we must all learn from!

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Visit Justin and Trisha’s Refine Us website for more information and help for your marriage.

 

Communication at its BEST!

Everyone knows open communication is the key to a great marriage. And, everyone knows that sex is critical to an invigorating marriage. However, only smart couples know that openly communicating about sex is one of the best indicators of a great, invigorating marriage!

  • awkward
  • insecure
  • embarrassed
  • shy
  • inadequate
  • vulnerable
  • afraid

…these are just a few of the emotions we might experience when we start to open up about sex. Really—that’s the point isn’t it? Healthy marriages are developed by learning to talk about the difficult things in constructive, non-judgmental ways. When we can open up about our deepest feelings, we enter a new level of closeness.

How Do We Learn to Open Up Like That!?
Are you afraid to voice what you really think about sex—or other difficult issues? Are you afraid to hear what your partner might say about their deep issues and their responses to yours? The Bible indicates that “…perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18) Being afraid to discuss things—and thereby creating a “don’t mention” category of topics is evidence of fear crippling our lives.

Face Your Fears
Though this step may be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done—it’s essential!

  • For some couples, counseling will be necessary.
  • For other couples, setting aside times of introspection and evaluation will be necessary.
  • For still others, taking the 7-Day Sex Challenge home-course will be necessary.

But for all couples—honesty and humility will be necessary!

The Real Deal is Intimacy
For many people, sex is a synonym for intimacy. In actual fact though, sex is like the tip of the intimacy iceberg! Following our metaphor, under the surface, the other types of intimacy: emotional, spiritual, and intellectual really define what the tip will look like!

Fantastic sex will be a natural consequence of developing intimacy through communication in all four areas! Yes, difficult conversations may make hard times, awkward times—but the payoff will be huge! With the openness and transparency that will develop, your marriage will go up to an entirely new level!