Married or single, Valentine’s Day has high flop potential.
The expectations are back-breaking, the babysitters can get expensive, and who knows if the LBD still fits from five years ago?
Besides, it’s not even a “real” holiday. This year, it falls on a Wednesday, which means the day’s schedule will go on just like usual. But alas, Hallmark has made monsters out of us, myself included.
Who doesn’t secretly pine for the candlelit dinner and a glass of fancy wine?
For the compliments by the fireside or the secretly-planned getaway? And dang it, I’d love nothing more than to sausage myself into that dress collecting dust in the closet!
As it turns out, romance isn’t dead just because he put a ring on it. And it’s not lost because there seem to be demanding, little people running the household.
If getting out of the house feels harder than climbing Mount Everest this year, here’s a whole week of budget-friendly ideas to bring you closer to your spouse.
Monday: Get to the store today.
You each have $15 to fill a basket with your partner's favorite snacks, cheap fizzy drinks, and sweet treats to enjoy over the course of the week. Kudos for remembering which flavor of M&Ms are his favorite!
Tuesday: When was the last time you took time to remember how you started as a couple?
Pile up your photo albums in the middle of the living room floor. Take out your favorite memories and pin them to a board to display in your bedroom—for just the two of you to see.
Wednesday: Get the kids to bed on time!
Gather all the candles, plenty of towels, some lotion or massage oil and…you know the rest. Start with the fingers and toes, and end wherever the road might lead...
Thursday: Lights Out!
Turn off your phones, TVs, and any other electricity-produced nuisance. Only soft music is allowed. Play cards, a board game, have a conversation, or read together.
Act as if nothing else is going on in the world at that moment, except spending time with your spouse.
Friday: Eat later, cook together.
Plan ahead for the brand new recipe you’ve been wanting to try. Feed the kids early and put them to bed on time. Spend the evening preparing a romantic meal without all the squabbles over finishing vegetables.
Oh, and wear just a little bit less in the kitchen than you normally would...just to see what happens.
Saturday: Get a sitter.
Or ask a friend to trade babysitting favors if one isn’t in the budget. Schedule an afternoon outing—before you’re worn out in the evening. This date is all about fun!
Bowling. Uninterrupted Costco browsing. Putt-putt. Thrift store finds. Ice cream. Bad roller-skating. Yes, please.
Sunday: An afternoon at the Movies.
Cover the windows with blankets and darken the room. Pop the corn and pour the drinks. It’s movie time! Choose a family friendly movie and watch it together.
And the most important part—make sure your kids see you holding hands. Connected couples make for strong families!
Keep this printable handy as a reminder. How about you?
Do you have any DIY date night ideas to add to the list?
Photo Creds: Josh Felise, Toa Heftiba, Alexandra Gorn, SquaredOne, Logan Nolin, Elizabeth Lies, Stegan Johnson, ArtificialPhotography
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.