The Dating Rut
Many couples fall into a dating rut at some point in their relationships. The rut may occur soon after they start dating, after they get engaged, or more commonly, after they get married and the honeymoon glow wears off. It happens. We fall in and we fall out of making dating a priority. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard is this: “No matter how long you’ve been together, you still have to date your spouse.” This tip is incredibly true. Unfortunately, we often accept the inevitable dating rut as “the norm.” My husband and I have gone through intentional seasons of trying to go on more dinner dates together, but after awhile, even going to dinner and a movie was boring. Our solution? We came up with creative, unique, and even some FREE dates to go on in the fall to keep our dating life fresh.
There are so many ways to rekindle the romance in the fall! It’s literally one of the most beautiful times of the year. Fall is all about being cozy, crunching leaves, anticipating the holidays, football, chili, and enjoying the great outdoors. Fall weather is fabulous with cooler air and multicolored scenery. So, in order to capitalize on what Mother Nature has already ushered in, we came up with some free ideas to try out this fall.
Bicycle built for two!
Go on a bike ride together. Something about being on bicycles can feel strangely child-like. Also, if you aren’t the typical exercising type, this is a good way to get a little bit of physical activity in without sweating buckets. Think of areas you could ride – your neighborhood, downtown, the local greenway, a park, or even just around town if you live in an urban environment.…
Hit the trails!
This is another one that is great exercise but also creates a sometimes rare opportunity to just chat. Seriously – do you ever just chat with your spouse or longtime boyfriend anymore? Sometimes in the busyness of life we forget to pursue our spouse mentally. Talking about your week, catching up on life together, and simply relaxing in nature can be quite restorative. This is also a great time to bring your four-legged family members along. Pack some dog treats and maybe grab a hot coffee before you hit the trail.
Research online and in the paper to find upcoming outdoor concerts, festivals, or street fairs. Depending on your city, these events might be common and from my experience, are often cheap or even free. These community events can provide great opportunities to hear and see local talent, become acquainted with artists, or blend into a crowd for an afternoon.
Spend an afternoon exploring an antique mall or thrift store. My husband and I like to call this “treasure hunting”…maybe he is looking for a quirky blazer or maybe you are looking for a statement piece for the center of your coffee table. Whatever it is, digging through piles of junk can be really fun. Also, if you want to make it a little more fun, give each other a ten dollar spending limit. Walk around and explore everything together, then split up for ten minutes to find your own thrifty gem. Meet back up to show each other what you found. You can even make it a competition to see who can find the best token. For an added twist, choose to spend your ten dollars on each other.
Quilt + Outside + Coffee = Fun
Grab a blanket, a hot drink, and find an open space somewhere to loaf around, talk, and look at the stars. I would suggest ditching the cell phones and digital tablets for this one. Technology can be rather invasive when attempting to unwind and reconnect. Challenge yourself to a tech-free-hang-out session outside with your boo.
Date Night In
Clean the house, do the laundry, put away the dishes, and light some candles. Put your hubs to work building a fire in the fire place or fire pit. Call and order delivery, bust open a bag of marshmallows, and both of you, change into pajamas. Enjoying the comforts of being at home can sometimes be just what you need to feel revitalized as a pair.
Get to Google-ing to find local farms that have “pick-your-own” options and go apple picking. It’s a fun activity to do together AND you get to take home the apples you picked. When you get home, carry on the crispy autumn goodness and bake an apple pie together. Heck, go crazy, you could even invite friends over and make caramel apples.
Corn Maze Craze
Navigate your way through a corn maze. If they freak you out, go during daylight when they are more family-friendly. If you enjoy getting scared out of your mind by some youth minister dressed as a scarecrow chasing you with a fake chain saw, then go at night! (Can you tell I’m more of the family-friendly-day-light crowd?) Going at night is certainly a great excuse to hang on tight to one another!
Go to a pumpkin patch and pick out pumpkins. Find the one that looks most like your significant other. Then spend the evening carving them together. If you are feeling super domestic, roast the pumpkin seeds for a little snack to have on one of those walking trail dates. Channel Martha Stewart or Pioneer Woman and consult Pinterest to find all sorts of recipes you can make with your pumpkin guts.
Old School Drive In
Fill your oversized purse with some candy and drinks and go to a drive-in movie. It’s a nice change of pace from the typical movie theater. Remember, most drive-ins are a good ways out of town so factor in time for travel.
Take a day trip to a nearby city. Spend the day walking around enjoying the scenery and the local events they have going on. Then find a Mom and Pop type restaurant to have lunch or dinner. If it’s a pretty day, find a restaurant with outdoor seating so that you can enjoy the day even more.
Picnic on the Peaks
Pack a picnic and head for the mountains. You can’t beat the gorgeous scenery and the colors of the leaves during fall. Bring cards, board games, frisbee, and have some fun playing together after you eat! This is also a good one for your outdoorsy types. If you own a camp stove, pack your groceries and cook your meal together while you’re hanging out.
Sadie Hawkins Date
This is exactly what it sounds like. Ladies, ask your man on a date. Plan it all. Plan his clothes, your clothes, the food, and mostly the activities. Figure out the logistics yourself, leave him out of it! Create some mystery and have him meet you somewhere. Sometimes our men need a little pampering and pursuing as well.
These dates are perfect for me and my husband, but every couple is different. Tweak some of these dates to fit your style – no relationship is alike so find what activities that suite you and your spouse. Let the dating begin!