Monthly Dating Ideas for a Year!

February 22, 2013
My husband and I have a great love story.  It’s kind of funny and fun, and random all at the same time.  It makes me smile so dang much though.  I love him.  We’ve been married for 8 years and 9 months.  🙂  It’s funny how closely our paths crossed at times, and how we actually found each other.  However, we’ll leave that story for another day (ma ha ha!).
 Eight years of marriage, and 6 kids later, we are always busy.  As my husband says, we live in organized chaos all day long.  It’s a big intense some days, overwhelming other days, and just hilarious all the time (when I decide I can find the humor in what is happening).  Dating is HARD for us.  Not because we don’t LOVE having time away from the kids.  Getting out and dating is a 1 time/month type of thing for us.  This is mostly due to paying a babysitter.  People around here are basically saying I need to pay $12/hour, which is fine … except to do anything we’d be gone for 2-4 hours, and man, that’s a LOT of money for a date.  We’d have to do something free to afford to do that more than once a month!  Lol.
My fabulous sister-in-law, Sarah, gave us a great Christmas present.  With her permission I get to share her wonderful gift with all of you!!  I’m super excited!
As a side note, many of the activity ideas came from The Dating Divas (check out their site, it’s so so fun!!).  Sarah came up with the fun themes for each date though.  I thought it was so cleaver and so fun to be able to mix it all up.
The main idea is that there is 1 date night a month planned.  Most are at home and can be done on a whim (I think at least, lol), but obviously more effort can  be put in and planned out.
Monthly Dating Ideas for a Year!
** Disclaimer:  I have not watched all these movies.  I have no idea if they’re all good.  Their ratings are G, PG, or PG-13.  Watch at your own risk.  I also realize that with the various cultural nights some of these things are silly and “Americanized”.  I do know that Lucy Charms are not Irish … it’s just supposed to be fun ideas that vary for varying couples, and their situations and what they can/want to do.
January:  5 Love Languages/Italian Night
*Go learn about the Five Love Languages.  Take the assessment (found here).  Come up with ideas to meet each others needs.
  — My husband and I did this in January and we had so much fun.  We have the book (and haven’t read it), but we did the online assessment and then read through the ideas to help your spouse in the book.  There were some great ideas, and some ideas that had us laughing so hard (only because we knew that we’d never do those things).  It was so so fun, and it’s a great way to learn how to better strengthen your relationship.
*Food: Olive Garden or Johnny Carino’s, Italian salad or soup, any kind of pasta with Italian bread
*Movies: Under the Tuscan Sun, Life is Beautiful, Italian Job, Lady and the Tramp, Roman Holiday
February: You Tube Date/Indian Night
*Spend the night watching funny or interesting clips on You Tube.  Here are a few of my favorites:
     —Mom My Ride, Man Cold
*Food: Order out.  Make Naan with curry something at home and eat it on pillows on the floor
*Movie: Bend it like Beckham, Gandhi, City of Joy, A Passage to India, Aladdin, I Dream of Jeannie
*Other Activities: Draw Henna art on paper, or be “Genies” and grant each other 3 wishes.
March: Game date/Irish Night
*Each of you pick a favorite game and play together.  Make up a “fun” way to play, or make up a new game entirely using playing cards and dice.
*Food: Potato bread or stew, Irish soda bread, corn beef and cabbage, Irish cream something, or Lucky Charms.
*Movie: Leap Year, The Secret of Roan Irish, P.S. I Love You, Darby O’ Gill and the Little People
*Other Activities: Listen to the Riverdance and attempt your own version.
April: Dollar Date (Date night out!!)  Plan ahead to get a sitter/Japanese Night
*The dollar date comes in 3 parts:
Part 1. Visit a dollar store and pick out 3 things for each other.  1. Something you think they would actually like, 2. Something silly that reminds you of your spouse, 3. Something to use together.
Part 2. Visit a Fast Food join and order off the Dollar Menu.
Part 3. If possible, go to a dollar movie, or get a $1 rental (Redbox).
*Food: Sushi, anything you could eat with Chopsticks.
*Movie: Walk, Don’t Run, Teahouse of the August Moon, Spirited Away, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mr. Baseball
*Other Activities: Lear or create Origami, Do Sudoku pharmacy puzzles together.
May: Post-It Note Date/Mexican Night
Leave love notes for each other in random places around the house or elsewhere for your spouse to find during the day.  It could be fun to do on a day when you’re both home all day or you could it over the entire week leading up to a date.  If you want, the notes can hint at things you want to do during your date together.
*Food: Beans, rice, tacos, taquittos, chimichangas, fajitas, tostados, quesadillas, burritos  taco-salad, churros, flan, fried ice cream.
*Movie: La Bamba, All the Pretty Horses, The Fast and the Furious, Nacho Libre, Three Amigos!, The three Caballeros, A Walk in the Clouds
*Other Activities: Practice the Mexican Hat Dance among other dances, play soccer in or outside.
June: Picnic date (possible date out, get a sitter again!!)/English Night
Grab some picnic food (or make some of your own); sandwiches, carrots, grapes, chips, cookies, and head to a local park (or your living room after the kids are in bed).  Play some card games and/or people watch.
*Food: Fish & Chips
*Movies: All Creatures Great and Small, Keeping up Appearances, Sherlock Holmes, The Prestige, The Iron Lady, anything by Charles Dickens (ie: Great Expectations), or anything by Jane Austen (ie: Pride & Prejudice)
Other Activities: Listen to the Beatles, play croquet
July: Take a Hike date (Date out!!  Plan ahead for a sitter)/French Night
Enjoy a hike on a beautiful day together.  Pick a favorite spot, or try a new hike.  Stop to smell the flowers or kiss your date every once in a while.
*Food: French bread, cheese, and fruit.  Anything from Julia Child.
*Movie: Les Miserables, Sabrina, Beauty and the Beast, Catch Me if You can, A Knight’s Tale, Ever After, The Phantom of the Opera, Julie & Julia
*Other Activities: Try your hand at making French Bread or French pasties (cream puffs), do French manicures, French kiss …
August: Under the Stars date/Caribbean Night
You could have a full-fledged camp out in your backyard (or somewhere else if you have a babysitter) with tin foil dinners and s’mores, or just lay out on blankets, snuggle up and look at the stars while talking.  If you have a projector, it might be fun to put up a white sheet and watch a movie on the “big screen”.
*Food: Hawaiian Chicken, Pina Coladas or Daiquiris (virgin would be the preference at our house)
*Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean, Cool Runnings
*Other Activities: Put on kokomo or Escape (The Pina Colada song) and Limbo.  Wear your swimming suits and go “swimming” after the movie.
September: Game day date (possible date out!!)/Canadian Night
Make tailgating food or football snacks for the big game.  Go to the game, or watch it on TV.
*Food: Pizza with Canadian Bacon, Fish chowder, Ketchup chips (or at least chips dipped in ketchup, it’s good, don’t knock it until you try it), anything with Maple syrup on it.
*Movies: Anne of Green Gables, Avonlea, Strange Brew, Wayne’s World, Away from Her
*Other Activities: Listen to KD Lang, Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams or another Canadian singer/group and dance.  Try your hands at hockey.
October: Bubble bath/Spa date/Greek Night
Enjoy a relaxing night in a bubble bath, or spend the night giving and getting massages, etc.  Warm towels in the dryer if desired.
*Food: Mediterranean Cuisine, anything with olives, red onions, feta cheese, and tomatoes, pitas
*Movies: My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Mamma Mia, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
*Other Activities: Toga Party or some kind of make up Olympic Games.
November: Puzzle Date/Chinese Night
Put together a puzzle and talk.  Look up conversation prompts on Dating Divas.
*Food: Take out or make something at home. Eat with chopsticks, of course.
*Movies: Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Road Home, Shanghai Noon or Shanghai Knights
*Other Activities: Read up on and incorporate Feng Shui in your home, even if it’s only for the night.  Share fortunes with each other (begin all conversation with Confucius Say:)
December: Bookstore date (Date out!  Get a sitter!!!)/Argentine Night
Head to the bookstore and find the following: 1. Visit the Cooking section and each chose a recipe that you would like to make the other. 2.Visit the Magazine section and find a quiz in a magazine that you and your spouse could do together. 3. Visit the Children’s section and find a book that was a favorite when you were a child or that holds a special memory for you and read them to each other.  4. Visit the Joke section and pick out a HILARIOUS joke to share.  5. Visit the Travel section and find a picture or information on a place you would like to visit together someday.  6. Visit the Poem section and find a poem that describes the way you feel about your spouse.
*Food: Empanadas, Gnocchis
*Movie: Evita
*Other Activities: Listen to Tango music and practice dancing, with our without roses.


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