One of the best pieces of advice my parents gave me when I started my marriage is to not sacrifice date night. They’ve been going out at least once a week for as long as I could remember! Now after 30+ years of marriage and a 20+ year military career, they still enjoy the time spent out exploring something new or visiting a familiar place.
Especially with unexpected separations that military couples endure, it’s important to set aside time dedicated to strengthening your relationship. Date night is a great way to rekindle your love and to continue learning from each other. So, taking my parent’s advice to heart, my husband and I are constantly looking for ways to keep the flame alive.
Another important piece of advice, date night doesn’t have to break the bank. My parents love to utilize dining deals from local restaurants (i.e., 2 for 1 pasta dishes or 2 taco dinners for $20). Check out your local eateries to see if anything like that is possible.
Aside from going out to dinner, I wanted to share with you 9 fun and (possibly) romantic date night activities that are easy on your wallet that my husband and I regularly practice.
- Cook dinner together: We’ve found this to be our go-to activity because we love the end result! It’s fun to pick a recipe and work together to create a delicious meal. Yum!
- Go to the movies: Check out your installation’s MWR for ticket vouchers and/or movie theaters to see if a movie that you’re interested in watching is playing. My husband and I have seen several movies on-post already and utilize the vouchers given out by our MWR. Also, big theater companies like AMC and Cinemark offer discounted rates for military. Call your nearby movie theater to see if they offer a military discount.
- Walk in a park: Early in our relationship, my husband and I took a lot of walks on the trails on and around Fort Drum. It was an opportunity for us to talk and soak in the beautiful sights– for free!
- Play a game: One evening my husband and I were completely stumped on what to do. Then, he suggested playing cards. We spent the evening teaching each other the card games we knew. That motivated us to purchase other board games like Scrabble and Monopoly to play on other evenings (they are under $20 on Amazon.com). A little competition doesn’t hurt in a marriage.
- Shop at a flea market or thrift store: To be honest, I might enjoy this activity more than my husband, but we both like the idea of finding unique items together. Since we’re still on the lookout for items to fill our home, this is a great way to find a bargain too.
- Visit the library: Sharing quiet moments together can also be powerful. Swing by your local library to pick out your next read and if it happens to be close to closing time, head to a coffee shop to continue your reading with a coffee or tea.
- Start an ongoing project: It’s going to sound silly when I say this out loud, but my husband and I build with Legos. We strategize and come up with ways to put together different structures. There are so many other things that you and your loved one can do. It can be an art project or maybe a home improvement venture. Whatever it is, it’s a great way for you and your spouse to work as a team.
- Learn something new together: This should be anything like going to a museum (which many have discounted military rates) or attend an evening class at a community center. My husband and I enjoy learning from our experiences together.
- Buy tickets on special military discount sites: For the nights that you want to splurge a little bit, check out GovX, Veteran Tickets or your local USO for discounted tickets to performances in your area.