Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to Fit Adventure into Your Marriage

Early this Fall, I wrote about "How to Keep Your Marriage Adventurous," and it's been one of the most viewed posts on BeEmbraced. Since it seems to be a topic that is important to many people, here's a way that John and I have recently started to fit adventure into our marriage.

After the holidays and all of our travels (and I still have one more trip to write about!), John and I have been trying to get back into a routine. While that word sounds boring even just typing it, routine can actually help facilitate your sense of adventure in the new year.

This past week, John and I set goals for 2013, and one of our first ones was to have a planning meeting the first weekend of every month. Sounds dull for a marriage goal. However, the motivation behind a goal is the purpose of setting it in the first place. So why the planning? Because in addition to wanting to have fire pit nights with neighbors, game nights with friends, and other get-togethers, date nights are a top priority.

An afternoon in the park is always a great date idea
Our goals for dates are:
  • Have a date night (or afternoon) outside of the house at least once every three weeks
  • Have a date night inside the house at least once every two weeks
  • Go on a walk together at least once a week
One of the new goals that we incorporated this year was to have date nights inside the house. Although we have dinner at home with each other most nights of the week, it's fun to plan some adventure into the evenings. Movie nights are great, but this year we wanted to get creative with our dates.

A date night last year: Watching the Gwinnett Gladiators (and the ice was pink for Breast Cancer Awareness)!

For example, on Monday night we had a fancy dinner at home together. The past week had been busy with John traveling, me having my first book club meeting, John playing basketball, and us having friends over Saturday and Sunday nights. With both of us off of work for MLK Day, we decided to have a date night - without leaving the house. We made a nice dinner of grilled fish, roasted acorn squash with brown sugar, red lentils, salad, and complete with red wine. We dressed up in nice clothes, turned on the Frank Sinatra Pandora station, use our china plates and crystal glasses, and John brought home flowers for our table. And afterwards, to keep in the evening's theme, we caught up on Downton Abbey of course!

Our dinner date, using our nice china and crystal! 

What made this date night even more enjoyable was that we planned it in advance, allowing me to look forward to it all week. It also made it no hassle, knowing I could plan for the dinner when I went grocery shopping a few days before.

So there you have it: how planning can actually add adventure into your marriage. Otherwise, life seems to fly by without scheduling how you can incorporate fun date nights with your spouse.

What about you - what fun at-home dates have you had? Do you plan on setting goals with your spouse this year?


  1. When our kids were really young, and we didn't have the cash for a babysitter, we would do a lot of date nights at home. I would feed the kids and get them off to an early bedtime, and then we would throw some chicken or steaks on the grill, have dinner, and cuddle through a movie. Just having the intention of a romantic night was relaxing. I'm thinking we might need to revisit this soon. :)

    1. I definitely agree about the intention of a romantic night being a big part of the night itself! Thanks for sharing, and I really enjoyed your "Les Mes" highlights over on your blog. I haven't read the book or seen the movie yet, but it's on my Want To Do list!!

  2. Oh, Steph, I LOVE your intentionality in your marriage. In-home dates are about all we have anymore- with five kids' schedules to juggle, the get away time is sparse. In our early "in house' dating years, I loved to create "theme nights" for my man. Now a hot cup of coffee and a quiet house at 5:30 A.M. or a curl up on the couch and dream sharing time at 11p.m. is the date of choice (okay, maybe not choice, but it works!) I just told my husband today that he won't even know what hit him when we're empty nesters one day and I start pouring all my creativity into JUST him. He looked a bit frightened at the thought :) Keep up that planning and dating. You are an amazing example. Thanks for inspiring me today.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Alicia! I love idea of just dreaming together. As newly weds we are still figuring out everything as we go, but intentionally dating each other will always be a priority. And coffee at 5:30 can definitely count as a date! :)