If movie night and takeout is your normal Friday night routine, it might be time to upgrade your home dating game! Whether you like to crash at home at the end of a long week or the still-freezing temps are encouraging you to snuggle down with your person, one of these ideas will perk up your normal weekend routine.
1. Up Your Dinner Game
A recent study found that cooking together is one of the top things you can do to strengthen your relationship. If whipping up a fancy dinner seems expensive or intimidating-fear not! You just need a meal delivery service like Blue Apron. Pop onto their app and pick a meal for two from any of 8 delicious recipe options. All of their meals are under $10 a serving and take less than 40 minutes to prepare! (I don’t know where you live, but if I did, I’d still bet you’re not getting date night dinner for $20.) They’re also an incredibly healthy option (500-800 calories per menu) and give you and your date the opportunity to try new recipes with fun ingredients you might not normally reach for at the grocery store.
Blue Apron is perfect for date night because they take care of sending every single ingredient pre-portioned and right to your door in a refrigerated box. This means that you can focus on all of the other details that turn dinner at home into a date.
2. Make a Date Night Playlist
Open a bottle of your favorite wine and put on some music! The right mix for date night usually includes a mix of songs that are special to you and bring up fun memories as well as new tracks that can get you dancing in the kitchen.
3. Ditch the Loungewear
Swap out your normal loungewear for a true date night outfit. As compelling as it can be to come home and change right into something stretchy, try to find a balance between total lounge wear and what you’d where for an evening out. We like topping our favorite distressed jeans with a cute sweater and adding a few pieces of sentimental jewelry for an outfit that looks put together for a night in.
4. Put your phones far away
When the time comes to get cooking, challenge each other to stash your phones in the other room so that you can really enjoy the full sensory experience of cooking at home! One of the best parts of Blue Apron is that it gets you out of your cooking comfort zone—so enjoy the experience! All the instructions are laid out easily, so you really don’t need your phone anyway.
Some studies have found that even the presence of a cell phone can lower conversation quality when you’re with someone. Show your date they’re your first priority by staying present and keeping any tech distractions out of your night.
5. Play Bartender
Be deliberate with your cocktails. Instead of just pouring your usual glass of wine, decide that you and your date are going to branch out and whip up something new. Create a signature cocktail for the night to makes the evening even more eventful. Just make sure you look up the ingredients and have them on hand. Because Blue Apron lets you select which meal, you can pair accordingly and even plan a themed night.
6. Finish the Evening with Something Other Than TV
Resist the urge to make the TV your night cap! In the same way it’s helpful to give our phones a breather, see what other activities you can add to your date that don’t involve a movie or TV show. Discovering some new music together, recapping your favorite vacation memories over a dessert cocktail, or even sharing a few passages out of a favorite book are a fresh way to switch up winding down your date. Here are a few ideas we love…
Learn Something New Together
Coursera and Edx are well known for bite sized and well-instructed videos and they’re not all excel and business skills! Or, take a trip to Paris from your couch and learn all about the Louvre’s most famous masterpieces.
Practice a New Language
Sites like Duolingo and Fluenz are good for learning with a partner. Even your local library (remember those?!) will have books, flashcards, and sometimes pricier programs like Rosetta Stone that can help you create a home learning program.
Video Chat with Friends or Family
If you have friends or family scattered across the country, date night is a perfect time to catch up with your other loved ones! Pick a shared time, settle in with dinner, and catch up while seeing their smiling faces. This is a great way for friends and family to get to know your partner if you live out of state.
Make a Bucket List
Date night at home is a great opportunity to be more sentimental and thoughtful than you’d be in public. Do you have a life bucket list? This chat can spark conversation on shared dreams, goals, and maybe even create ideas for your next few dates.
What’s the most creative evening in you’ve spent with a date?
This post was in partnership with Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.