Are you worried your relationship is losing its spark? First off, don’t worry; this is a common problem that many couples face at some point during their relationship. Has the “How was your day?” conversation over dinner become the only time you really sit down and talk with each other? Maybe you’ve found yourselves spending time on your phones rather than actively engaging in conversation? Or has the time you spend together in the bedroom gone from hot and frequent to cold or barely non-existent?
These examples are unfortunate, but not uncommon. In fact, couples who have been together for a long time often go through a period of time during which they feel their romantic spark is fading. This can be a result of a number of issues, including not spending enough time together, work and life stresses, or just becoming too comfortable with each other. It’s true that relationships take work and dedication, but the spark between two people is about having fun with one another.
The best way to get the fire roaring again is by spending intentional and meaningful time together. Keep these inexpensive date night ideas in mind for when you and your sweetheart need some spark-worthy quality time together.
1. Fireside Fun
Who doesn’t love a night out under the stars while cuddled up close to a fire’s warmth? Grab some supplies for s’mores or even just a blanket and a couple of beverages. Fires have an uncanny ability to get people to open up and talk. Enjoy this peaceful time for reflection with your loved one and don’t forget to look at the stars!
(Obviously, this one is a bit tough if you don’t have an accessible fire pit, but it isn’t impossible! Check with your local parks or beaches about their policies on fires. Some will give you a permit to build a fire after taking a quick fire safety course. Taking a quick, weekend camping trip is also an option.)
2. Dress Up and Go Out
Most people aren’t afraid of dressing up, but refrain unless there’s a special occasion. In this case, however, the special occasion is the two of you! While you can certainly visit your favorite fancy restaurant, getting dressed up and going out doesn’t have to mean you’re spending a lot of money. Consider dressing up with your honey and heading out on the town to some entirely average places to stay in your budget. The two of you may get a few looks when you show up to the local ice-cream parlor, burger joint, or movie theater in your finest clothing–but who cares!?
3. Head to the Arcades
Who really wants to grow up? For those couples who have gotten just a little too good at “adulting,” hitting up the arcade for an evening of childish fun is a great option. Most arcades have a variety of games, so it’s likely you can both find a game or two that bring back some childhood memories. Look for games to play with each other, like skee-ball, basketball, or even air hockey. If you two have a competitive spirit, consider making the night into a game as well—whoever scores the least points or earns fewer tickets has to buy dinner or the next round of drinks!
4. Volunteer Together
Sometimes, seeing how other people live can open your eyes to the gifts you and your loved one have. Consider finding a local charity and volunteer time together. Food banks, food kitchens, animal shelters, or even retirement and convalescent homes are filled with people who could really use your help. While you’re there doing charitable deeds for your community, you may even meet a person or two with a helpful story to tell. You never know who might have the perfect piece of relationship advice you’ve needed.
5. Stay in and Get Naked
Yes, you read that correctly! As date nights go, they don’t get much more inexpensive than this! The spark in a relationship comes from a place that is both emotional and physical. You need to work on both aspects in order to really make changes in your relationship.
So what does a naked night at home entail? It may seem counterintuitive, but your evening should have only one rule: try not to get physical with each other until the end of the night! The goal is to build anticipation—not jump right to it. That means you should plan some activities that you’ll both enjoy. To help ease into the concept, pick a board game or find a pack of playing cards. Whoever loses each round has to lose a piece of clothing. Then try out a new recipe to make together (remember to throw an apron on if you’re doing any frying!). You can end the evening by throwing on a new television series or a movie to watch together, snuggled up nice and close.
While it may seem like your relationship is heading down the drain, you really shouldn’t jump to that conclusion. The fortunate news is that this problem is fixable. It will just require some intentional time working to rekindle the spark you and your significant other had before. The two of you became a couple for a reason; all you have to do it find and fan the flame again.