I may be totally going against the grain of society here, but I don’t really think that dates are about where you go or how much you spend.
The last time I went to the movie theater, for four people, it cost over $50! I tell you…I have a lot of trouble paying $50 for one movie, even if it’s someone else’s money! If it’s really all that important to watch a movie, go to Redbox, get a movie for a buck, get some popcorn from the store and you’re good to go for cheap – less than $5! Wanna make the popcorn special…here’s a Valentine’s Day Popcorn recipe and everything!
While I’m sure there are ways to go around the movie theater pricing, honestly, I’d much rather do something fun.
Date nights should be about spending time with the other person, getting to know them more (yes, even if you’re already married!) It’s about connecting souls, not about what you do at all!
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we MUST FORCE OURSELVES to take time out for the special people in our lives.
Life is not about the end result, it’s about the journey that gets you there and the people in your life ON that journey!
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought it might be nice this year to make a CLEAN date nights list if you’re watching your funds and want to stay within budget. Things that are fun to do, that won’t break the bank. And they are all clean, meaning, many of the lists out there have a lot of things that only married people can do, but what about if you are dating someone you’re NOT married to and want to live an godly and honorable life? That’s where THIS list falls in!
Another thing that is important to note is that many times men feel like they HAVE TO spend a ton of money on a woman or it doesn’t count. Ladies, we need to stop that mentality! Just because he doesn’t spend $100/day on you, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Everyone has a different love language and shows love in a different way, so it’s super important to know exactly how your special someone likes to show and be showed love!
The book I’d highly recommend is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. While you are dating, it’s imperative that you find out which love language he responds to most and show him more of that particular way. It helps you communicate to him that you really do love him and that you’re different from all the other women in his life, because you spend time actually caring about his needs on the most intimate of levels.
When you begin to realize exactly how he understands that you love him, you begin to speak HIS language. Let’s face it, men and women are different. But speak the same language, especially in the area of love, and it can lead to a rock solid relationship, one that is built on a firm foundation. Yes, it’s work, but all lasting relationships are DAILY work. If you’re not willing to do that, I’m not sure marriage is right for you.
Top 25 Virtuous Date Night Ideas
Find a nice park in your area and walk around the park just talking, hand in hand (bring a notepad of 20 questions if you need to). Pack a lunch and make a picnic. Sit on the grass and look up at the clouds and see what animals you see in them. Bring water guns and have a water gun fight, or roller skates, or bikes. Play in the leaves if it’s still fall weather where you’re at. Look at the river, the trees, the beauty of God’s creation and nature that surrounds you.
Read to each other. One of the things I look forward to the most, if God ever has it for me to get married again, is to read the Bible together and pray together. What an amazing experience that would be!!! Personally, I’d take that date night over any other! Ask him what his favorite Bible character is, what his favorite book of the Bible is, what’s his favorite verse, and why.
Get to really know WHY he loves the things he does. It’s not just about what he loves and memorizing some silly facts about him; it’s about why he loves the things he does! Getting to know him on that level will make you all the more attractive to him because you begin to know what he likes and what he doesn’t like without asking him first! It means you are understanding him, who he is, at the deepest level.
Head to the local orchard or vineyard to pick berries or fruit. After a day of picking delicious treats, come home and make great pies or cakes TOGETHER. When I was younger, my grandma and I used to go picking pomegranates and she would make the yummiest jelly from it! It’s those kinds of memories that you remember.
Make a fort in your backyard. Gather sticks and trees and shrubs if you have them. Make a giant fort and lay in it at night and stargaze. I bet you haven’t REALLY looked at the sky in ages, now have you?! Get a map, find constellations, have a star named after your sweetie. Anything to make it more special.
Build a bonfire and roast marshmallows. Whether you use your fire pit at home, head to the beach or up to the mountains for a fun evening under the stars, a bonfire is always a nice way to spend your evening. Have fun roasting marshmallows for s’mores treats, or even make your own versions with different candies and flavors of marshmallows. Catch fireflies, let loose and be a kid again, together.
Take a trip somewhere fun. I love to travel. It’s in my blood. My grandparents were married all their lives, yep, to the same person, and they used to wake up one morning, spur of the moment at 3 am, my grandpa would turn to my grandma and say, “Wanna go somewhere?” She lovingly always did. To me, that’s love. Even in their older years, always just picking up and taking a trip somewhere spur of the moment. It is one of the most romantic things ever!
Clean together. I know that probably sounds like one of THE most UNfun things you could ever do, but have you ever seen that movie with Selena Gomez and Drew Seeley called, Another Cinderella Story. They cleaned and danced together and just made ANYTHING they did together fun. That’s what dating is about…no matter WHAT you’re doing, have fun. Plus seeing a guy clean is totally hot. Shameful admittance there! 🙂
Travel the world in your own home. Let’s say you both really like Paris. Grab some things at the craft store and create a Paris experience right there in your own home. Make it as authentic as you can. Order in a meal or create one together.
Go to an aquarium. In Oregon and California, there are some AMAZING aquariums. I could stay there all day and look at the cute animals. Penguins are my favorite. 🙂 Anything to do with the ocean, I’m sooo there! At one aquarium, I got to pet a baby shark! You can feed the seals too. There’s so much to do at an aquarium and lots of opportunities to get to know your date’s interests and likes.
Go to a concert. I happen to really love music. It moves me in a way that is indescribable. I just relate to it. If you and your man love music, go to a concert. They often have great singers at fairs and local arenas. Years ago, when I was into country music, I saw a lot of great artists at the local fair! They were up and coming artists or just starting to get popular and trying to get the word out. It was a win win for everyone.
Play a game. Wii U is a fun gaming console to play together because you can use two controllers at once. Or play a board game. I think you can learn a LOT about a person by playing those types of games with them! For me, I’m a really competitive person and if I am playing with another competitive person, it gets REAL fun. I love those matches the best. Not out of meanness or being rude, but just like…give me a challenge! I love challenges! 🙂
Play truth or dare. Seriously, this game is not just for kids. It can be a LOT of fun, but I won’t spell it out for you! Use your own imagination! 🙂
Write a poem together or a short story. One day I’d love to write a short book with someone. I think it would be really fun to think through the whole process together and bounce creative ideas off each other. Seeing how THEY saw a particular day in their mind and compare it to how I saw a particular day. How they were feeling and how I was feeling and compare notes. It’s a subtle was to get a guy to open up and really describe his emotions, because THAT is how you really get to know someone!
One of my favorite movies is The Moonspinners with Hayley Mills (my favorite female actress). In the movie, there’s a scene where they are in the ruins and he FINALLY opens up to her and tells her what’s going on. There’s a HUGE shift in that scene between the two of them. Once he opens up and sees that she genuinely cares about him, he turns around and looks at her. It’s subtle, right, but in that moment, you know. He’s in love. You can’t fake a look like that. You can’t hide a look like that. It’s that one subtle look that tells all. It’s the moment when the whole room goes dark and all you see is the person, and no, that doesn’t JUST happen in movies! 🙂
Skip out early. Okay, I totally admit when I was a senior in High School, I used to ditch school (this was before I was saved). I got really good grades and school was just boring to me. I worked after school at a fast food place and the Mayor of the city where I grew up knew that and knew me, so basically, he let me. 🙂 Never marked me tardy or absent. It’s kind of fun to skip out on something, right? I mean, let’s be honest here. Who hasn’t ditched?! It’s exciting. Well, translate that to your relationship. Let’s say you’re out at an event, duck out and go do your own thing together out of spontaneity! Trust me, it’ll be lots of fun!
Go to the botanical gardens. Though I’ve never been (it’s on my bucket list), where I live now, they have some pretty amazing botanical gardens. It’s like a whole ‘nother world in there! If you both like nature, get out there and enjoy it. Explore and find things together.
Train rides. Some places have train rides where they provide the meals and take you across the landscape like 100 miles. Although I’ve never been, it always seemed like such a fun idea. Getting to see places through the eyes of a moving train.
Take photos together. Go somewhere, anywhere, two camera’s and take photo’s. When you get back home, look at the photo’s that the other person took. Even though you were in the exact same place as them, they will have completely different photo’s, especially if they are taller than you! Really LOOK at their photos. See what they see, how THEY see the world, what they like to look at, what they find beautiful. It’s a great way to get to know someone through THEIR eyes!
Make a dinner and the only unusual rule is NO silverware (think Medieval Times in Cali)! Watching someone else try to eat things like soup without a spoon is just hilarious! Or butter their bread without a knife. Yeah, it’s messy, but it’s also a lot of fun! Speaking of recreating your own unique food experience, if you like a certain fast food place, make your own! I happen to love Chipotle’s burritos and often make my own at home!
Teach each other something. Each of you ask the other what they’d love to learn most about and listen to them give a presentation about that topic for 10 minutes. I can think of a number of things I’d love to just sit and listen to someone speak on for 10 minutes. Imagine what you can learn! We all have knowledge and wisdom in certain areas and it’s rare we get to share it in that capacity and to that depth!
Maybe it’s just me, but I love to learn, so just sitting there and listening to someone talk about something they are passionate about, is really cool!
Ice cream sundae night. Get lots of toppings and ice cream and make your own ice cream sundaes. Then share each others creations! Again, just trying to see the world from their view. What they like, what they don’t, and so on.
Go yard saleing together. This may seem a little odd, but I love yard saleing with people. I really get to know a lot about them. What they like, what they don’t, what they see first, what they miss. The eyes are so important. Getting to know what catches his eyes is important to know. It gives you a little window into their soul. And while you are yard saleing, you can be looking at different houses and talking about what you like and what you don’t like about each house in particular. It’s fun to dream together. 🙂 What would your life be like if you DID end up married…I think that when you’re dating, it’s important to talk about those things.
Explore together. Go to a park and just start walking trails that you think might lead you somewhere cool. Explore your environment and have fun, searching out new and exciting things. You can also do this while traveling!
When I was married, he never wanted to do this. It was all just a waste of time to him. One time, we walked about a mile or two to the ocean across the dunes to explore. Boy was he the most mad I’d ever seen him. The beach wasn’t any prettier than the tourist traps; he didn’t get it. It wasn’t about the beach or even finding something. It was about spending time learning about each other and boy did I learn a lot, but not in a good way!
Don’t take lightly the things you do together. In the activities that you do, you really get to know a person. In that exploration, I learned so much about him as a person. It really opened my eyes to a lot of things. Good or bad, while dating, you need to know these things! Don’t wait until you’re married to find out his TRUE character!
Rent a DVD series and watch as many as you can…or a trilogy of movies. A couple good ideas are…
- Left Behind Series with Kirk Cameron (my favorite male actor)
- Lord of the Rings
- National Treasure
- Jurassic Park
- Back to the Future
- Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford (he also plays in another one of my favorite movies: Sabrina)
I’m sure there are plenty more to chose from too!
Have a professional photo shoot. Seems like a really fun way to spend a day together to me! 🙂
Serve together. Maybe it’s at church, maybe it’s at a club or somewhere in your town. It adds a whole ‘nother layer of respect to the relationship if you are serving along side them for Christ!
As you can see, it doesn’t take a ton of money, or even hours of planning to have great virtuous date night ideas. Grab a few simple items, invest your time, and make sure you turn off the electronics to focus solely on them! That’s really what it’s all about, learning and growing together as a couple!