32 Date Night Ideas For Married Couples, Based On What Mood You're In
As adults, we're not always good at spontaneously coming up with date night ideas on the spot, though we're aware of the need to playfully—or soulfully—connect with our significant other. After a day spent checking items off to-do lists, juggling responsibilities, and managing stressful situations, it can be hard to muster the creative energy to figure out what we're in the mood for or what we might enjoy during our downtime.
Hopefully these date night ideas—organized by mood—will tempt you to try something new or inspire you to come up with an alternative idea of your own. And if you and your partner seem to be in different moods, you can consult these lists to create a hybrid activity that suits both of you (and in keeping with the CDC's health and social distancing guidelines!).
Romantic date ideas, for really connecting:
- Return to the place you first met or had your first kiss, and recreate the experience with a play-by-play spoken account of what you didn't dare reveal about your attraction to each other at the time.
- Prepare a picnic with cheese, crackers, grapes, or other yummy finger foods. Find a cozy park, lie on a picnic blanket, and read poetry from books like Love Her Wild or The Sun and Her Flowers while staring at the clouds together.
- Set up a pleasurable sensory experience "buffet" for each other that draws on all five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. Peel a lemon and hold the peel under your partner's nose. Ask them to stick out their tongue and place a dab of vanilla, cinnamon, or some other taste they like there. Brush the inside of their wrist or elbow gently with a piece of silk, or give them a gentle "love bite." Play a song for them. Show them a beautiful photograph.
- Look at older photos of the two of you and reminisce together.
- Take turns asking each other insightful questions. My book, The Couples Quiz Book: 350 Fun Questions To Energize Your Relationship, has plenty of them. Afterward, talk about what you learned.
Fun date ideas, for being silly and adventurous:
- Do something in nature you haven't done before: apple picking, blackberry gathering, river gazing, hiking, biking, canoeing, or kayaking.
- Order an inexpensive karaoke mic and have a singing contest in your living room.
- Dress up in each other's clothes and switch roles/tasks/schedules for 30 minutes.
- Bang around on pots and pans in your kitchen and make up a silly song.
- Set up a ping-pong net on your dining room table and play a couple of matches.
- Meet another couple for a foosball tournament, Spikeball game, or Frisbee.
- Rent scooters and spend a few hours at a local skate park (with helmets and protective gear).
Unique date ideas, for mixing things up:
- Attend an open-air musical concert, or watch a movie outside.
- Together with your partner, allow yourself to be guided through a 20-minute relaxing visualization, YouTube breathwork video, or meditation.
- Schedule an appointment at a "rage room" in your area (such as the Rage Cage in NYC) and destroy some furniture, china, printers, and other breakables. If there are none in your area, find other safe, high-energy ways to vent. Then do something fun and pleasurable together like hugging, kissing, dancing, or skipping down the street holding hands.
- Agree on a place you'd like to visit, like northern Italy, Kauai, Cairo, or the South of France. Then create a meal together that reflects the local cuisine, and visit the location via Google maps or by taking a virtual tour of a museum or landmark. Pepper your dinner table conversation with phrases and words of the language that's spoken, there, such as, "Molto bene," or "Merci, beaucoup, mon cheri," or "ant habibi."
- Dress up in fancy clothes and go to an estate auction. Bid at least once on something you like.
Creative date ideas, for getting handsy:
- Paint each other's toe and/or fingernails fabulous colors.
- Sketch a portrait of each other, taking care to simply enjoy receiving each other's attention and releasing any expectation of a result.
- Co-create an exquisite corpse using words of drawings...maybe while sipping your favorite wine, beer, or nonalcoholic drink.
- Put on bathing suits, fill up a few balloons with water, and have a water-balloon fight outside or in the shower. Then cuddle up in a big towel.
- Take an online chocolate-making lesson (there are plenty of free videos on the internet), or get serious and take a course at Ecole Chocolat to become official chocolatiers.
Sexy date ideas, for the other type of handsy:
- Take turns lying on the floor while one person hovers their hand over different parts of the other's body. Share what you experienced afterward.
- Blindfold yourselves and see how long you can kiss without touching.
- Take a bath or shower together. If you do this often, mix it up by doing something you don't normally do: washing your partner's hair, back, or toes.
- Give each other a massage, with candles, music, and massage oil.
- Take turns stripping for each other slowly and playfully to a favorite song.
Date night in, for lazy, comfy quality time:
- Order glow-in-the-dark stars, put them on your ceiling, and then lie in bed together, making up new constellation names based on what you see.
- Cook a special new meal together (or something fun and simple, like tacos). Agree on who is chef and who is sous chef. Eat your meal someplace unusual, like on the fire escape or on the floor in your living room.
- Get comfortable somewhere and write a list of phrases describing the different things you love about each other, like "you're hot, you're sweet, I love your mind, you have the best smile of any person I know, you're so thoughtful, you smell amazing, I like how you hug me, etc." Then take turns expressing what you love by reading everything on your list out loud.
- Get in your pajamas, make popcorn, and watch a movie. If you already do this often, mix it up by touching in some new way, hugging, spooning, or intertwining your legs.
- Have a tickling contest and see who can resist laughing longest.
Here are some more stay-at-home date ideas and outdoor dates that are safe during COVID-19, plus first date questions that might still be fun on your 200th date.
Alicia Muñoz, LPC, is a certified couples therapist, licensed professional counselor, and author of four relationship books, including Stop Overthinking Your Relationship: Break the Cycle of Anxious Rumination to Nourish Love, Trust, and Connection With Your Partner (New Harbinger Publications, 2022). Over the past sixteen years, she has provided individual, group, and couples therapy in clinical settings, including Bellevue Hospital in New York, NY. Muñoz currently works as a Senior Writer and Editor at Psychotherapy Networker and as a couples therapist in private practice. She connects with her readers and followers through monthly blogs, newsletters, and podcasts as well as through Instagram at @aliciamunozcouples, and Facebook and Twitter at @aliciamunozlpc. Muñoz is a member of the Washington School of Psychiatry, the American Psychological Association, and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Imago and Relationship Therapists. You can learn more about her at www.aliciamunoz.com.