Now more than ever, make Date Night special.
We’ve been committed to a weekly Date Night for decades, and it’s done our relationship a world of good. Even when you’ve been happily married for more than 30 years, like we have, it’s easy to slide into complacency, get distracted, and start taking each other for granted, particularly when it comes to Date Night. To combat that, several years ago I came up with a strategy I call “Friday Night Lights (FNL).”
FNL has nothing to do with football and everything to do with romance. We chose Fridays because we can usually sleep late on Saturday mornings, which means we can relax, take our time, and not worry about necessarily getting to bed at our regular hour.
As we’ve all suffered quarantine fatigue lately, I’ve realized that now more than ever is the time to implement and sustain rituals that mark the passage of time and make lasting memories. Here’s how to prepare for your own FNL:
1) Make sure your bedroom and bathroom are clean and uncluttered and put fresh linens on the bed and in the bathroom.
2) Choose at least one of the following “atmosphere enhancers”: a candle or two; an essential oil diffuser or incense burner; fresh flowers arranged in a pretty vase (even if they’re from the supermarket or your yard); fancy bath salts; and/or background music.
3) Have a good lotion on hand for shoulder and/or foot rubs. I like L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Foot Cream, but you do you.
4) Look and smell your best. Now’s the time to shower, shave, put on some scent, and wear something soft and slinky.
5) Figure out refreshments: a home-cooked favorite or takeout for dinner; fancy drinks; and a special dessert.
6) Have a plan: is it Game Night? Movie night? A discussion or calendaring evening? Whatever you choose, be prepared, but also be flexible. See the list below for ideas.
7) If you’re having a movie night, keep a running list of movies you want to watch together so that you won’t waste time trying to find something in the moment.
Free or Low-Cost Friday Night Lights Ideas:
Build a blanket fort.
Take turns reading poetry to each other.
Each of you make a list of everything you love about your partner and read them aloud.
Shop for your dream house online.
Play Truth or Dare, Never Have I Ever, or Two Truths and a Lie.
Take a walk somewhere beautiful and local.
Cook or bake something together.
Have a picnic at a park, in your yard, or on your bedroom floor.
Play Exquisite Corpse.
Collaborate on writing a history of your relationship.
Find a YouTube dance tutorial and learn a dance together.
Or do an online yoga or tai chi video together.
Go through old photos and tell each other stories.
Do a craft or start a hobby — learn to knit or do origami or make soap.
Have a tasting of different cheeses, chocolates, or something else delicious.
Create a bucket list of things to do together: adventures, destinations, etc.
Play each other’s favorite board game: trade Boggle for Risk, etc.
Learn about local history, architecture, birds, animals, or vegetation.
Sketch each other, even if you don’t think you can draw.
Take turns singing to each other.
Give each other a manicure or pedicure.
Get a star map and learn the constellations you can see from your yard together.
Have a discussion about a book you’ve both read recently.
Give each other a massage.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to do the last thing on my list. Get out that good lotion. Sit comfortably with your back against something supportive and your legs spread apart. Your partner sits in front of you with their back to you. Put your feet in their lap so that they can rub your feet while you work on their shoulders. Switch positions when you feel like it.
Everything else is up to your imagination. Whatever you choose to do for FNL, your goal is to make your partner feel special. Turn your phones off and eliminate other distractions. Focus on being present. There’s nothing more important than these moments together. If you have children, I believe one of the best gifts you can give them is the knowledge that their parents love each other, and Friday Night Lights is a great way to communicate that. If you don’t have kids, then all you have is you two, and you should treasure that. I hope you have as much fun with this as we have! Leave me a comment and let me know of any other FNL ideas you come up with.
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