48 Really Great Dates

The goal is simple; we want to make our relationship with each other our number one priority by blocking out time each week for just the two of us – no family, no phones, no chores, no errands, no distractions – and do something that is both fun and memorable. The rules are:

  • We must take turns planning each week’s date. Dates can be a surprise or an activity planned together; however, the person whose turn it is must take the lead on making arrangements for the date.
  • There is no set budget, but all funds must come from our entertainment account.
  • Dates can take place any time of the day, any day of the week (Monday – Sunday).
  • There’s no maximum time limit but each date must be at least 2 hours long.
  • Dates can involve a meal but do not have to.
  • We must take at least one photo while on the date.
  • There are 4 “skip” weeks built into the calendar year. These skips can be used at any time to cover illness, vacation, or family obligation.
  • Dates can be repeated, but not in the same month.

Date 1: Pajama Party
On New Year’s Day, I woke up in horrific pain. No, it wasn’t a hangover; I had somehow managed to strain my lower back. So, our initial kick-off date (a long hike) had to be revised. We opted instead for a movie night pajama party at home. It’s been more than a year since we ditched our DVD player and stopped renting movies so this was a rare treat. We watch a lot of documentaries but very few Hollywood flicks, and after this, I know why! We rented Equalizer 2 and it was not great; however, the snacks and company were. Total cost: 99 cents.

Date 2: Love You With All My Heart
Good health is a key component of a happy life so this week’s date focused on putting our hearts in the right place. We started the day with an unhurried heart-healthy breakfast at Panera – Quinoa Almond Oatmeal, a fruit cup, and a banana. To keep it frugal, we brought our own banana and our own cup (with a tea bag inside). This was our first time to try their oatmeal (at $4.59 a bowl, restaurant oatmeal is quite an extravagance for us!) but it was a date, and it was delicious! Breakfast was followed by a visit to Sam’s Club, where they were hosting a free health fair for members. Angie’s numbers were perfect. I think everyone in the store heard it when her pharmacy tech exclaimed, “these are the best numbers I’ve seen all day”. I guess all that jumping around exercise pays off after all. I, on the other hand, could stand to do a bit more jumping. Let’s just say, there’s room for much improvement in the areas of cholesterol and BP. Though the numbers weren’t as great as I hoped, the date was, and it gives us something else to work on together. Total cost: $13.30.

Date 3: Bad Luck is Good for the Sole

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might think that the Universe is out to get us. Of our three dates so far, two have not gone as planned. This time it was a trip to the Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History that was thwarted by…of all things…our car! The battery died, which is not such a big deal, except that it died in my mom’s driveway in the middle of a rain storm. By the time we were able to swap it out, it was nearly 1 PM and the museum closes at 2 PM. We regrouped over lunch and decided on a Plan B date for the next day, brunch and indoor mini golf. But alas, when we woke up, it was snowing! Sure we can drive in the snow but who wants to?? So instead, we opted for a “spa date”. We made our own foot scrub, enjoyed a long relaxing foot soak, snacked on veggies, hummus, and mango smoothies (don’t let the cup fool you!), and watched a few tiny house/vanlife videos from the Youtube channel: Exploring Alternatives. At first, I was bummed by not “going out” but then Angie reminded me, it’s not about going out, it’s about spending time together. And that we did. Total cost: $0.