No More Movies: 17 Date Ideas that Encourage Communication and Strengthen Your Romantic Bond

17 fun datesQuick, it’s date night. What are you going to do? You bet’ not say go to the movies! That’s so last millennium. It’s the twenty first century. All the cool couples are doing things that don’t involve sitting quietly in a room for 90 minutes. Young married couples these days area super busy with work, school, kids, friends, or a combination of all four. There is absolutely no time to waste, so why are you constantly going on dates that literally discourage communication? (No, seriously, they have signs that ask you not to talk.) Movies are great, but you guys need to talk and interact, not stare at a huge screen. Read on to find 17 fun date ideas that are sure to create memories and increase your romantic bond.

  • Go rock climbing

If you’re brave enough to conquer some real rocks (I’m talking mountains and such) go for it, but most people should probably start with a rock climbing wall. They’re pretty easy to find in most cities. A simple Google search will usually do the trick.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: I’ve been rocking climbing before; it isn’t easy. Tackling something challenging as a couple can really show how much you two support each other, figuratively and physically. Who knows, it may be your love’s loving, encouraging words that keep you from giving up half way through.

  • Go paint balling

This can be done in one of two ways: You can go to a paint ball place or buy/rent paint balls guns and do it wherever you like.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Paint balling can be a healthy way of de-stressing or relieving pent-up aggression. I mean, come on, sometimes you just need to shoot someone!

  • Go to a trampoline park

I’ve only done this once and it wasn’t even with my hubby, but I seriously recommend it for couples. If you’re wondering what a trampoline park is, it’s a big Chuck E. Cheese/Dave & Buster’s sort of place, but instead of games and little rides, it has tons of huge trampolines. Aside from the intense workout you’re sure to get, its incredibly freeing. Your inner child will break lose and get really jiggy with it! (Yea, I said “jiggy.” What, you mad?)

Why its beneficial to your marriage: We don’t always realize it, but we sometimes put up emotional walls that put a damper on our marital connections. Something as simple as jumping really high over and over again can help break down those walls and ease any tension that may have sneaked into your relationship.

  • Catch some live music

If you live in a big city, this should be really easy, but even if you’re in a smaller city, it’s still doable. Dress up, go out, and have a good time.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Listening to music together, especially good music, creates a shared experience that connects. Also, live music scenes often have great ambiance (small venue, dim lights, etc.). It encourages you guys to get close and comfy. I don’t want to go making any promises, but there may even be some dancing involved.

  • Go fruit picking

This is date only works during warmer seasons, but its a beautiful experience if timed just right. It doesn’t matter what you’re picking– apples, berries, oranges–what matters is that you’re out in nature enjoying each others’ company without the interruptions of cell phones or TV.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: I genuinely believe anything that involves being out in nature as a couple is beneficial to a marriage. It’s the peace and serenity that does it. Well, that and the fact that you’re interacting with God’s creation. Plus, you get to take home nutritious food. #Winning.

  • Karaoke

There are only two possible responses to this suggestion:

1. “Awwww yea, booooy.” (Does a quick body roll.)
2. “Heeeeell no. I ain’t doing that.” (Shakes head emphatically.)

If you’re a number 1, go on out and sing your heart out in front of a room full of people. If you’re a number 2, don’t stress. You can do at-home karaoke. All you need is  YouTube access.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Once you get over your nerves, it’s really fun and kind of embarrassing (but in a non-scaring sort of way).  It involves letting down your walls and being vulnerable. Couples who are able to do this have deeper connections.

  • Make a scavenger hunt

This can be as simple or as extravagant as you like. It can involve different spots around your house or places all over the city.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: A good scavenger hunt takes time and effort to plan. You can’t just throw it together. The fact that you put so much care into planning something enjoyable for your spouse shows your love and dedication.

  • Play truth or dare 

This is an age-old game that can be play at home and costs a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: There’s something about the game of truth or dare that makes people a little bolder than usual. This is a great way to make some fun memories and learn new things about your spouse.

  • Volunteer together

I don’t know about you, but I get a little buzz from volunteering. It’s such a good feeling to know I’m helping people in a very real, tangible way. Doing it with a person you love is even more rewarding.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Aside from the burst of positive energy that’s bound to spill over into your marriage, it really makes you thankful for what and who you have. It also puts things into perspective.

  • Bumper cars

Because this is the only time where its actually good to be a horrible driver.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Much like paint balling, its a healthy way to de-stress/ let off steam.

  • Do a cooking challenge

This is a particularly good choice for couples who can cook. How does it work? Just like the cooking show Chopped. One of you picks 2-3 unorthodox ingredient groups, like chocolate, broccoli, and almond milk, and the other has to come up with a dish that incorporates all the ingredients.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Both of you will be forced to be creative and think outside of the box. In marriage, it can be easy to grow stagnant, to get stuck.  Getting out of your comfort zone is often what is necessary to push through disagreements and difficulties.

  • Make a how-to video

What do you know how to do? A popular hairstyle, change a tire, fix a computer virus? Whatever it is, make a video about it. Take turns recording each other as you, in your most professional voice, show step-by-step how to do whatever it is you’re demonstrating. If you’re up to it, publish the video online, or keep it for personal viewing if you’re on the shy side.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Like karaoke, this activity involves being vulnerable, stepping in front of a camera and allowing it to capture you being silly and unguarded. That’s not easy for everyone, but it’s a great bonding experience. And you’re bound to have a bunch of laughs.

  • Test drive really fancy cars 

So what if your current car is older than the middle schoolers who make fun of it on a regular basis, the dealer doesn’t have to know that. Waltz in there like you’re really looking to buy, and drive the mess outta those cars. When you’re done, tell them you didn’t quite find what you were looking for. Then, scoff just a tad and walk out of the dealership like it was a total waste of time.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Aside from testing out your acting chops, it’s a great bonding experience. I’ll give you something to laugh about for years to come.

  • Listen to poetry

There’s one thing about spoken-word poetry: it’s either really good or horrible.  If it’s good, you’ll be happy you came. If it’s horrible, you’ll have something to laugh at with your love.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: Good poetry can spark some great conversations. Poor spoken word can make you feel just a tad bit better about yourself. “At least I’m not that guy.”

  • Do something terrifying 

This could be anything from holding a snake to going up to the roof of a really tall building. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you have your boo there to support you through something hard.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: A lot of times, your spouses believe in you more than you believe in yourself. They see your strength even when you can’t. Having a loved one coach you through something you thought you’d never be able to do creates a wonderful feeling of love and support.

  • Find a bed and breakfast

B&Bs have so much more personality than hotels. They’re often privately owned and have a real “homey” feel.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: It gives you time to relax and simply enjoy each other.

  • Go on a challenging walk

I’m not talking about a walk around the block (unless your block happens to be on Mr. Kilimanjaro). I’m talking one of those “it’s kinda hard to talk right now” walks. It can be up a hill or nearby mountain trail. Anywhere really, as long as it’s challenging.

Why its beneficial to your marriage: When couples attempt challenging things together and accomplish them, it sends a very important message: Together, we are strong.

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