By: Jessica Lee
With Valentine's Day coming right up around the corner, those of us with significant others are busy planning what to do for our big dates. Some couples are lucky enough to have a date day each week where they shut off their phones, reserve a fancy restaurant, and keep the fire going! Whether you have a scheduled date day or not, the reality is that once you are a serious couple, you have more non-date days than date days. And that’s fine - it’s the way it should be. You are enjoying life with this person, and learning to love every boring night and busy day and long distance trips.
Here are some ideas of what to do on a random Wednesday, or on your way to work, or after the kids fall asleep, when romance is not the key, but growing your relationship is.
1. Listen to a podcast. Unless you are blessed to have jobs at the same location, most couples drive separately to work and spend a long day apart. My boyfriend found a podcast for us to listen to on the way to work and we are hooked. After work, we call each other up, discussing the characters involved, the plot, and most importantly…do you think he’s the murderer? We’re listening to Serial, and I highly suggest this one. If murder mysteries aren’t your style, look around online – I’m sure you’ll find something to meet you and your honey’s interests. There are also many sermons and testimonies, which is a great way to boost your day as you listen to it.
2. Read a book. My boyfriend and I mostly do this during road trips to visit family. We find a book we both want to read, and as we take turns driving, the other takes turns reading. It makes time fly by. On hum-drum nights, we’ve cuddled together to finish a chapter. I love being able to make comments and ask questions, something that can’t be done when you read solo.
3. Create. Whether it’s music, art, or writing – whatever you and your partner enjoy, make it a hobby! Learning a new song on the piano, writing a series of poems together, creating a painting for your living room. Whenever we don’t have anything planned, we storyboard a bunch of ideas for children’s books. I can’t promise that they will ever get published, but it’s so fun to collaborate and use our talents.
4. Get active. In the summer, go kayaking. In the winter, go snowshoeing. Take walks, go fishing, or whatever it is that you both love. If you can’t agree on something, take turns as you teach each other your favorite sport. If you need motivation, sign up for a 5k or sign up for classes to help hold you accountable.
5. At the end of the day, when you’re blogging, checking e-mails, or finishing up work from the day, take a 10 minute break. Make yourselves some coffee, sit at the table, and talk to each other. Just those few minutes of attention can go a long way.
6. Cook together. Obviously, you need to eat, so why not cook it together? If one person in the relationship struggles with cooking, turn it into a learning opportunity. Or split the jobs – you’re in charge of making the salad, I’m in charge of cooking the fish. Whenever we do this, we turn on our favorite tunes and dance around the kitchen as we cook, taste test, and sing along.