You asked for a follow-up blog on Love Language Date Ideas and I am here for it! Actually, we are here for it, but more on that below.
If you are wondering what a Love Language is, hop on over to Part 1 of this blog: At Home Date Ideas According to Your Love Language to learn a little bit about Love Languages and take the Love Language Quiz for Couples. Then come back to this post for great date-night ideas!
Today, I am excited to bring to you Love Language Date Ideas – Part 2 with a twist.
The date-night ideas in this post are a collaboration between me and the Hubby. We sat down – well technically we grabbed the Yeti Roadie, filled it with ice, hopped in the car and trekked it to Burlingame for some curbside-pick-up of my all-time favorite ice cream, Salt & Straw (olive oil for life!) – and on the way we brainstormed date-night ideas for you.
We wanted to round out these Love Language Date Ideas with a combo of Love Languages, so you can choose a date night that appeals to each of your Love Language’s in one love-filled day. These ideas are written with the current physical distancing norms in-place, but please check local (municipal, county, state) mandates and guidelines before heading out the door.
DATE-NIGHT IDEA #1: SUNSET PICNIC & STARGAZING
(OR, PERSEIDS METEOR SHOWER GAZING)
Love Languages: quality time, physical touch, possibly acts of service & words of affirmation
With the summer months nearly here and a triple digit heat wave already hitting the San Francisco Bay Area, it is the perfect time to head out at sunset and spend a romantic evening together gazing up at the heavens, cuddling, and engaging in deep, meaningful conversation.
To get started, do some googling for a good stargazing location in your area. Choose a spot that is quiet, peaceful and feels removed from the hustle and bustle of at-home life. It is important that it is a bit removed from the center of town; diminished light pollution will equal improved stargazing.
With a little preparation you can easily tailgate out of your trunk or the back of your SUV and have a romantic evening together. I have put together a packing list for you, so you don’t have to!
Camp chairs, a cooler with snacks/dinner (or take-out, support local, small business!), a bottle of wine or bubbly (don’t forget the corkscrew!), cups, plates, flatware, napkins, a small bag for trash, a cutting board or serving tray.
Don’t forget bug-spray! Dusk (that grey time of night, right after sunset and before nightfall) is prime bug-time. Nothing ruins a romantic sunset like mosquitos, so be prepared and thank me later.
To get cozy, after the sun goes down and the temperature drops:
Jackets, camp pads, pillows, blanket, red-light flashlight (more on that below).
Now that the car is packed:
grab your sweetheart and head out the door! When you arrive, back up so the trunk/rear is facing west (sunset). Set-up your camp chairs and keep the trunk open for easy access to all your supplies. Get cozy, have some wine, some food and watch the sunset together.
After sunset, but before nightfall, you can pack-up the food (keeping any critters away) and get out the camp pads, blanket, pillows, etc. The Hubs and I stargaze almost every night when we go camping. We love to lay flat in a clearing for optimal gazing, snuggle up and watch the stars come out.
Here a few tips for optimal star gazing:
The most important thing is to maintain your night vision. It takes 20 minutes for the human eye to fully adjust to the dark, but it only takes a few seconds of bright light to reset the clock.
Here are some easy steps you can take to ensure your night vision:
- Turn off all the car’s interior lights, including the overhead lights that turn on when you open the door. Don’t forget about trunk lights too.
- Use a red-light flashlight to retrieve things from the car or pour yourselves another glass of wine. Red-light wavelength is the best wavelength to preserve night vision. Don’t have a red-light flashlight? You can turn your iPhone into a red-light flashlight with a few easy steps, outlined in this article from gadgethacks.com. Once you’ve turned your screen red, turn the brightness up on your screen and use that to “fumble around in the dark” for whatever you need.
- Load the Night Sky app on your phone and use it with your red screen enabled iPhone to find stars, constellations, satellites, the Hubble Space telescope, planets…and more.
There you have it: a romantic, adventurous, snuggly, meaningful date night!
DATE NIGHT IDEA #2: DRIVE-IN MOVIE OR DRIVE-IN CONCERT
Love language: quality time, physical touch, possibly acts of service & gift giving
With the new-norm physical distancing going on 60+ days in the San Francisco Bay Area drive-in movies are the perfect bygone era nostalgia we need right now – and they are absolutely experiencing a revival. Not only that, but they are also pivoting to become concert venues and so much more!
Grab your sweetheart and find a drive-in near you on The Google Box. I did a quick search, “drive-in movies near me” and Google returned 3 results. The one closest to me is doing a double showing of E.T. and Jurassic Park, talk about the nostalgia we all need right now!
Check the drive-ins’ website for rules and be prepared:
For example, mine is not selling snacks, so a picnic is a must. Craving movie candy & popcorn? The Walgreens by the movie theater in my town sells boxed movie candy for 1/3 the price…shhhh, don’t tell. Between Walgreens and Amazon, I bet you can wrangle up some movie candy.
Want to know the secret to movie theater popcorn?
They use butter flavored oil for popping and clarified butter for that extra butter flavor. You can buy clarified butter or ghee at any grocery store, and DIY some theater worthy popcorn in two pops of a kernel. Here is an easy recipe from recipetineats.com. If your partner is gift giving purchasing these goods might count and making the DIY popcorn will surely register on the acts of service scale.
Once you have your snacks:
Head out with door with your sweetie and have a fun, nostalgic movie night, complete with some old-fashioned necking and hand holding.
DATE NIGHT IDEA #3: COOKING CLUB
Love Language: gift giving, acts of service, quality time, physical touch
If you are like us and love to cook but are feeling a little tired of the same-old-same-old go-to recipes, consider joining a cooking club. Many excellent private chefs are pivoting to teach their masterclasses in virtual fashion.
The Hubby and I have joined Lindsay Kinder of Food La La for her monthly cooking club. Before she launched the cooking club, she was teaching virtual masterclasses. We learned how to make macarons, a Mother’s Day brunch, a Thai feast, artisan cocktails and more. I’ve been making two batches of macarons every week since and I am totally hooked; much to Paul’s enjoyment.
If your Darling is a Receiving Gifts guy or gal and loves to cook, purchase the club as a surprise. If their love language is acts of service, be the one to do the grocery shopping, clean the kitchen and set the table before cooking club meetings. Don’t forget the candles!
Then to get the quality time started, be each other’s sous chef (aka do the prep work together).
Something Paul and I love while cooking together is to have some wine and listen to Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. We’ve found we can have music on softy in the background while taking a class, it really sets the mood.
Once class is done and dinner is served, we sit down to the pre-set table, light those candles and turn the lights down. We chat, eat and finish the bottle of wine we started. It is divine.
Don’t forget to have some fun! Since this is something Paul and I really enjoy we typically end up in a mini-food fight or water fight during cooking and/or clean-up. It usually escalates into a tickle fight and lots of smooching. Don’t be afraid to dab a little cream sauce on your Dearest’s nose or flick a little water at them while doing the dishes together – just remember to give a devilish grin – and be prepared for a smear of sauce on your cheek in return!
DATE NIGHT IDEA #4: DINNER & EPIC ROMANTIC MOVIE QUOTES
Love Language: words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time
Clearly, I am missing the movies because I have two movie themes in this post. When doing some research and brainstorming for words of affirmation ideas we kept coming up with the same rote ideas over and over; and then it hit me (or him?). Us. It hit us – collaboration and compromise are two of the key ingredients to a happy marriage – so it hit us: epic romantic movie quotes with a twist.
It starts with research, a little prep and then dinner, either in (cook or get take-out) or out, depending on your region’s re-opening policies. If you choose to dine-out a little restaurant collaboration is required.
Find the 10 best romantic movie quotes and write each one on a small piece of paper or cardstock and put them in these adorable little #5.5 envelopes from Target.
I’ve done a little research for and have found some great quotes on Studio Binder, such as “You want the moon? Just say the word, and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down” – It’s a Wonderful Life.
Or this one from Buzz Feed, “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – When Harry Met Sally
Now here’s the twist:
Hide these tiny envelopes at the dinner table and make it a game. Ask your Lover if they can find the 10 love notes you have hidden, without leaving the table. Have one under their plate, under their napkin, under a vase of flowers, under their placemat, under their chair, under your plate, under your napkin, etc.
If dining out:
Work with the manager ahead of time to have an envelope delivered with each visit at the table. Waters delivered plus a note. Menus delivered plus a note. Appetizer delivered plus a note. Cocktails delivered plus a note. Server stopping by for no reason, other than to deliver a note. You get the picture.
Then have fun with it:
Amp up the romance. After each note is opened, see if they can guess the movie. Tell them why you chose that quote to share. Be sure to choose quotes that ring true to your loved one, so you can circle it back to them and bring meaning to the moment. Hit pause on looking for or opening, the next note until you’ve shared why you chose it. This will draw out the evening in the best way and keep the romance going throughout your whole meal.
Be sure to choose one quote from their all-time favorite romantic movie and be ready to watch it after dinner. If you cannot find it streaming on Netflix or via Netflix DVD/Blu-Ray, check out the Reel Good app to see if you can find it streaming on the interwebs.
BONUS FOR READING ALL THE WAY TO THE END!
In doing research for this post we found an intriguing article from the New York Times. The article is titled “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love,” in which it discusses and outlines “…Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love essay, ‘To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,’ which refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.”
We skimmed the questions, and they are quite compelling. We’ve been together 12 years, married 7, but we didn’t know each other’s answers at first ask. We plan to ask and answer a set of questions a week, until we are done. We are eager to see how it impacts our relationship, if we feel closer and have a deeper understanding of each other.
I invite you to do the same.