Making Time for Your Relationship
When it comes to making "couple time" these days, it seems like virtually everything gets ahead of spending time with the ones we love. From a busy workload to catching the kids' soccer games, it can be really difficult to find time to go out on dates with my husband. When we do find the time to get a sitter for a night or two, there are plenty of things we like to do, from having a romantic dinner to indulging in one of those "romantic getaways in Chicago"-type offerings from luxury hotels in the area. If you don't have a significant chunk of time that you can get away, though, there are plenty of other ways to keep your relationship going—you just have to take some time to nurture it.
Take Classes Together
While it might not be your first inclination, taking a class together is a great way to spend time with each other while sharing a new experience. Ideally, the class is something you both like—like cooking or painting—but you can also branch out and take turns signing up for ones that just one of you likes. This helps you learn more about one another and partake in activities that the other likes. Plenty of classes are offered for free, and there are ones available for a wealth of different topics. If you've been trying to plan an international vacation, taking a class to learn the basics of a new language or techniques for great photography might be good, or if someone has a birthday coming up, perhaps a baking class could be fun so you can learn how to make their favorite kind of cake.
Check Out New Restaurants and Theaters
Date night, for many people at least, is pretty much the typical "dinner and a movie" setup. If you're not already bored with this, great—why fix what isn't broken? To mix it up a bit, though, check out new places more often. You might be comfortable going to your old favorite restaurants, but every now and then, go to a new place that one of you has been dying to try or that one of you read about in the paper. Similarly, check out a different theater—maybe an art theater or one with IMAX screens. Changing up the venue of your usual dates is an easy way to make couple time feel even more special. You could also do a date-night-at-home sort of thing if you're on a budget—get someone to take the kids for the night, then cook a meal together and enjoy time spent together alone—no kids asking you to sign permission slips or asking you where a certain shirt is.
Do Something Totally Out of the Ordinary
Likewise, if your usual dates are pretty low-key, try something completely new. Sign up to go skydiving if you're the adrenaline-junkie type. You don't necessarily have to pick something dangerous or crazy like skydiving, though—you could just plan a day trip to a nearby town to do some exploring. All that matters is that your plans aren't anything like what you normally do. Go bowling, check out batting cages, go to a wine tasting, go dancing, go on a ghost tour—whatever suits your fancy as a couple. Branching out can be a lot of fun for couples who do the same thing most of the time. Sharing new experiences is a great way to get closer to the one you love, and it's a great way to inject some fun and excitement into your relationship, especially if things are feeling stagnant or you've been in a rut lately.
Plan a Staycation or Weekend Getaway
If you're lucky enough to get a weekend to yourselves, you can check out a luxurious hotel and have all the fun of a vacation without any of the stress of packing and travelling. My husband and I like to plan romantic getaways in Chicago, where we live, every now and then. It's nice to really disconnect from home life for a couple days, even if I do miss the kids and the dogs. This gives us a chance to recharge and reconnect, as well as talk about things that aren't our kids' math homework or frustrations we've been dealing with at work. While it involves a little bit more planning, sharing romantic getaways in Chicago is one of our favorite things to do, since we get a bit more time to ourselves than we would if we just planned one date night out. If you've heard of those sort of hotels, you may have dismissed them as being a bit cheesy, but when it comes to getting some time alone, they're actually really great.