Relationships and marriages are hard and prior to contrary belief, they seem to get harder the more time you’ve been together.
I always thought that after you’ve been with your partner for so long, things would be seamless. You live together, you know each other almost as well as you know yourself. Doesn’t that automatically mean easy?
In fact, it’s just the opposite. Often times, you’ve been with your significant other so long that you start to get complacent. The daily routine becomes mundane and the spark starts to fizzle out.
The spark, you know, that thing that made you wild for them? The spark that gave you butterflies and made your palms clammy. The thing that drove the connection between you. Where did that go?
Reality has a funny way of jumping in and taking over. Especially when life is hectic and you both are running in different directions at lightening speed. So it’s important to put aside time for just you and the person you love.
Here’s a couple go to rules to follow when thinking about planning date nights:
1. Make date night intentional – DO NOT just randomly decide an hour before that your going to have a “date night”. Those nights can be all well and good, but I bet you spend a majority of the evening trying to figure out what to do, where to eat and ultimately ready to be back on the couch at home. I’m not saying you need to plan your date nights a month in advance, but plan it a couple days out at least. This leaves plenty of time to prepare for whatever you are doing, figure out where you need to be, what time you need to be there, purchase tickets in advance if necessary and most importantly, scope out where you are going to eat!
Your date night needs the kind of attention and planning that you would give anything else in your life. Make a list of things that you and your partner like to do, TOGETHER. Common interest are a must. Dragging your babe to something they are not a big fan of is not going to bring either of you joy.
A date jar is a great way to plan out your time. You’ve already put in the effort to decide what to do. You can even get a little more detailed and coordinate activities with dining options.
2. Leave everyone else at home – Jeremy and I have a rule, no phones on date night. A night out with your spouse is important for many reasons. It breaks up the monotony of your daily lives, it gives you time to connect with one another and have meaningful conversation.
Leave the kids at home. Get a sitter or hit up granny daycare.
Do not answer cell phone calls or text. Unless it’s Granny or the kids, and someone’s on the way to the Emergency Room. Or if your me and Jeremy, you notice your dog has escaped out of your front window and the neighbors are trying to corral him. This also includes social media. It’s so easy to hop on Facebook during an idle moment. Half the reason why relationships lose connection has to do with technology, especially social media. So during your date nights, just don’t.
3. Get dressed up – You don’t need to pull out your evening gowns and tuxedos (unless the date requires it) but it helps the aesthetic of the date if you both wear something nice. Pull out something that you don’t see each other in all the time. Picking out an outfit for date night reminds me of all the extra time and effort I used to put into getting ready when Jeremy and I first started dating. Although it’s nice to scale back from that a bit, the date always feels more real when we get a little more gussied up.
Fall Delaware date ideas – if you are a Delaware local, here are some great date ideas that you can plan with your significant other:
Classic dinner and a movie, Milford style. Milford has been blessed to recently open a state of the art movie theatre. Complete with reclining seats! Before your movie, head to our favorite eatery in Milford, Easy Speak. You can’t go wrong with their vibes, locally distilled spirits and wood fired pizza!
– Mini golf and Ice cream at Tre Sorelle Dolce in Camden. Bring your competitive side because this course is not for the faint of heart. Add a little wager, whoever loses has to buy ice cream! And they have some of the best milkshakes around. Try the peanut butter heaven milkshake, you won’t regret it! If your lucky, you can catch a food truck there as well. My favorite is The Corn Exchange! Give me all the Mexican Street corn 😍
Check of Tre Sorelle and The Corn Exchange on Facebook to find out about upcoming events.
– Fort Delaware. If you and your lovey like history check out Fort Delaware. They have daily tours and on specific days, they also have musket and artillery demonstrations. If you are into spooky stuff, they host ghost tours during the fall season!
Zip line with Go Ape at Lums Pond. Zip lining and making your way through the high ropes course at Lums Pond will surely be a date you won’t forget. Then stop by the Crooked Hammock in Middletown on the way home for a beer and their delicious Pineapple Express wings or pilled high nachos.
Fall fest at Fifer’s Orchard
The fall festival at Fifers is a small town favorite. You can pick your own pumpkins in the U-Pick patch and treat yourself to fresh produce while sipping on a apple cider slush, topped with a freshly made apple cider donut.
Within a short drive you can also find other great locations with fall activities including: Milburn Orchards in MD, Linvilla Orchard in PA, the Apple Scrapple Festival hosted in Bridgeville and the Sea Witch Festival in Rehoboth
Take a tour with Quest Kayaks. – Quest kayaks has locations in multiple areas including Cape Henlopen State Park, Milton and Abbott’s Mill. They have have speciality tours, including their pints and paddle tour, where they have teamed up with Dogfish Head Brewery! This includes a 90 minute paddle down the Broadkill River, followed by a 90 minute tour of the brewery.
Or Paddle board Milford. Thanks to 7 seas concepts, in Milford, you can now rent a stand up paddle board and explore the Mispillion River. After you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by Arenas and sit on their outside deck. Be sure to order a Crush! They offer all kinds of flavors all summer long.
– Sunset cruise with Cape water tours and taxi in Lewes. Jeremy and I just experienced our first water taxi tour last month and it was epic. Consider having dinner at The Wheelhouse or Irish Eyes. They are both located right next to the dock where the tour departs. Cape water tours also have other tours available that could tickle your fancy!
If you love your dogs the mostest invite them for the Dog days of summer at Hagley Museum. The only exception to not bringing anyone on date night is for your goodest doggos. On select Wednesdays from late spring to early fall, Hagley opens their gates for your canine friends. Bring a picnic dinner and find a beautiful spot on the brandy wine, check out their food trucks and Hopkins Creamery ice cream. If you’re not up to taking your pups, you can still attend! On Wednesday, Hagley holds bikes and brews from 5-8pm, where you can ride through areas of Hagley that are normally closed off. If you don’t have a bike, no problem, you can still walk the same paths! The brandywine River valley has breathtaking fall views.
Take a ride on a train!
The Wilmington and Western Railroad offers a fun way to see the beauty of fall in the Red Clay Valley. You have the option to ride the rails to Mt. Cuba Center for a picnic meal or ride the train into Historic Hockessin for a 1/2 hour layover. Both trails offer a unique view of the brandywine River. You may even get lucky and find a dinner train event. Seats are turned into tables and and dinner is catered on the train. From personal experience, the food is delicious! No worries about a subpar meal on this train!
Catch a Blue Rocks game. The nice thing about Delaware is that you can drive the whole state in just over 2 hours, and the minor league baseball field is located in Wilmington! Pig out on baseball park goodies and cold beer. Prior to COVID, the blue rocks would hold concerts by artist like Chase Rice during specific games. I hope that makes a comeback in the future!
Enjoy nature at Cape Henlopen State Park. Delaware has a lot of great state parks, but Cape Henlopen has a lot of great things to do inside one park. Most activities are outdoors, making the fall a great time to adventure out. The mild temperature and fall foliage make climbing the WWII observation towers, touring the bunkers, borrowing a bike (free of charge) from the bike shed and cycle the Gordon’s Pond trail, enjoying the beach, walk the trails and visiting the nature center even better! Then when your day is complete, clean up at the bath house and take yourself down to Station on Kings for a sweet treat before you head home. The station will not disappoint and has one of the most beautiful seating areas and garden centers.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had a date night with your boo, take the opportunity of the changing seasons to plan a fun night that you will talk about for years to come!