David and I decided that we wanted to bring back a weekly date night as one of our New Year’s Resolutions. We went on many creative dates when we were dating and first married, but with our busy schedules dating has been placed on the back burner in our relationship. Strangely, we noticed that the less dates we went on the harder it became to think of things to do together on our off days. Our typical weekend routine was spent contemplating what we would like to do and then spending the weekend with errands and catching up on cooking and cleaning. Dating is crucial in a marriage, especially if one person’s love language is quality time (mine is). I do not believe that dating should necessarily be expensive or impractical, and I defiantly do not think that dates have to involve dinner and a movie. I prefer to think of a date as time that two people have set aside to spend quality time together. This definition allows for so much creativity and really gets at the heart of dating. With this said, I would like to share the first several dates we have gone on this month. We have had more than one date a week and already feel much closer than we have in a long time.
1. Birmingham Art Museum
The Birmingham Art Museum is a perfect date for a cold winter day. You can spend a few hours wondering through all of the exhibits and talking about the different pieces. The European exhibit was our favorite. A plus for David was that the museum is completely free including parking.
2. TN Aquarium/Chattanooga
This was one of our more expensive dates since we had to pay for gas and the aquarium is pretty expensive. They do offer some discounts (including student discounts) at the ticket counter. We felt that January was the perfect time to see the aquarium since it is completely indoors. In fact, in the warm and sunny butterfly exhibit I completely forgot it was winter. We also stopped for lunch at our favorite restaurant in Chattanooga, Taco Mamacita. They have a delicious chicken tortilla soup which is perfect to warm you up on a cold day!
Cost: Aquarium- $30 per person without a discount
Lunch- You can check out the menu here https://tacomamacita.com/
3. Workout classes
David has a free membership to the UAB rec center as a student, and I am able to get a significantly reduced membership through him. They have a wide variety of classes including yoga, barre, Zumba and cycling. We took the CUT class together which focused on your abdominal muscles. It was really fun to roll out our workout mats next to each other and to see each other’s expressions when we realized we were not quite “cut” out for the class.
Cost: $0 for gym members
*If you do not have a gym membership you could watch a workout class on YouTube and have a class at home.
4. Double Date Night
The great bonus to having a double date is that it also gives you the opportunity to catch up with friends you have not seen in a while. We went with my best friend from high school, Amandalyn, and her boyfriend David. We had dinner at Las Trojas and then went to a movie at Touchstar cinemas in Huntsville. The chairs at the theater were AMAZING. I was more comfortable than I am sitting on my couch watching a movie at home. Not only did the comfy leather seats recline but the armrest lifted up so that you could snuggle up with your date. Another plus was that David was able to make use of his student discount again (we need to make the most of that in the next few months.)
Cost: $4.59 Bargain Tuesdays (some movies may be restricted) $5.00 Matinees (before 6pm) $5.00 Children, Seniors, Students, Military $8.50 Adults (after 6pm)
5. Game Night
We had a home cooked dinner and a game night with our friends Hunter and Ashley from church. This was a great way to enjoy some friendly competition and a lot of laughter. We played Speak Out, Catch Phrase and Battle of the Sexes. Although David and I enjoy games with just the two of us, it is much more fun to have another couple so that you can play on teams!
I would say that five dates in two weeks is a pretty strong start to bringing back date night! I look forward to making even more memories this year!