Continued courting (dating) is one of the essential elements to a happy marriage. Think about it. How essential was dating before you and your spouse got married. I would venture to say that most people would not be married had they not dated each other. Dating allows a couple to put life's stresses on hold and simply focus on each other and the relationship. Key items of a date include:
A. It is planned.
B. Kids are not present. Talking about your kids is a great thing to do on a date, but trying to keep your kids calm while in a restaurant for example distracts a couple from interacting with each other.
C. It involves some sort of positive communication.
D. It is together.
After marriage continued courtship can often be a challenge because of children, finances, or other situations. The following is a list of things couples can do at home for little money and without having to try to find a babysitter. Most of these ideas can be done after putting the kids to bed (or early in the morning before they wake up). Keep in mind that a date is planned. Two couch potatoes watching TV together does not constitute a date.
1. Watch a movie together.
2. Play board games together.
3. Play video or computer games together.
4. Have a dance party.
5. Go for a walk around the outside of your house or backyard.
6. Plan a vacation for just the two of you. You've always wanted to go to Europe, but don't have the finances to do so? That doesn't mean you can't still plan your vacation together.
7. Order take-out, put the kids to bed, set up a romantic setting inside or out, and have a romantic dinner.
7a. Have a romantic breakfast before the kids get up.
8. Plan a home remodel project. Don't have the money? See #6.
9. Make cookies and deliver them to neighbors.
10. Make love. If this is going to be considered a date, there needs to be more creativity and planning than just simply getting in bed together. Make love in a different room of the house, use different positions, use lingerie. Make it different. Make it fun.
11. Have a paper airplane contest.
12. Work in your garden. Or if you don't have money to start your garden -- plan your garden.
13. Read a book together.
14. Write an article together.
15. Compile family history/genealogy.
16. Exercise together. You can exercise without leaving your home such as watching work-out videos, or running outside your house.
17. One person I knew who didn't have any money helped his wife put the kids to bed and then went and sat on their roof, had some otter-pops, and just talked with each other.
18. Watch the sunset/sunrise together.
19. Take an online course together.
20. Finger paint with edible paint (different colored pudding).
21. Blog together.
22. Work on a piece of art (painting, pottery, etc.) together.
23. Play laser tag inside your house.
24. Set up your own miniature golf course inside your house.
25. Organize family photos.
26. Scrapbook together.
27. Go through this list, add some of your own ideas, and scratch off ideas that don't fit you.
28. Recreate your first date (this might take some creativity).
29. Write down the story of how you met and read it to each other.
30. Write a letter to a family member, friend, someone serving in the military, etc.
31. Cook a fun meal together.
32. Pick up a fun desert at a place you've never eaten before and share it together (The Cheesecake Factory has 30+ different types of Cheescakes)
33. Read your favorite children's books to each other.
34. Have a bad poetry night (pick a topic and spend 2 mintues writing a poem--as silly, sappy or bad as you can make it).
Other date ideas from home? Originally posted at Improve My Marriage: At-Home Date Ideas