When my husband and I were first married, we loved going out to eat and taking late night walks through town. We adventured and explored together but our date nights quickly became routine. Every week we’d talk about things we might want to do for date night, but almost every week we ended up ordering takeout and watching our current Netflix binge. I wish we hadn’t taken our time together for granted and been more intentional with our date nights in those early years of our marriage.
I know that a lot of newlywed couples run into their own unique obstacles when it comes to date night, we had some of our own. Joe and I worked opposite schedules and by the time he got home from work at night, there wasn’t a lot of time to hit restaurants or activities before they closed. Newly married couples often have very limited budgets and might not feel like they can spend a lot, if any, of money on weekly date nights. We also had the struggle of school and homework due dates on top of a full time work schedule. Sitting at home watching TV every weekend seemed to work well with our schedule and our budget as newlyweds.
My hope is that this post will give you a few new ideas to keep your date nights exciting! The early years of your marriage are fun but can be an adjustment. Keep the spark alive in your relationship by making date night a priority and finding ways to connect on a regular basis. The first years of your marriage are exciting and provide great opportunities to learn more about each other and develop a culture for your little family. These date ideas are not only fun but will help you figure out what’s important to you as a couple and your future family.
For even more date ideas check out the Prioritizing Date Night e-book with over 300 date night ideas for couples in every stage of life and tips for making date night happen no matter what obstacles your quality time faces.
Date Night Ideas for Newlywed Couples
Explore where you live
Whether you are living in an area where you both grew up, have been going to school or have lived for a while or if you’re starting your life together in a new location, this is a great date night activity! And chances are, you’ll move around a few times or more in your newlywed days, so you can pull this date night out whenever you do. Even though we’d both lived in the area for most of our lives, Joe and I found a lot of things we didn’t know existed in our hometown when we explored after getting married.
A great way to explore is on foot. We love to walk down the historical main street in our town and see what’s there. You’ll find a lot of gems, locally owned businesses and restaurants, on main street. You might also notice historical sites with great stories and charming houses or buildings. Another idea might be to drive around town making note of eateries, activities and stores that you might want to make part of your next date night. Learn more about the town’s history, cultural events and festivals so that you can participate in them as well.
Decorate your new home
One of the most exciting things about sharing an apartment, condo or house with your new spouse is making the space your own. We loved hanging pictures, picking colors and creating an aesthetic in our home. You might have already started this when you registered for towels and decor before you got married. Spend one date shopping at your favorite home decor store and picking out the things that you have a budget for now or plan to buy in the future. Then spend another night eating takeout, listening to music, hanging pictures and putting together your home. Make it your own and create a space where you feel comfortable and safe and love to hang out together.
Try a new restaurant
If you’re like us, you have a handful of favorite restaurants that you frequent but you don’t often branch out and try new things. I started a local date night site a couple of years ago, and that has encouraged us to try new restaurants in our area. Make a list of restaurants that one or both of you have never tried and work your way through that list for date night. You can still enjoy your favorite places to eat, but make a goal to try somewhere new every few date nights.
Experience each other’s family favorites
Being married has introduced me to a lot of new things, including restaurants. Until I met my husband, I’d never eaten at The Old Spaghetti Factory but now it is one of my favorite places to eat. Any time we go out to eat with Joe’s family, we always end up there, and I have them to thank for finding a new favorite date night destination. Where does your significant other’s family go to eat on a regular basis? What unique traditions do they have? Is there a festival or activity that you will always find them participating in? Embrace each other’s family culture, traditions and favorites and include them in your date nights occasionally.
Only use coupons or gift cards
Low budget can make date nights seem overwhelming or impossible in the early years of your marriage. Luckily, a lot of people give gift cards as wedding gifts and those are often perfect for date night. Challenge yourselves to only use those gift cards one week for your date, don’t use any extra money and see how creative you can be with your funds. Another idea might be to only use coupons. Check your mailers and local ads for discounts on food and activities in your area, then plan a night entirely based on where you save money. There are also great apps you can get that will help you do the same.
Participate in traditional seasonal or holiday activities
There are a lot of fun traditions surrounding holidays or specific times of year. Some of those have a stereotype for being just for families and a lot of couples wait until they have kids to participate. Don’t wait! Find ways to have fun together all year long. Dye eggs around Easter time, take advantage of free summer movies in the park, visit your local pumpkin patch and carve the pumpkins you pick out, and make a night of enjoying the local Christmas light displays each year. You’ll make a lot of memories and start traditions that you’ll look forward to involving your kids in as your family grows.
The important thing is that you don’t let your date nights become stale! Dating each other and finding opportunities to have fun together is just as important, if not more, now that you are married. By making date night a habit, you will set your marriage up for success from day one! It will be easier to make that time for each other throughout every stage of life if it’s something that has been a priority to both of you since the beginning.