If you are married with children, there are so many reasons to take care of your relationship. For your own sake and that of your spouse, taking a positive approach to your relationship and nurturing the romance will help you maintain a happy, healthy relationship. If your children are at least a year old, you’ve experienced how much they learn by observing you. Your relationship teaches your children what they can expect in future romantic relationships and whether they will even want to get married one day. Marriage can be hard, but it is worth investing in. As Thomas J. Stanley revealed in his book The Millionaire Mind, “. . . consistent participation in marriage results in significantly higher wealth.” If none of those reasons convince you to make plans for Valentine’s Day, I don’t know what will!
If you’re already convinced and looking for ideas to celebrate your love, look no further. Whether you have a sitter or not, I have some ideas for you beyond the typical restaurant dinner. First, the list of things to do if you have childcare and are able to get out:
- Act like a tourist and see the local attractions you’ve never bothered to visit as a local. Your state department of tourism or local chamber of commerce probably has a website you can use as a resource to find out what fun activities are hiding in your own back yard.
- Visit a microbrewery or vineyard.
- Get creative together. Attend a paintbar, cooking class or take a dance lesson.
- Drive to a secluded viewing point and stargaze or look out at the lights of your city. High school style make out sessions are encouraged!
- Depending on the weather where you live, go ice skating, snow shoeing or take a ride around the park in a horse drawn carriage. If you can get away for a whole weekend, go skiing.
- Relax in tandem with a couples massage.
- Book a bed & breakfast or a nice hotel room for a night. Make use of amenities such as a pool, hot tub, steam room or sauna to get warmed up before enjoying the bed.
- Enjoy the local arts scene by visiting an art museum, theater or symphony.
If you don’t have a babysitter, there are still ways you can celebrate your love at home, perhaps after the kids go to sleep. Here are some ideas on how to spice up your dinner at home:
- Set the table: get a tablecloth and cloth napkins, use your fine china/silver, light candles and buy a bouquet of flowers.
- Bust out the wedding album. Look at your wedding and engagement photos together, and try to remember as many of your favorite dates as you can: your first date, your honeymoon, meeting each others’ parents for the first time, past Valentine’s Day dates, etc.
- Snuggle up on the couch for a funny or romantic movie on Netflix, Hulu, Voodoo or Amazon Prime. For a pampered experience, get plastic tubs to soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts or wrap a warm rice bag compress over your neck and shoulders.
- Play a card game or board game. Whether your style is Cards Against Humanity, Risk or Yahtzee, put the cell phones away in another room and do something fun that gets you talking and interacting together.
- Pick up a guidebook, a few interesting bottles, and have your own wine tasting.
- You may have grown into different people from when you first met. Find out what’s new and how you’re still the same with a throwback game of truth or dare.
- Treat yourselves to a little less stress by hiring a cleaning service to spruce up your house the day before your date. With work and kids, who has time to do it all? Give yourself a break so you can focus on having a romantic evening.
What other ideas do you have? Are you trying something not on this list? Let me know in the comments below!