The weekend is coming, and you should probably take your wife on a date. Sometimes newlyweds get so excited to finally live under the same roof that they get out of the routine of going out and doing fun things together. At first, everything was so great and new. Her thoughts were filled with: “Oh look, my husband fell asleep on the couch. How cute! I could sit here every night for the rest of our lives” But then that turned into “Oh great. My husband is asleep on the couch, and he forgot to take out the trash and it is 1:00am and I will probably have to drag these garbage cans out myself for the rest of my life.”
Whether you’ve been together for ten weeks or ten years, you need to get the next date night figured out. And as always, I’m here to help. So here it is: a cheat sheet on how to take your wife on a date…
Ground Rules: You know your wife by now. You know where she likes to eat, you know what kind of movies she likes, and you know the things she would like to do that you find boring and therefore she stopped asking about for a while. These are all the type of things you want to think about when planning your date. Plan for how long it will take her to get ready.You know how long that is. If you have no idea where to go or what to do, you might have to simply ask her. But be careful; that’s a slippery slope. You could end up carrying bags at the mall and spending a lot of money. If you live near Buffalo-Niagara Falls in Western NY, or in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, you can find some help on my Pinterest boards for your date night. I’m cool like that.
You can plan it as a surprise date, but then you have to consider a few things. First, she will want to be dressed for the occasion. The more of a surprise you make it, the less she’ll be ready to do what it is you’re planning to do. I know a guy in Dallas who surprised his wife with a weekend trip to NYC for dinner and a Broadway play. He packed her suitcase and everything. But he was also really smart. Don’t get in over your head. Plan well.
Do some research and make some reservations. Figure out which places are open and which are not. You can use OpenTable to make reservations at most restaurants now online, and if you’re still looking for a place to eat you can use Yelp and Urbanspoon to check out reviews, prices, and whatever else. You can also buy movie tickets online at Fandango. Each of these sites has a smartphone app.
Don’t forget you have kids, because that can really sink the evening. Waiting until the last minute without a plan for someone to watch your kids is not only frowned upon, but it can redirect a romantic evening into a visit to Chucky Cheese. Line something up for the kids, and talk to someone about a backup plan. If you live near either sets of parents, you have a chance at free childcare so call them first. If not, consider trading childcare duty with another couple. If you do that, pick a couple that actually goes out and does things together, otherwise his wife will get angry that he agreed to watch your kids so you can rove the city but never takes the initiative to take her out and you could lose the childcare at the last minute in the aftermath. You might need to spend some money on a babysitter. Try to arrange your return considerably after their bedtime, and your romantic evening won’t end when you get home…
Enjoy the night on purpose. In other words, put in a conscious effort to use your words and body language to make sure she actually has a good time. For starters, put your phone away at dinner, unless you guys are having fun using the Vine app or Instagramming some videos together. You will also need to talk about something. Some couples are naturals at this, and some are just not. Tips: Ask about her day (just once or she’ll think you didn’t listen to her the first time). Tell her about your day, which always works because you never tell her after work when she asks. Do not talk about anything negative, like people you’re annoyed with, people she’s annoyed with, how expensive the night is becoming, or anything like that. Stay positive.
Do some post-date research and analysis. On the way home, make sure you find out how she liked the evening, and get some specifics. See how she liked the restaurant, the food she ordered, and whatever else you can about the night. You’ll be able to plan the next date even better with this information.
There you have it. You can do this.
But don’t just take my word for it. See how I took my own advice.