It’s easy to fall into the old dinner-and-a-movie routine, either out of habit or because you can’t think of anything better to do. “Once the courting phase ends and people shift into a more comfortable zone, there’s less incentive to come up with fresh ideas,” says Courtney Cooke, author of Create a Date. “But if you don’t mix things up, the relationship can get stale.” Luckily, all you need is a little creative inspiration and a sense of adventure. These suggestions should get you started.
1. Have a DIY dinner. Set up a taco bar with all the fixings or make homemade pizza. “Creating something together is interactive, so it brings you closer,” says relationship therapist Sandra Anne Taylor, author of Act to Attract.
2. Plan a Sideways-style excursion and hit a vineyard for a wine tasting.
3. Spend the weekend day with your man, sipping cocktails and people-watching at a bar.
4. In the afternoon, visit open houses and fantasize about buying your dream home. “It’ll help you look forward to what your relationship can be down the road,” says Taylor.
5. Go on an edu-date. Taking classes on anything from Italian to film bonds you and introduces you to new things.
6. Hit a playground or an amusement park. Use the swing set, go on rides, win a teddy bear — you know, have fun like you did when you were a kid.
7. Play around-the-world cocktails. Sample one specialty drink from a wine bar, one from a pub, and another from a Russian vodka room. Take a taxi.
8. Take him to a NASCAR-style event. Any guy obsessed with wheels (aren’t they all?) will love a trip to the races.
9. Throw on your sexiest preppy duds and hit the indoor-golf driving range.
10. Pamper yourselves with a couples massage at a day spa. “It’s a relaxing, sensual experience that can put you in an amorous mood as well,” says Janice Levine, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Lexington, Massachusetts.
11. Book a room at a local hotel for only one night. To add an element of mystery, don’t tell him where you’re going.
12. Want to know if you have a future with your guy? Visit a psychic. You don’t have to buy into her predictions, but at least you’ll have a good laugh.
13. Instead of eating dinner in front of the TV, grab a blanket, a baguette, and Brie and have a picnic under the stars. Or nibble on finger foods in bed.
14. Test your luck at a nearby casino or horse race. Bring only a set amount of cash that you can afford to lose.
15. Go to a WWE event instead of a comedy club to bust a gut.