Project 52: Date Nights

I am excited about this announcement. And it involves you. Yes, you! I want you to participate and report back.

We approached that time of the year where we think about new goals and projects for 2010. I have been contemplating doing a Project 365 myself. Project 365? Set a goal to do something every day for a year all the while blogging about it or recording it somewhere somehow. You know, Julie & Julia. Then the more I thought about it, 365 is a bit too much for my schedule. If I am going to commit to the project, it has to be doable. So I am turning my Project 365 into Project 52. Cutting it down to just once a week. That’s feasible.

The project. I recently read an article in a magazine about a couple’s experience having date nights at home. Hum… sounds interesting. Nathan and I will celebrate our 6th anniversary in 2010 and sad to say, we have neglected consistent date night ever since Kaye was born over 3 years ago. We have the same excuses many of you also face. Nathan is in graduate school most evenings. We don’t want to find and pay for a babysitter every week. Our current financial situation leaves little allowance for date nights. We are too busy. We can’t think of anything to do. The house is a mess. We are tired. The excuses continue.

After reading the article, Nathan and I decided this was something we need to work on in 2010. We need to get better at setting aside time to enrich our marriage. And now, I introduce you to our Project 52: Date Nights. More specifically in house date nights, for us. The main points are for us to be creative, cheap and spend quality time together. Nathan and I have committed to do date night each week with the following criteria…

  • Every Friday night from 9 -10 p.m. is our date night. We usually have both kids in bed by 8:30 p.m.
  • Majority of the time the dates will be at home so we don’t need babysitters.
  • We rotate being in charge of date nights on a monthly basis.
  • Can’t do the same thing twice in one month.
  • Dates need to be free most of the time. If not free, then under a budget of $30. Cheaper than if we went out.
  • No children allowed.
  • Must create a date-like atmosphere. No frumpy clothes or pajamas. Make it a special event. Mind the details. But most of all, keep it simple.

Not only are we going to have date night beginning January 1st, we will be blogging about it here on SMM. Every Tuesday we will recap what we did for our date night the previous Friday. You will get a he said/she said critiques of the date.

Here is how YOU are involved. Yes, we want you to participate in Project 52: Date Nights with us! Whether you are in a relationship, engaged or married, I want you to commit to having weekly date nights with your special someone. I want the both of you to take this pledge. Read it, fill it out, sign it and post it somewhere you can see frequently. A little hesitant? Don’t worry, you can join Project 52: Date Nights any time.

Take the Project 52: Date Nights Pledge

Then check in with us every Tuesday for ideas, comments, feedbacks from our Project 52: Date Nights and yours. We want to hear from you and what creative ideas you came up with for date nights. Make comments and report how your date nights went each week. By the way, this is a family friendly site. So all dates and ideas will be appropriate for all ages. And please keep your comments family friendly too.

The pledge. Here is the Project 52: Date Nights pledge in PDF form for you to print out. Print one out for yourself. And maybe a few extras for your friends or family members to get them in on the fun. Discuss the project with your special someone. Talk about what is feasible for the two of you. Set a date and time to help you pencil that date in your calendars. Come up with a few criteria of your own. If you don’t want to do in house date nights, then plan going out date nights. The two important points here are be creative and keep it simple.

So… are you in or not? Make sure to involve your friends and families. Get them to take the pledge with their special someone. The more couples we get to do this, the more ideas and motivations we get to support each other in Project 52: Date Nights. While doing Project 52: Date Nights with us, if you come up with great ideas let me know so I can feature you on SMM! Come on! It’s only once a week. Only 52 dates to last you the whole year. Let’s do this!

76 Responses to “Project 52: Date Nights”

  • Deborah

    After we finished our basement in 2006 and had baby #2, we started doing this every Sat night, and we looove it! We tend to miss, and at the end of this year have gotten pretty slack about allowing iPhones/BlackBerries/laptops to join us as we watch a DVD and call that a “date night.” I think 2010 is totally the year to get it back on track, turn the lights down low, and reconnect! Thanks for the motivation!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Ahh yes, i need to add that as one of our criteria… no iphones allowed. we’re pretty bad about that too. that’s awesome you all ready do this with your hubby. would love to get some ideas from you!

  • Line

    What a great idea, Tiffany! I don’t know if I can commit to it quite yet, but I will definitely be keeping up with ideas and probably sharing some here and there. I can’t commit yet because my son is SO off schedule from all the traveling he’s been doing with us, so he goes to bed pretty late. Maybe we’ll commit when I can finally get him on a normal schedule. :)

    Reply
  • Sarah

    I totally want to do this. I am excited to tell my husband when he gets home from work. We have 2 little boys (3 & 1 1/2) and another baby due in April (that will make date night tricky, but I am glad it can be at home). Last year we had more date nights than most of our friends, but still, I think it was less than 10. We went on a date night just to walk around IKEA a few months ago, and I know my in-laws have a date every Thursday night going to look at books at Barnes & Noble or Borders. My husband and I have done that and we each look at cards until we find a funny one, and we show them to each other. Kind of silly, but it’s all free, and we have fun. If you sign up at restaurants and other places to be in their birthday club, you can have free desserts and such (in the birth month), so that is always a great addition to a date.
    Thanks for the great idea!

    Reply
  • Jaimie

    This is a really lovely idea! : ) This would be so hard for us to commit to because our schedule changes every week. Maybe we could even do it once a month. We spend time together now, but it’s never creative and rarely different!

    Reply
  • Rachel Dallaire

    This is exactly what I need!!! My husband is still in school (this will be his last semester-yay!), and we just really need to find time to connect with each other each week. I am soooo looking forward to the ideas on this blog!!!

    Reply
  • Natalie Gardner

    Hey! We do date nights on Fridays by doing a kid swap with a couple other families. We have come to love this time together. A lot of the time we go walk around the mall, buy ice cream, use gift cards or coupons, or just do something really simple. It helps me to get through the week if I know that I’m going to get undivided attention from hubby. Good luck with your goal. I’m sure you’ll love it.

    Reply
  • Tiffany

    I’m happy for those who are willing to join in on our Project 52: Date Nights! And if you can’t join, for whatever reason, you can always follow along and contribute ideas and comments!

    Reply
  • Marci

    I am happy to report that my husband and I signed the contract this morning. I have planned our first date night for tomorrow night. We decided that I’ll plan the during the odd months and he will plan during the even months. I am looking forward to a fun year of dates during our 17th (yikes) year of marriage!!!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Wow! 17 years of marriage… you should be giving me advices. Glad to have you guys on Project 52: Date Nights with us. Please share with us your ideas!

  • Jodie

    I think when my hubby gets back in June from all of his Army training we’ll do this. Great idea Tiffany!

    Reply
  • Mique

    Tiffany- saw your comment on 30days- LOVE this idea! SO fun. I’m sure my husband would love it too. I’ll show it to him tonight when he gets home. We actually kinda did a date last night after our kids went to bed. We played Yahtzee for a bit while watching The Bachelor (the things my dh will do for love ;). No kids, fire in the fire place, totally free and healthy competition. Doesn’t get much better.

    Reply
  • Nicki @ bellsandbugbites.blogspot.com

    I am looking soooo foward to this & thinking of different ideas. We NEED this. I’m in!!!! ~Nicki

    Reply
  • cheery

    *Love* this! Dying for ideas! Please share and post more cheap and at-home date ideas!!! :)

    Reply
  • Kate at Centsational Girl

    Sounds like such a great idea, especially with small children, and in this economy !

    Reply
  • Tammy

    I love this idea! It will actually hold us accountable because it’s often the last thing on our to do list with two little kids and hectic schedules! After all, our families will be a lot stronger and happier if mom and dad are strong and happy together! Way to go for a great idea! I will post your link on my blog and share the word!

    Reply
  • Suzanne (Crunchy green Mom)

    I just printed it off. I’m putting it up on my Facebook to invite more friends! I’m going to blog post every Tuesday about it!

    Thanks for the idea.

    I am going to demand a picture every Friday. He and I got away from taking pictures this year and need to get back on it!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      that’s great. i’m going to try to take pictures of our dates too. please come back and link to your posts about your dates. i would love to read about them.

  • Rachael

    What a great, doable idea! We did date night swap consistently on Fridays with another family for a few months, but with the holidays, and a new baby (#3 born 12/19), and the other family moving this month, we’re on hiatus. Hope to make this happen! Thanks!

    Reply
  • RookieMom Heather

    I’m in. We’re totally doing this, but I don’t agree to staying in most nights. And since we’re gonna go out (and get a sitter), there goes our budget. I love it. Where do I sign?!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      so glad you’re in on this idea! you don’t have to stay in most nights. we’re just doing it because we’re cheap and trying to be creative. but do what works for you and i would love to hear what works for you so we can all share ideas.

  • Josanne

    Very, very cool idea! I’m sure my hubby would be game for it, and even just staying home and out of the cold, there can be so many things you can do! Something really cool about my house is that it has 3 levels-the family room is half a flight up-and it has a door on it!
    I don’t have small children anymore, but my three kiddos still live here-we’ll have to make the rule of them staying out of the second level on our date nights.
    A really great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Rhonda

    I love this idea. I want to focus on having the best marriage this year and this is perfect. Our norm is date nights once a month. We have gotten lax on that. I’ll be blogging about it soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  • Shay

    Thanks so much for this great idea! My husband and I have signed our contract. We had our first date last night and I blogged about it here.

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Thanks for leaving the link to your post! I love your idea of an indoor camping night. We’ll have to try that one.

  • damaris

    My husband and I made the same resolution. he’s also in grad school and we also have a very tiny budget. However, my mom is living with us for a year (thanks heavens. I just had a baby by the way) so we have free babysitting. I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old. So even though we have babysitting we are some what limited because of nursing. But our idea is that we will go on a date every Friday. The first Friday of the month he plans. The Second Friday we go to the LDS Temple (we’re Mormons). The Third Friday I plan and the 4th Friday we do an at home date. We each get a $25 budget for our date. If we don’t use the money one month than it rolls over for the next month, in case we want to do something nicer.

    Last week we went to a friends house for dinner, sans-children. This week we are going to the Temple. Next week is my turn to pick.

    I’m excited to see all the different ideas.

    Reply
  • MoneyMagnetMummy

    I so totally need ideas, so I’ll be keeping on my fellow daters. My husband & I have not been on a date since our son was born over 15 months ago. We did however go out for dessert last night (with our son) and it was an unusual event, and a pleasure. Alone time really would be great.

    Reply

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