Linger at your favorite store
Fulfill your bucket list
In A Walk to Remember, Landon (Shane West) helps Jamie (Mandy Moore) cross items off her bucket list before she dies of leukemia. And while that’s extreme, taking the time to do the things you’ve always wanted to with your guy helps further anchor your relationship and commitment to each other.
Head on a (mini) road trip
"Every Saturday morning, my husband and I choose a cool or quirky destination about an hour away from our home and head there," says Amanda F., 31, of Snoqualmie, WA. "It could be a new store, it could be a flea market, or it could be a restaurant, but I’ve found that the drive itself is an awesome way for us to discuss what’s going on in our lives." It turns out that thanks to your seating position, the car could be an ideal place for serious discussions. "Men tend to open up more when you’re sitting side by side than face to face," explains James Cordova, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Clark University. This is especially true when you’re talking about something heavy, creating a situation in which eye contact could be interpreted as threatening or challenging.
Hit up a whiskey tasting
There’s something about setting down a tumbler full of 12-year-aged Maker’s Mark that brings out the primal manliness in a guy. (Maybe it’s his sexy, faraway look while he’s trying not to show reaction to the sting? We have no idea, but whatever it is, we’ll take it.) States like Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee are known for their whiskey trails and plenty of urban restaurants specialize in whiskey, but you can also recreate your own by trying a bottle of bourbon (think Jack Daniels), Scotch (think Johnnie Walker) and Irish Whiskey (think Jameson), says Ky Soto, mixologist for The Thirsty Crow, a Los Angeles whiskey bar. Pour yourself “two fingers” worth of each — or better yet, let him — and have a glass of water on hand to sip between each taste. Soto recommends really paying attention to the different tastes present in each alcohol, but if your mind wanders to that Daniel Craig Skyfall Scotland scene, we won’t judge.
Hit a morning matinee
"My husband and I love movies, but we’ve recently felt like the entire Friday night ordeal, from the crowds to the prices, was too much for us," says Jill D., 45, of Brookline, MA. "So now, on a Saturday when our kids are at soccer or a play-date, we’ll go in the morning. Tickets are less expensive, and we’ll bring in bagels from our favorite spot. Plus, we have the whole theater to ourselves to stretch out!"
Meet for drinks at a local landmark
Top of the Space Needle. In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Staring at a cloud-covered Golden Gate Bridge. As we’ve all learned from movies like Sleepless in Seattle, iconic locations lead to even more iconic moments. Toast the fact that you’re already living your happily ever after and admire the view.
Sign up for a mud run or color run
Dirt — and lots of it — is the pervading theme at these non-competitive fun runs spouting up around the country. They often require you to work in tandem, which is an awesome way to bond, and the finish-line sometimes stocks celebratory beer tents for thirsty participants. To find one in your area, log on to Active.com.
Plan a picnic
Explore a winery
Play a childhood game
"Every Friday night, my husband and I order pizza, uncork a bottle of wine, and play old-school card games or board games like Battleship," says Kristin R., 30, of Cedar Grove, NJ. "It’s a good way to unwind after a tough work week!" Breaking out the old board games or dipping into your child’s stash can actually make you two closer. A study found that nostalgia-triggering activities can make you feel more connected to your partner.
Play with your food
According to HowAboutWe for Couples, a membership service that creates date itineraries for time-strapped New York City pairs, one of their most popular options is a DIY chocolate-covered pretzel kit. You can make your own by buying Nutella or heating up chocolate chips, then slowly dipping pretzel rods. Add sprinkles, tiny hard candies like Nerds, or chopped nuts for an extra dose of flavor.
Soak up some advanced sex ed
No matter what your take on a certain shade of erotic novel, sex toy stores have never been busier, and plenty offer classes for couples. Don’t worry, you won’t get naked and extra points aren’t awarded for participation; instead, there are lectures on everything from oral sex tips to sexy massage techniques. Babeland, in New York City and Seattle, is well known for its workshops, but something that is all around the US and Canada is Passion Parties!
Head to the spa
Go to a dinner party
No longer do you have to wait for your foodie friends to offer up an invite to their house: more and more outside-the-home dinner parties are being organized around the country. To find one, Google “underground dinner parties” and your city. The menus are usually prepared by professional chefs who are off the clock, and you’re bound to expand your palate and your social circle.
Get caught in the rain
Take a surprise trip
"Hands down, my favorite date ever was when my now-husband told me to dress for a trip to the beach when he picked me up," says Sarah P., 37, of Mendham, NJ. "He drove us to the airport, where we got on a plane to the Bahamas! We stayed for just a day, and we came home still in our bathing suits." If you’re willing to be flexible as to your destination, you can find plenty of last-minute travel deals. Try airfarewatchdog.com to grab an inexpensive flight.
Steam up the windows à la Kate and Leo
Take the scenic route