Date Nights are important. Period.

They are a little bit of carved out intentional time that gives you and your partner permission to reconnect.

Without connection, you’re in for some rocky moments.

Planning the perfect date night is simple and fun and something that will help you build relationship equity over and over again.

couple holding wine glasses with rose wine

Date nights are like mini-retreats. 

I love planning them for my hubby and I. It makes me happy and brings us closer together. When life gets busy, it’s so easy to grow apart. It’s not like you plan to grow apart, it happens slowly, over time — if you aren’t creating intentional moments to come together.

I love it when he plans date night, too. This allows me to see what’s important to him and it gives him a place to express his creativity in the relationship.

Next, I’ll share 3 elements that make the perfect date night so you and your partner can reconnect and have fun.

 1. Set the mood.

Do you want your date night to be fun, cozy, sexy, at home, out on the town, elaborate, simple, short, long

These are all factors to consider and are the basis for what comes next.

Getting clear on the experience you want to have and create makes the rest of the planning go a lot smoother.

So, let’s plan! I’ll map out our next date night here in this post.

To set the mood, I ask this simple question:

  • What does our relationship need right now that will create a deeper connection?

At this stage in our relationship, we’re both busy.

My husband just retired after 30 years in the Marine Corps and has started his first ‘job’ as a civilian. He’s learning new ways of relating and connecting to people, new systems and structures and just about everything else that ISN’T a regular part of military life.

He’s focused and engaged all day long.

I just started Vine + Plate along with running my business coaching agency. I’m trying to fit this venture into a well-established routine without losing perspective. My brain is on high speed all day long.

Between the two of us, what we need most right now is to unplug our brain.

The mood for our next date night is going to be unplugged.

2.  Next, come up with a list of 2-3 things you both love to do that fit that mood.

Since our date night mood is “Unplugged”, I’m focused on activities that we enjoy together that don’t require much from us.

What we love to do to unplug is to watch movies. Old school, right? But it still works.

Are we going to watch it at home or at the theater?

I work from home. Most of my consulting clients are in other states so my interaction is almost always via Zoom.

I have a home gym and meditation space.

Except for my outings to the grocery store (yay!!! I love the grocery store) and to my weekly Italian class (como si dice?), I’m always at home.

So ‘out’ is my preference.

With a date night comes dinner and for our Unplugged Movie Night. I don’t want to cook and I don’t want him to cook.

We’ll go out to eat. Somewhere close to the theater to make it convenient.

Done, right? Nope!

This is not just another night at the movies. In the last step I’m going to show you how to create little ways to make it super special and fun.

3.  Finally, add a little pizazz to make date night not just another night of the week.

What little elements can you add to your date night to make this more creative or interesting than just a regular netflix and chill kind of evening?

We need to up the energy a little bit.

giphy of 'more cowbell' from saturday night live


What we need is more cowbell…or props. Props will work.

Props? Lisa? Really?…


Props. But not like pom poms or a movie set. Simple things.

Something to tie the mood and activity together.

This is how I plan to tie our Unplugged Move Night together.

First, I outline what I need to do.

  • Scan the movies at our favorite theater and pick a date and time.
  • Purchase tickets and pick seats. Our theater has the pick your seat in advance options.
  • Reserve a table at the restaurant. Plan for an hour and a half before the movie.
  • Create props.

Where do you go for inspiration?  I go to the motherload of all creativity — Pinterest.

I searched for movie-themed pins. There’s tons of stuff for stay at home movie nights, but not a lot that focuses on going out. Still, the search sparks creativity.

We both love popcorn when we go to the movies, but we don’t love the same amount of butter and salt.

The easiest solution would be to order two popcorns — but have you seen the price they charge???? Oy!

We usually order one large popcorn to share but they NEVER give us a proper box to put my portion into. (This is also a good idea to do with the kiddos).

And that’s where the creativity kicks in.

Bring my own popcorn bag and make it look more festive. A bag isn’t a big deal, right, it’s not like you are bringing your own popcorn.

Yes, you could just go to Amazon and buy popcorn bags or boxes, but I’m going with what I have at home.

This took 5 minutes — I found this free printable pattern and voila!

Printed the pattern, cut a strip for both sides, glued it to my bag and easy peasy…a popcorn bag for me.

Now I can add my seasoning, salt, and butter to my popcorn without ruining my hubby’s.

If you want to purchase popcorn bags, here’s a great one. The bags are 2 oz. so they are big enough to add the popcorn and seasonings and shake it all up.

Now, let’s talk seasonings.

I love black pepper and parmesan cheese on my popcorn at home. It’s so yummy. I decided to make some to take to the theater.

As you know, they don’t have those two things at the theater. This falls into the same category as the bag. It’s not really food. It’s a seasoning!

I like A LOT of parmesan.

Here’s the blend I use:

  • 3 tablespoons of finely grated parmesan. I prefer Kraft because it’s grated fine enough to actually ‘stick’ to the popcorn.
  • 1 tsp. of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp. of salt

I tuck that away in a handy ziplock and add it to my movie purchased popcorn with a little of their melted butter.

Movie theme — Check

What about the unplugged part. Hmmm….

I decided to create a Date Night Commitment that would tie together the need to unplug and the opportunity to reconnect.

unplugged date night

I made the Date Night Commitment graphic on Canva.

It’s easy to use, has free and Pro pricing plans and it’s already loaded with ideas.

I think I’m set. I have my little personal touches for the movie, a reference to our unplugged mood and all the details are planned.

Except for writing this post, all of it took me about 30 minutes.

Spending that time to unify the theme is important to me because it takes a regular movie night and turns it into a real date night.

Fun, right?

What do you do to plan your Date Nights? I’d love to know! Share your ideas below.

Hey, I’m Lisa and I’m glad you stopped by. I love food and wine and making things that people love. Speaking of love, that’s my hubby with me in this photo. We were in one of the many tulip fields in Holland in 2018.  Such beautiful colors and these fields stretched for miles and miles. Anyway, thanks for checking out the recipe. I’d love to hear how it goes when you make it so come back to the recipe and leave a comment and rating. Also, don’t forget to share your photo on Instagram and tag #vineandplate so I can brag about you 😉 …. Read More

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