Date nights should happen. They should happen a lot. And they should feel SpEcIaL (!!!). Bear with me here – I know that’s a foreign concept for many. Date nights should feel exciting and heart-fluttery even when they’re inside your same-old apartment. Especially if you happen to share that apartment with your date partner – be it a husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, puppy or your beautiful self! In fact, now that I think about it (and my god, Nick, I love you so much), this night could definitely be a fantastic solo night. But, since my first idea for this post was a classic date night in, that’s how it’ll be described from this point forward.
These kind of date nights need to happen, because we can’t all go around spending $100 (or more) on dinner and some kind of fun activity 4 nights a week. Though that’d be a pretty sweet lifestyle.
In order to make these date nights feel like real date nights (just way less expensive, and with the possibility of a rendezvous at any moment, wink) you have to plan something that you just wouldn’t normally do on a regular night of the week.
I tested out one of these “date night in” ideas a few moons ago. It was a lovely evening, because 1) I happen to be incredibly fortunate enough to go on my dates with a guy who is undeterred by the often ‘out there’ ideas that I think up — he is always game, 2) the food was better & way more affordable than anything we could’ve gotten at a swanky steakhouse (BE the swanky steakhouse, y’all!), 3) we moved our bodies together (more on this below), and 4) nothing brings a couple together like being scared shitless.
So here we go! Below is your next amazingly simple, affordable and fun date night in. I recommend doing it on a Tuesday. Just because.
Before dinner (trust me on this one) is when you should do something active on your date night in. Nick and I have recently been very into yoga. For me, because I think it’s a great workout and makes me feel stretchy and lovely. And for him because he likes to focus his mind, and also stretch out his muscles. Once upon a time his arms looked like little dog armlegs when he tried to do that goalpost pose while laying down on his back. And don’t even get me started on Pigeon. I was #dying. We are both improving every day.
If you’re going to do yoga with your partner, you have to start by clearing space in your apartment so you have lots of room to stretch out. I lay my mat down in a place that I want to be and then Nick moves the furniture all around to accommodate that place. Teamwork, see? Then light a bunch of pretty smelling candles and turn all the lights off.
Nick got his mat on amazon here, and I ordered mine from Anthro. They no longer carry Magic Carpet yoga mats there (wah), but you can go straight to their website to get one! They are seriously the most beautiful mats. Every time I get on mine I feel so peaceful.
There are tons of partner yoga sequences available online like this one. But Nick and I just like to practice side by side through a classic yoga practice. Not touching, though being just breaths away, is definitely sexier. Recently, my very good friend (and yoga goddess) Jess (and also contributor on Miss City!) came over and gave us a private session. If you ever skip a few date nights out, I’d highly recommend paying for a private yoga session in your place.
When you’re through however much yoga you feel like doing (at least 20 minutes, I’d recommend), Nick and I like to have a long, beautiful Shavasana together. Just laying on our backs, touching hands. When you finally open your eyes, just turn your heads and look at each other. It is nice.
For dinner! We bought Newport Steaks from the butcher around the corner from our place called Florence Meat Market. The floor is covered in sawdust and I believe that means it’s legit. All I know is that we bought steaks there, and they tasted like good steak.
Nick is crazy about his cast-iron skillet, and so all he does is heat up the olive oil until it looks like water in the pan. Then he pats some salt and pepper on the meat, and plops them in. He sears them for 5 minutes on each side until they have that gorgeous crispy skin.
I love brussel sprouts, and I think I’ve begun to convince Nick that he also loves brussel sprouts. They are incredibly easy to make. Just chop them up on a cutting board, and throw them into a hot pan with a big handful of diced onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Here’s a great recipe.
For the corn, as evidenced by the photos, we wanted to roast them in their skins in the oven, but our oven is currently broken. So that idea was kaput. So we boiled them the old fashioned way, and then sprinkled some salt/pepper, cayenne, cilantro, parmesan, lime and cotija cheese over them (check out this recipe). Altogether, an incredibly simple and delicious meal.
To finish your date night in, get into the comfiest pajamas you own and settle into bed or on the couch (or wherever you prefer watching TV). Cuddle up as absolutely close as possible. And prepare yourself for fear. Because I recommend watching the new Netflix series Stranger Things.
When you get through as many episodes as you deem necessary in one night, talk about it. With each other. Offer up your theories on what the ef is going on. Argue, agree, laugh. Then go to bed for real 😉 You’ve had a great night. There’s nothing like a yoga-steak-fear combo with your lover. I told you these things are supposed to be special. And you don’t even have to catch a cab home.