If you’re married with kids, like I am, #dateyourspouse comes with its own set of challenges. I mean, for starters, who has the time to do these things? Secondly, after the many post-salary debit orders, we’re looking at each other like, are we really going to spend more money on taking each other out to a fancy dinner when we can eat at home? But more than that, most nights we’re just tired, man! Like, even right now, I’m tired. And honestly, sometimes just the thought of getting all dolled up to see each other in a different building, is tiring.
Yes, I know, this is simply the spreadsheet brain talking. And yes, friend, I know, we kinda do need to make the effort to spend quality time with our spouses. It’s so important to have that moment of intimacy where you only have eyes for each other. I mean, real talk, when last have you sincerely enjoyed being together? Alone. And no, sleeping doesn’t count.
Well, we tried to be all spontaneous on Friday night. It had been weeks since our last date night and it was starting to show. My darling Hubstopher decided that we would go away for the evening. A staycation date of sorts, if you will. He arranged babysitters, got me to pack my bag, dropped the kids off and then… insert cricket sounds here… we ended up not going anywhere! A bunch of different things popped up (including the fact that the staycation venue was a couple of hours away and we needed to be back home at a certain time the next morning… it was just not going to work out).
Anyways, we ended up driving back home, contemplating on whether we should rather have our date night at a local eatery. Until we got home and realized that… hey look, we’re at home, and there are no children here! And that’s how ‘date your spouse without leaving your house’ was born. And we didn’t even plan for it to rhyme, that just happened all by itself.
We got into our jammies (because pajamas are cool, okay?), took out some pens and paper to play a couple of “pen and paper” games and scrolled through the Uber Eats app to order in some food. You guys, Uber Eats seriously saved the day. I mean, once you’ve typed in your location, the app shows you a list of Uber Eats affiliated restaurants near you. We ordered and hit “track” to keep tabs on the preparation and delivery of our meal. Now, if you’re following me on Insta, you’ll know that we hit a snag with the Uber Eats app the last time. But guys, honestly we tried it out a few more times after that and it has been smooth sailing. In fact, it took us about 20 minutes from ordered to delivered, this time around. And the delivery fee is only R10! You can download the Uber Eats app from the iStore or Play Store.
Now, if you’re like us, and you are totally okay with spending your date night taking an uninterrupted nap, all cuddled up, then more power to you. Sleep is a currency when you have kids. But, if you’re planning a “date your spouse without leaving the house” night and you’re looking for fun activities to do at home (because, seriously, married people often forget how to enjoy being alone together), I’ve listed a few “pen and paper” game ideas below.
And yes, Margaret, I know what you’re thinking… Luchae, seriously, I’m alone with my spouse, I’d rather be playing a different type of game if you know what I mean. Well, firstly, yes I do know what you mean. And secondly, calm down Margeret, this is a family blog! But yes girl, I hear your heart. And my answer is this: you know what you guys are in to. Maybe you enjoy listening to good music, or perhaps you’d prefer watching a movie together, or spending the evening in deep conversation. Whatever your jam, make sure your cellphone is on silent and all of your attention is on your spouse!
Hubstopher and I enjoy playing little pen and paper games. It started when we were courting (back in the day), we always had this fun, competitive vibe between the two of us. Now that we’re married, we sometimes give each other cute little rewards for winning. (i.e. a back rub to the one who wins the next round etc). If you’re looking to add an element of marital fun to your games night, create a rewards jar by filling a jar with slips of paper, detailing various types of rewards the winner of each round could choose from. I mean, make it as romantic or steamy as you wish. You could even have a more thoughtful rewards jar (if that’s the direction you want the night to go in) by filling the jar with conversation starters, instead.
Fun games to play on your “date a spouse without leaving your house” night:
- Dots and Boxes
You begin the game by drawing a grid of dots. With each of you using a different colored pen/pencil, take turns to draw lines between the dots – one line per player, per turn. The goal is to complete a box and to prevent your opponent from doing so. Don’t forget to put your initial in each box that you’ve completed.
Player one draws gallows, with an empty rope and blanks for each letter of a word, below it. The other player has to guess the missing letters of the word. Each incorrect guess with result in another part of the “hangmans” body to appear (head, arms, legs, torso etc) If the player guesses the entire word, before the hangman is completed, the player wins. If not, the player who chose the word, wins.
This one is more commonly known as ‘XO’. Take turns filling grids of two vertical and two horizontal lines, with X or O, as each player takes his/her turn. Your goal is to be the first to have three marks in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally).
- Pen and Paper Pictionary
This one is just like normal Pictionary, except that you would have to write down your categories on strips of paper and user a timer to make it more interesting.
I have fond childhood memories playing this game. We called it “Girl, Boy” – a bit of a duh name if I think about it now. The easy explanation is this: simply choose five to ten categories, and write them at the top of your page. (Each player will have their own page). The most common categories we played with are: girl, boy, fruit, vegetable, animal, place, colour. At the beginning of each round, a letter of the alphabet is decided on (you can figure out how you’d like to do that – we simply wrote all the letters of the alphabet on a separate page and took turns blindly choosing a letter). The goal of each round is to list atleast one item, under each category, starting with that letter. Oh btw, you only have 60 seconds to do this! (eg. If the letter chosen was ‘A’, then you could write down ‘apple’ under fruit). Give a point for each unique answer and half a point for every common answer (i.e. if more than one person wrote apple, you would get half a point each).
So what do you think about a stay at home date?