It’s about the experience, not the price tag

By Meghan Bailey

Whether you are years into a marriage or you’ve found a new beau, dating is a way for you to connect and learn more about your partner. Whether you choose to double date or hit the town as a pair, dating has amazing benefits throughout the span of your relationship. While there is nothing wrong with lavish nights out, or the same old routine of a movie and dinner, there is something more to dating than going to the extreme or sticking to the norm. It’s about experiencing life together.

A common misconception I hear in my circle of friends is that I don’t like to go out because I’m a minimalist, which could not be further from the truth. Dating is one of my core minimalist values. To kick off the first part of the year right, I am sharing my favorite seven date ideas that are far from boring.

Pinball and Ice Cream
Who can resist a game of pinball? I haven’t found anyone yet. Find the nearest pinball machine and up the ante a little by placing a friendly wager. Maybe whoever has the highest combined score after three rounds has to do dishes? After you’ve flexed your old school muscles, grab what everyone loves – ice cream. I especially love Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame, because the money collected is donated to charity.

No matter how you date, make sure you date. Bonding over fun activities makes the harder times a little easier.

Volunteer Together
It’s worth spending some time together doing something nice for someone else. Whether you pet animals at a shelter, read books to kids at the hospital or visit senior citizens, you’ll witness your partner’s compassion firsthand.

Paint with a Side of Wine
Instead of visiting a painting studio, bring home paint and two canvases. Then sip on wine while you face each other and paint what you see. The key to life is laughter, and this one won’t come up short.

A Two-Part Date
You plan the first two hours, your partner the other two hours. Without consulting each other, see what happens when you plan the first two hours and your partner takes over the other two.

Road Trip
Head to the closest tourist attraction you’ve never visited. Nothing beats loud music and your best friend next to you. Have each person create a playlist, one for the journey out and one for the way home.

Download the app, create a team name and race to see who can find the hidden caches first.

Build a Fort
Who doesn’t love an awesome fort? Bonus, hide Nerf guns and battle it out.