Now that Valentine's day has passed and we can all go back to our normal not-always-filled-with-flowers relationships, it's easy to fall back into a slightly boring routine. As a European, the concept of date night didn't exactly caught on with me for a pretty long time. This American tradition of reserving one day of the week for you and your forever lover seemed a bit, eh, artificial to me at first. However, over the years, it kind of grew on me because let's be real: if you've been together for over a decade it sometimes takes some planning to work on that sparkle. Moreover, since my boyfriend and I work together full-time, it's a wonderful break from our everyday lives that allows us to take a moment for just the 2 of us - definitely one of the things that have kept us sane and happy over the years. These 5 tips have made all the difference for us in enjoying sparkly moments together, including happy feet and a full belly!
1 / PAIR A COMFY OUTFIT WITH SEXY UNDERWEAR
As much as I love super high heels, for date nights I prefer slightly more comfy footwear (remember?). In fact, I like my outfits to be generally comfy: more Kate & Johnny than Kimye - so to speak. Life's just too short to wear a super tight dress that takes your breath away; better to leave that to your boyfriend! My secret weapon to spice up my outfit and feel sexy in an instant? Wear sexy undies! There's just something inherently naughty about pairing a casual outfit with your favourite lacy bra-and-panties combo. Even if he doesn't know, it'll show through your confidence - same effect as sky-high heels but without the blisters = win/win.
2 / MEET AT THE RESTAURANT
This is a little thing that occurred to me a couple of years ago, when Marcio & I accidentally had to meet at the restaurant instead of leaving the house together. It made such a huge difference to the whole evening! From getting ready at home (one of favourite things about date nights!) to looking for his beautiful face in the crowd: it was all that much more exciting, just like when we first started dating. Instead of talking about random things before the actual date at home, this exciting build-up was created, that made me really look forward to our meet-up instead of just going with it. It's such an easy change, but one that's 100% effective...
3 / FOR GOD'S SAKE, SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONES
I'm definitely guilty of over-using my phone on the most inappropriate moments of the day, but if there's one thing I've learned is that constantly looking at your phone during a date is a definite no-go. Apart from being useless, it's just plain rude, suggesting a not-so-good set of priorities in your life. So switch off your phones and look into each others' eyes instead: it's a classic for a reason!
4 / DON'T OBSESS ABOUT CALORIES
Years ago, when I was chatting with one of my best male friends, I asked him about his deal breakers when it comes to dating a girl. While I had expected him to list obvious things such as talking too much about her ex, or chewing very loudly, he actually said it was obsessing over calories! He once dated this girl who was analysing every damn thing on the menu over and over again, and then ending up ordering an ordinary salad. As a natural born foodie I could totally understand his annoyance: a date is supposed to be about enjoying life and taking a break from the restrictions you may place upon yourself on other days. So go on and order whatever you feel like, so you can bound over the pure delight of a big plate of French fries and a large slice of chocolate mousse pie. 'Cause love goes through the stomach, people!
5 / TRY SOMETHING NEW
There's nothing wrong with going with the classic date night activities (such as dinner & a movie), but if you've been together for a long time, this can get a little bit boring. Since relationships are all about creating fun memories together, I like to switch things up a little and plan slightly offbeat activities, such as rowing boats in the park, having a summery picnic or taking in an amazing rooftop view. It doesn't have to be super complicated; just a little change-up from the ordinary will make all the difference.