A 12-month Valentine’s Day challenge

When you’ve been together with someone for awhile, like say coming up on 13 years (eek how did the time pass so quickly?), planning date nights – especially Valentine’s Date nights – can seem more like a chore than they’re worth.

So, it’s pretty easy for “date night” to devolve into sinking into the couch after little people are asleep and watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey or something along those lines. Fine enough once in awhile, but it’s not exactly relationship-building material either.

That pretty much sums up the rut my husband and I are in.

And yet we know that happily ever after doesn’t just happen. We learned early on in our marriage (two workaholics unite!) that when you don’t grow together through new, shared experiences, you can find yourselves adrift, having grown apart without even realizing it.

But what’s a busy couple to do? When you’re both sprinting through each day at work, racing home, cooking dinner, putting kids to bed, etc. weeks fly by. Before you know it Friday and Saturday are upon you and if you haven’t had time to plan…well, the couch beckons.

If that sounds a little familiar – why not join us in a little challenge we’re throwing for ourselves to celebrate Valentine’s Day over 12 different date nights in 2013? Why 12? No real reason other than we knew we weren’t going to shift from 0 date nights a month to 1 a week in a flash. So we thought we’d work our way up into a better habit gradually – picking one night a week.

We found a local high-school girl that we’ve tested out as a babysitter and have pre-booked her for once a month for the remainder of the year and twice during month of June (our anniversary month).

That’s step #1!

Once you have a standing order for a babysitter, it’s time for a little planning. Here are our thought-starter ideas – I’d love to hear yours! Share your thoughts in the comments.

1. Feb: Sit down at a bar (preferably w/a fireplace) and pretend we’re just getting to know each other

2. Mar: Take a Salsa dance class (Westchester Ballroom in Pleasantville)

3. Apr: Go see an arty film at Jacob Burns

4. May: Go on a bike ride together

5. Jun: Go to a wine tasting

6. Jun #2: Create a photo album that captures the best of our 13 years together

7. Jul: Romantic Picnic on Rye Beach

8. Aug: Mini golf championship of the world

9. Sept: Play a rousing game of tennis at the local town courts at twilight

10.Oct: Go to the driving range with another couple

11.Nov: Go bowling

12.Dec: Go ice-skating

Can we stick with it? I’m hopeful and a little excited! I’m sure we’ll be tweaking these ideas as we go along – so don’t forget to post your thoughts in the comments below!