It’s difficult for couples to think of ideas for romance year round. Luckily, February has been deemed Creative Romance Month in order to encourage couples to explore new ideas when it comes to celebrating their love outside of the tradition of planning for Valentine’s Day.
There is a different level of expectation surrounding romance throughout each stage of a relationship. For a couple on their first date, for example, the ideal romantic situation is something comfortable and casual rather than a sudden week-long romantic trip abroad. However, for a couple that’s been together for a while, keeping it casual quickly loses its romance factor and becomes rather ordinary.
Here are four romantic date ideas for every relationship stage.
Stage 1: Getting to know each other
At this stage, you may meet your date for the first time or have only gone out on a handful of occasions. You’re still getting to know each other and are interested in where the relationship is headed. Rather than meeting up for the cliché cup of coffee or dinner, try planning something a bit more interactive but still on the casual side to show off your fun side.
Play bar games at your favorite dive bar
Meeting each other for drinks at one of your favorite local bars is the perfect casual meet-up. It’s a space that you’re likely already comfortable in, which makes it easy to shake off any preliminary jitters or awkwardness you may have. Playing bar games such as darts or pool is also a great way to have fun with your date while offering an activity that takes the pressure off of maintaining small talk.
Take them to an amusement park
Amusement parks are great for new couples, as they offer tons of fun activities to do together and plenty of opportunities for romance. Winning your date a prize from a carnival game, racing around in bumper cars, or stopping at the top of a Ferris wheel are all perfect moments to have fun together and build new memories.
Instead of going to see whatever romantic comedy is currently showing in theatres, consider taking your date to a comedy club for a night of stand-up comedy. It’s a great, casual entertainment venue to have dinner and drinks together while enjoying prime entertainment. Laughing together is shown to build a strong bond and bring people closer, which is ideal when you’re building a romantic foundation with someone new.
Go see some stand-up comedy
Stage 2: Infatuation
At this stage, you’re more than a few dates into the relationship and you’ve been seeing each other on a pretty regular basis. You know that you like each other, and you’re ready to dive deeper into each other’s likes and hobbies. Date ideas at this stage should be all about going one step further than the casual outings from before to outings that reflect your mutual interests.
Check out each other’s favorite bands
The music you listen to says a lot about who you are, and sharing that with your partner is an intimate way to bring you closer together. Taking them to see your favorite band, or going to see their favorite artist, is the perfect way to go one step above the casual outings you’ve been on before and experience something more meaningful with them.
Take a walk through nature
If you’re the type of person that loves nature, you can share that with your partner by taking them on a walk through your favorite nature trail or setting up an outdoor picnic. Even if they don’t share your enthusiasm for the outdoors, inviting them to take part in something you enjoy. It will make them feel special and appreciated.
Take a cooking class together
One step beyond going out to dinner together is the experience of cooking a romantic dinner together at home. If you don’t have much confidence in your ability to cook, try taking cooking classes together. It’s a great way to learn something new and build on experiences that you’ve already shared together.
Stage 3: Long-term commitment
Being committed for the long term means that you’ve passed your first anniversary together and can see each other together in the future. Romance at his stage goes beyond casual outings and learning more about each other’s passions – it’s about discovering new things together and going on new adventures.
Discover smooth jazz
Jazz is often an acquired taste, and if you haven’t acquired it, now’s the opportunity to discover something new with your partner. Getting dressed up and going out to a jazz club makes for a fun night out of drinking and dancing, and diving into a new genre of music together is as much of an intimate experience as sharing your favorite music can be.
Go on a weekend getaway
When you’re in a long-term, committed relationship, it’s safe to say you’re able to plan a weekend getaway without having to worry about getting on each other’s nerves. Planning a long weekend together is the perfect set-up for a romantic adventure somewhere new, whether it’s a stay at a charming bed and breakfast or a camping trip. Whatever you choose for your getaway, just be sure to be prepared for romance by packing all of the essentials, such as contraception and generic Viagra.
Treat yourselves to a spa day
Setting up a spa day with your significant other is a great way to unwind together. Getting professional massages together side-by-side is an incredibly intimate experience, and sets the stage for some steamy romance afterwards.
Stage 4: Happily ever after and beyond
The final stage of a relationship comes after many years together – the happily ever after stage. Don’t let the name fool you, because no relationship is happy all the time. But at this stage, you’re each other’s go-to person for everything and anything. You’ve seen it all together and you’d do it all again. There’s no questioning or picturing your future together because you’re already living the “future” that you planned out. Romance for couples in this stage is all about continuing to explore the world together and finding new ways to make old routines romantic.
Plan a romantic vacation
When you’ve gotten to your happily ever after, you’ve graduated from weekend getaways and are ready for a full-blown vacation somewhere new and exciting. Exploring new restaurants, new local venues, and learning about new local customs with your partner has the effect of bringing you right back to when you were first dating and can be incredibly romantic.
Go on a road trip
A road trip is basically just a very long, extended date. When looking for romantic options to explore the world with your partner, nothing is more intimate than working as a team to plan out the stops you want to make and navigating the open road together.
Make a night of it at home
Some of the most romantic nights are spent curled up together on the couch watching your