How to Date Better!
Dates for deeper connection, better conversations, and more fun.
This month, we’ve curated yet another fun filled date night to help you avoid the ‘What do you want to do tonight?’ debacle. Our goal is to help you Date Better by offering you creative one-on-one dates with meaningful conversation, a deeper connection and loads of fun! If you are just now joining us, take a peek back at Date Better- Date #1 to read how this series came to be. If you’re in a dating rut or just need some inspiration, give our Date #2 a try. We dare you!
Date #2 Brownies and Board Games
At first glance, this one might seem a little boring, but hang with me here. I promise this is a great date and it deserved to make the cut. Here is what we did!
Brownies or Blondies
On a cold and rainy Northeast Ohio spring evening, we cozied up on the couch and searched for a brownie recipe that beckoned for us to bake them. We are both fond of the blondie rendition of brownies so we landed on this recipe- Oatmeal Butterscotch Blondies. After our brownie selection and a pantry raid, we headed to our local grocery store to purchase the ingredients we didn’t have on hand. As we shopped, we took the opportunity to open up the conversation by discussing what ‘ingredients’ go into our relationship. Keeping with the fun play on words, here are the questions we asked to get the conversation started:
- What ‘ingredients’ makeup our relationship?
- Is there anything missing from our recipe or an ingredient we need more of? (e.g. quality time, sex, better listening)
- Is there an ingredient that doesn’t work in our recipe that we need to remove? (e.g. excess binge watching tv too much screen time)
- If we’re in a rut, what would help stir things up in our relationship?
- Are we under cooked (not putting in enough effort), fully baked (just right!) or over baked (too much going on or over extended)?
This was a really good conversation in that it allowed each of us a chance to share our thoughts and feelings regarding our relationship. For Scott and I, we realized we have a great recipe, but feel there’s something missing but we aren’t quite sure what. And that’s OK. There are many exciting and challenging years ahead in our marriage. We are ready to learn, make mistakes, learn from our mistakes, and continue to grow with each other. Our hope is that you also take the time on your date to converse and connect with each other.
After a run to the store, we headed home to bake our brownies. As we measured and mixed, we enjoyed more time conversing and connecting. Once we got the brownies into the oven, we worked to find just the right board game for the evening’s entertainment. We settled on Welcome To, a game of neighborhood creating. Because one game is never enough, we also chose Unearth. It’s a dice-based game focused on gathering different colored tokens and completing building tasks. Though lesser known, these two games have quickly become our favorites that we could play a million times over.
If our game choices aren’t your vibe, here are a few 2-player game suggestions conveniently found at Target or easily shipped by Amazon:
- Uno (tried and true for a game night and it never fails to be fun)
- Wavelength (great for couples wanting to have more or deeper conversations during game night).
- Scattegories (feel free to make up your own cards for a little extra fun and communication).
- Warning: it is not advised by clinical professionals to play Monopoly as a date night game choice
We admit we tend to get carried away with board games! At the end of our Brownies & Board Games date, we enjoyed 5 hours of quality time with each other. A few bonuses for our date were there was very little travel involved and we didn’t feel the need to get dressed up. This was, in our opinion, a very simplistic, comfortable and cozy date.
Grand Total for Date #2: $43.94
Brownie Ingredient Grocery Run: $18.94 (full ingredients from scratch)
Board Game Purchase: $25.00
Grand Total: $43.94
Just like Better Date #1, we want to offer ways to adapt this date to better fit your needs as a couple.
On a budget?
If you are on a budget, we have some easy suggestions to make this date more affordable. For example, instead of purchasing a new game you can play one you have at home. Other ideas would be to ask a neighbor to borrow their favorite game or head to the local thrift store where games and puzzles are donated by the hundreds. As for the brownies, there are fantastic and economical box mixes at every grocery store. We’ve never met a boxed brownie we didn’t like!
Want a Brownie & Board Game Night Out?
If you want your night to feel more like a ‘date’ with still keeping a budget in mind, here is a great option. Check out Milestone Games in downtown Canton for a fun game night out. There is a $5/person fee to enter, but there is no time limit and you are welcome to use any of their over 1,400 tabletop games from their game library. Milestone also offers drinks and snacks and they also allow you to bring your own food and drinks. So grab a gas station Cosmic Brownie (2 for $4) or other sweet treat, and spend a few hours learning new games with each other. Not local to the Canton area? Here are some suggestions for Akron & Cleveland game rooms:
- North Canton
Sapphire City Games
The Green Dragon Inn on Facebook @thegreendragoninnboardgamebarandcafe
Tabletop Board Game Cafe
Short on time?
A quick option for our Brownies & Boardgames, is to purchase store bought ready made brownies. You could also splurge on some ice cream and chocolate or caramel sauce to make them fancy brownies. Speaking of fancy brownies, how about grabbing a deck of cards and heading to the West Side Bakery in West Akron? Their brownies are fantastic so grab two and plant yourselves at a table with that deck of cards. From here on out, you control the length of time on your date! The West Side Bakery is just around the corner from Married Life, so we often enjoy little lunch dates there.
Learning to play the game
Learning how to play a new game can be frustrating, trust us, we know. However, if you are wanting to learn a new game, we suggest making the process a fun, light-hearted adventure. Use each of your strengths by having one of you read the directions out loud while the other sets up the game pieces. If you struggle to get the hang of the game, watch a YouTube video to help you learn. Remember, it is supposed to be fun! So if the game is frustrating, it is totally okay to just play a game you already know.
Not into brownies or board games?
You’re telling me you don’t like brownies OR board games? No chocolate or fun for you? It is totally okay, here is a slightly modified idea to suit your tastes. Swap out those brownies for any food that you enjoy! The idea is to create and devour something yummy together. If savory is more your style, we suggest finding an appetizer you have never had before! Dips are super easy to make and usually taste great! Here’s one of our favorites- 7-layer Hummus Dip. Finally, instead of board games, play cards or pick a different activity. The idea is to pick something that sparks your inner child. We suggest adult coloring books, play doh, kinetic sand or testing out a silly science experiment for some adult fun!
Wrapping up, we’ve given you great ideas and lots of options to help you Date Better. Try out Date # 2 in our Date Better series and let us know what you think! Remember, dating should be fun and something to look forward to. Check back next month for more conversation topics and date night ideas when we unveil our next Better Date adventure!
For more great Better Date conversation topics, check out our resources page for book titles to help you dive deeper.
Rachel is trained in Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Trauma story-building. Rachel works to continually build her education and dedication to the counseling field. She is married to her husband Scott. Rachel and Scott are on a foster-to-adopt journey and are excited to welcome new family members!