People have many different thoughts on dating and marriage. I have heard some say that it is an extremely important aspect of marriage, while I have also seen people brush it off and say, “Why would you waste time on a date if you are already married?” I cannot speak for everyone, but after nearly 3 years of marriage (our marriage is still such a baby, I know), I have learned that dating works for Cody and me. With Valentines Day having just passed, I thought this topic would be relevant. I am going to touch on why I like dating during marriage, tips and tricks we use to go on date nights, our top 5 best dinner date night spots and our favorite, most creative dates.
So, why do we date during marriage? When you are dating, dates were usually a time to treat your significant other and spend time with them one-on-one. This still applies to marriage, except you already have infinite one-on-one time. So, for us, dates are more of an outlet to not only treat each other, but also get out of the normalcies of life. I have noticed that when we have gone a substantial amount of time without a proper date, we are both irritable and grumpy from being cooped up in a house together for that long.
For us, dating is not something that stopped when we got married, but we also do not have set date nights each week. We keep it a little more spontaneous. (partially to save money and partially because we don’t have kids yet) We try to go on date or a trip somewhere each month and we do not count casually going out to eat as a date night. ( I am not bashing anyone. We are still new to this marriage thing, have no kids, and I am in school, so going out to eat is too much of an occurrence to be a date night for us.) When we decide we are having a date night, we will both spend time getting ready (like we did in high school), we usually always call a lyft or an uber, and we pretty much stay off of our phones. These are small things we do to step out of the norm and get us in the fresh new mindset of date nights. The best part about going on dates with your spouse is that after the date, you don’t have to kiss good night, but you can finish the night with a movie or your favorite show until you both pass out on the couch. It’s basically a hangout day and sleepover with your best friend. I do not know the long-term effects of dating during marriage, but I do know that right now it works, and these are the nights we live for.
Our Top 5 Dinner Date Spots
- Jacmel Inn, Hammond, LA – This restaurant holds a close spot in our hearts. It is our Valentine’s Day date tradition. The only times we usually get to enjoy a date night to Jacmel is on Valentine’s Day and a yearlong wait makes it that much sweeter. The food is great quality and reasonably priced. Our favorite thing on the menu by far is the grilled red fish. It has a beautiful patio, and while we have not actually eaten out there, it is a fun little stroll after dinner is over, but you aren’t quite ready to leave.
- The Tasting Room, New Orleans, LA- This is where our first anniversary was celebrated. Though we haven’t been back in almost 2 years, we have not stopped talking about it. The environment is laid back, yet elegant. When we visited, we sat in a corner area, on a cushioned couch. We enjoyed a Charcuterie board, a small flight of wines, and (Cody’s personal touch) french fries for a very reasonable price. I wanted to stay, and people watch out of the window for hours on end. The music choices were great as well as the service. If you ever find yourself in or near New Orleans, this is a date night spot that will not disappoint.
- One Thirteen Restaurant, Hammond LA- This restaurant is one of our favorites and most visited. We come here every couple of months and have never been disappointed. The patio is a beautiful spot to hangout, but because of me, we usually end up inside. There is beautiful greenery everywhere and you can see the kitchen as they cook your food. (This next statement is going to make me sound like a child, but…) My favorite part is that when you order a steak or piece of meat, they bring you a box of knives to choose your ideal knife. (How cool is that?! It makes me feel like I am truly accomplished in life.)
- California Pizza Kitchen, Baton Rouge, LA- This one is a little more casual than the previously mentioned but if throw on a nice outfit and get in the “date night” mindset and you will have a great time. Cody and I usually split a pizza here. The courtyard area outside is the best waiting place. Usually at night they will have a live band play beside the fountain. This restaurant does not take reservations (be warned), but if you must wait it will not be the worst thing, I promise. The food is always great and there are other selections if you are not a pizza lover. Cody and I love this spot so much that we held our engagement dinner here with 21 people!
- Our Mom’s Restaurant, Hammond, LA- Last but certainly not least on this list is Our Mom’s. This our most frequented restaurant (2-3 times per month to be exact). We do come her for casual dinners as well, but coming in for a date is always nice, too. There is a more private upstairs area at this location that has its own jukebox. Play a song that you like, and have a quiet, low key dinner with your spouse.
Our Top 3 Favorite Creative Dates
- The New Orleans School of Cooking – Cody and I went on this date for our two-year dating anniversary. Big Kevin was such an entertaining teacher and the food was amazing. He would teach us how to cook the food while he was cooking it and then serve us the food he made. So, basically, we were paying for a chef to prepare us a restaurant quality meal in front of us and serve it to us. Afterward, we also got to walk around the store and get a souvenir cookbook and spices.
- Bayou Country Super Fest or any concert/ music festival- Cody and I have been to so many concerts and we have attended Bayou Country Super Fest countless times and each time has been a blast. This is possibly one of the most fun things you can do with your spouse, especially if you are seeing an artist that you both love. Also, make sure to sing and dance with each other the entire night. It will be the cherry on top.
- Dew Berry Picking- This is unusual, but so much fun. You can do any kind of berry picking like this. Just find a spot in the woods that has bushes and bushes of your favorite berry and then once you have both picked to your heart’s desire, go home, wash up, and make your favorite dish with them. Cody and I usually make a cobbler paired with vanilla ice-cream. This date does not require you to dress nice but will still take you both out of your normal element, require teamwork, and ultimately be a fun, new experience. Just remember to wear bug spray!
This was so much fun to write and took me down memory lane. Nearly seven years of dates was hard to file through to find my favorites. I hope that this gave someone a new perspective and maybe even some new date ideas. Thanks for reading and I will share more next week!