How To Have A Date Night At Home

As a college student with an unpaid internship and no time for a paying gig, staying home for some date nights and not splurging on a pricey meal or show is extremely important. While going to restaurants, plays, and movies are a treat when they happen, making them a weekly occurrence is not exactly possible, especially since I'm a big believer in splitting the bill. Honestly, though, there is nothing wrong with having a healthy date night at home with your significant other. In fact, these dates are often some of the most memorable ones due to the creativity and spontaneity it fosters (while simultaneously allowing you to unwind in comfy clothes, win-win).

I think my favorite part about staying at home on date nights is the flexibility I have when doing so. At home, I'm free to be extra goofy and random in the best of ways without worrying about embarrassing myself in front of others or being impolite... (although, who really cares what people think?)

One of my most memorable date nights at home was a time when my boyfriend and I decided to stay in our pjs and cook a late night snack together. He plugged the computer into a speaker from which we blasted music from his Pandora playlists and ended up singing and dancing for quite a bit of time before finally sitting down to eat and ending the night binge-watching episodes of James Corden's Carpool Karaoke.

Point? The only thing we planned that night was eating a midnight snack, the rest was spur of the moment and in order to really have a fun date night, whether you decide to watch a movie, play board games, cook dinner, or all of the above, you must be willing to go with the flow, let things happen, and be open to spontaneity. Below are some options to help you have a healthy night in with your partner in crime while being care-free.

Make sure you both want to stay in.

Here's where it gets tricky... if one of you doesn't want to stay in, chances are you'll have a miserable time because he or she will be thinking of all the other places they could be instead of living in the moment. Avoid this by making a compromise: your s/o wants to go to dinner and movie, but you want to stay in— suggest making dinner together and watching one of your favorite flicks on Netflix and then plan to go out the following week/weekend to see whatever new movie he's been dying to see.

Agree on one or two main things to do.

Like I mentioned before, it's important to leave some wiggle room in any date night, but especially if you're staying home. Don't cram a list of things you want to do because chances are you won't get to all of them. Make plans to watch a movie or play board games (or whatever floats your boat) and see where the night takes you from there.

Go with the flow.

No matter what you end up choosing to do, do not be totally set on it. Unfortunately things happen and you may run into a few roadblocks, which is why going with the flow is especially important when you're having a date at home. You were planning to make homemade pizza together but you forgot the sauce or your mozzarella cheese is expired, make pancakes and waffles! It's storming out and you lose power, light some candles and play a board game...

There is always the possibility of something going wrong when you're staying in, but trust me, it's not the end of the world and there is always a fun and unique alternative. Use the opportunity to be creative and go with it! It might end up being more fun than the original plan anyway.

Stay off your phone.

This is by far the most important one: You've had a long week of constant connection to your email and text messages and now's your time to make that connection elsewhere. Keep your phone in the other room or flipped over on the table and disconnect from everything else. Show the person you're with that you care about them and are more interested in hearing about their week than scrolling through Instagram.