“Just go on a date,” they say. Date nights are frequently touted as the key to strengthening romantic relationships. And it is true— research shows that married couples who go on regular date nights “enjoy better communication, sex, and commitment.” While date nights can increase intimacy and connection, they also carry the weight of expectations and vulnerabilities. You may be left wondering: What’s the right kind of date night for you and your spouse? 

Our clients often find planning date nights to be both enjoyable and a source of anxiety. To simplify the process, we have drawn inspiration from the six stages of play development in children and created six types of dates to help you build intimacy and connection with your partner.

Whether you’re planning your first date night as a married couple or looking for some new ideas, take this quiz to determine which type of date night is best for you and your partner. You’ll also find many fresh community-sourced ideas to make your next date night sing. Remember to bookmark this quiz and revisit it every few months, as your interests and needs may change over time!

Take the quiz: Discover your ideal date night.

Instructions: Each partner should answer the questions independently, then compare answers to see which stage of play development your relationship aligns with currently. Choose the option that most resonates with you at the moment.

  • When thinking about spending time together, you prefer:

    a) Exploring new places or activities without a specific plan
    b) Doing something you individually love and share it with your partner
    c) Observing or learning something new together
    d) Engaging in the same activity, but each at your own pace
    e) Collaborating on a fun, uncompetitive activity
    f) Working together towards a common goal or project

  • What’s your ideal way to learn something new with your partner?

    a) By wandering and discovering unexpected things together
    b) By teaching each other about your individual hobbies or interests
    c) By watching a performance, lecture, or workshop side-by-side
    d) By engaging in parallel hobbies or classes without interacting much
    e) By taking a class together where interaction happens naturally
    f) By enrolling in a course or workshop where you have to work as a team

  • What kind of restaurant experience do you enjoy the most as a couple?

    a) Choosing a place on the spot and trying whatever looks good
    b) Going to a restaurant that one partner has been wanting to try and share the experience
    c) Watching a chef’s table or open kitchen where you can see the cooking in action
    d) Eating at places where you can both order different cuisines or dishes without sharing
    e) Attending a cooking class together where you both contribute to making the meal
    f) Competing in a friendly cooking competition at home or a cooking class

  • Which of these activities sounds like a fun challenge for you both?

    a) Going to an unfamiliar city and exploring it without a map
    b) Each partner picks an activity the other knows nothing about, and you explore it together
    c) Attending a trivia night where you’re both on the same team but mainly observing
    d) Doing a puzzle or craft side by side, focusing on your own area creation
    e) Working on a home improvement project without a strict deadline
    f) Planning and executing a small event or party together

  • How do you prefer to relax together?

    a) By taking a walk in nature without a specific destination
    b) By sharing your favorite music, books, or movies with each other
    c) By watching documentaries or series and discussing them
    d) By engaging in separate activities while being in the same room
    e) By playing cooperative board games or card games
    f) By setting goals for your future and brainstorming plans to achieve them

  • What does teamwork look like in your relationship?

    a) We’re best at coming up with spontaneous ideas and running with them
    b) We respect and encourage each other’s individual strengths and interests
    c) We’re good observers and can learn a lot by watching others or each other
    d) We can work on our own projects efficiently, side-by-side
    e) We enjoy sharing tasks and working on something together without pressure
    f) We excel when we have a shared goal and clear roles in achieving it

Ideal date night quiz results

Mostly a’s: Unstructured adventure date
You both enjoy the thrill of discovery and spontaneity. Try unstructured date nights where adventure and exploration are key. Here are some exploration date ideas:

  • Mystery road trip: Pack a bag, choose a direction, and drive to wherever the road takes you, exploring towns or nature spots along the way.
  • Geocaching adventure: Use a geocaching app to find hidden treasures in your city or nearby areas.
  • Random restaurant selection: Write down local restaurants you’ve never tried on pieces of paper, draw one randomly, and go there for dinner.
  • Art walk: Visit a neighborhood known for street art and explore the murals, installations, and galleries.
  • Night at the museum: Attend a “museum after dark” event with unique exhibits, food, and entertainment.

Mostly b’s: Sharing passions date
Sharing and appreciating each other’s hobbies or interests can strengthen your bond. Plan dates that allow you to teach and learn from each other.

  • Hobby swap: Each partner picks a hobby of theirs to share and teach the other for an evening.
  • DIY craft night: Choose a craft or DIY project that one partner loves and do it together at home.
  • Bookstore date: Visit a bookstore, pick out a favorite book for each other, and share why it’s a favorite.
  • Cook-off challenge: Each partner cooks a dish representing their personal taste for a shared meal.
  • Personal playlist night: Share and listen to playlists of songs that have been meaningful to each of you.

Mostly c’s: Learning together date
Observational activities where you can engage as spectators can be enriching. Opt for cultural, educational, or spectator-based date nights.

  • Astronomy night: Attend a local astronomy club’s stargazing event or visit a planetarium.
  • Guest lecture or TED talk evening: Attend a lecture on a topic that’s new to both of you
  • Art class spectator: Watch a live art class together and discuss the techniques and styles observed.
  • Wildlife safari: Go to a wildlife park or zoo after hours for a special night tour.
  • Cultural festival: Attend a cultural festival or ceremony to learn about different traditions and customs.

Mostly d’s: Shared activity date
Engaging in parallel activities can offer a comforting sense of togetherness. Choose dates where you can be together while enjoying individual activities.

  • Silent reading date: Go to a cozy café with books or journals and read side-by-side.
  • Parallel cooking: Cook separate dishes in the same kitchen, sharing the space but focusing on individual recipes.
  • Crafting side-by-side: Work on individual craft projects together at a workshop or at home.
  • Gardening together: Work on different parts of a garden or house plants at the same time.
  • Fitness class: Attend a fitness class together but focus on your own progress and movements.

Mostly e’s: Working together date
Collaborative but non-competitive activities are your jam. Look for date nights where you can work together creatively or playfully.

  • Escape room: Solve puzzles together in an escape room adventure.
  • Dance class: Take a dance class where cooperation and listening to each other are key.
  • Cooking or baking class: Learn a new cuisine together by taking a cooking or baking class.
  • Kayaking or canoeing: Paddle together in sync to explore lakes or rivers.
  • Volunteer work: Choose a cause you both care about and volunteer for an evening.

Mostly f’s: Unified goal date
You and your partner thrive on shared goals. Plan your dates around achieving something together, like a project or a shared challenge. 

  • Home improvement project: Choose a small, manageable project to improve your home and work on it together.
  • Plan a dream vacation: Spend the evening researching and planning a future trip.
  • Marathon training: If both enjoy running, start training for a marathon or half-marathon together.
  • Start a garden: Plan and plant a garden together, whether it’s for flowers, herbs, or vegetables.
  • DIY furniture building: Pick out a piece of furniture to build together, adding a personal touch to your home.

Ready to plan your next date night? 

For many, the prospect of setting aside dedicated time for shared activities can stir feelings of unease, particularly when faced with the challenge of addressing underlying relationship dynamics. The fear of not living up to societal standards, the pressure to engage in meaningful conversations, or the discomfort of confronting unresolved issues can cast a shadow over what should be an opportunity for growth and closeness. 

By understanding and choosing the appropriate style of date night, you can navigate your relationship dynamics, gain more confidence, and continue to deepen connection and intimacy. 

If we can help you strengthen your connection, communication, and intimacy, let’s get to work. Our practice offers in-person appointments in Charlotte, NC, and Carefree, AZ. We also have virtual sessions available for those who live in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Texas. Contact us to get started.