Date nights with a difference

the careerclub date night

Relationships. They’re not always easy. Especially when you have kids and jobs and bills.

We all know we should be making an effort and putting the work in, but to be fair that usually involves cooking something complicated and wearing something uncomfortable. 

We’ve been told time and time again that the answer is date night. Take time for just the two of you. When the kids go to bed, make a nice dinner, pour a glass of wine, turn off the TV, sit together and talk about your day. This could be good advice if your day went well. But if your day involved having to redo the dishwasher because your husband stacked it wrong (again) or your lunch was enjoyed while frantically trying to finish that report that was due last week, or your morning was spent cleaning up baby puke and a particularly explosive nappy, well, it just doesn’t make for a very romantic meal.

So what do we do? Do we give up on date night? Do we give up on romance? Do we give up on love? No. We try something different. Date night doesn’t always have to be about a romantic meal and sharing our deepest feelings. It’s just about spending time together. If dinner and lingerie just isn’t your thing, here’s some date nights with a difference that we’ve uncovered.

Nerf wars

Yes, you heard me Nerf wars. As in Nerf guns. If you have kids of a certain age you will have a house full of these things. So put them to good use, grab one each, plan your attack and let the war games begin! 

This might not be as crazy as it sounds. It could be fun if you are up for a laugh.  But aside from that, it’s a great way to get out any anger you’ve built up. All those niggly little annoyances; didn’t take the bins out – bang, refuses to close the toilet seat – bang, snored all night? Bang bang bang! 

Hunt a killer

Think Cluedo meets true crime. Hunt a killer ( is a subscription game that sends you clues to a murder in the post. From forensic tests to police reports, it gives you the chance to play detective and solve a cold case. 

If true crime or detective shows are your thing then this could be the perfect date night for you. The case is drawn out over a number of ‘episodes’ so it gives you the chance to sit down over a number of different nights and work together as a couple to solve the crime. 

Pool, bowling, laser tag

Remember when you used to hang out in the bar, playing pool, or you’d head to the bowling alley with some friends? Why not reclaim some of that fun and challenge your partner to a friendly game instead of going out to a restaurant?

This might not be a great idea for those of us who are overly competitive, but it could be lots of fun, a little bit nostalgic and it doesn’t even require high heels. 

Ghost stories

Instead of heading to the cinema to watch a horror, jump on a ghost bus or join a haunted tour and experience the real thing. There’s a number of different options around the country, from the ghost bus in Dublin to the dark tales tour in Sligo, so just search for something close to home.

This could be a fun way to rekindle some closeness as you huddle together in the dark. Fun, exciting and different,  it can always be paired with a quick bite to eat or a trip to the pub for a hot whiskey when you’re done.

Dig out the playing cards

Have a card night. Vegas-style. Create your very own Casino Royale with cocktails, chips and high stakes (hey you could even dress up if it floats your boat). You could play for money, you could play for jobs around the house, or more fun than any of that, you could play for each other’s clothes (after all any game can be fun if you put the word ‘strip’ in front of it.)

Two-player card games include:

  • Rummy
  • Gin
  • Blackjack
  • War
  • Poker

Or if you’re looking for something really simple, there’s always Go Fish.

This is a cheap, but fun, date night with a difference and it can be tailored to your tastes. Make it fancy or keep it simple, it’s up to you. On the plus side, if you don’t enjoy it, it’s easy to put the deck away and turn on the TV instead.

Taking time for just you and your partner is important in a relationship, but date night can easily become just as much of a chore as every other routine around the house. So keep it fresh, keep it simple and do something you both enjoy. The only thing a date night has to include is the two of you doing something together.