New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but why should that mean you stop planning romantic evenings with the one you love? Whether you’re in a new relationship or a long-term one, here are three date styles that will keep things lively, sexy, and romantic.
The Sexy, Relaxed Night in Date
This most low-key of options is perfect for those revelers who prefer to spend date night in the company of a loved one–without any friends or loud strangers serving as distractions. Pick up plenty of wine (or your own go-to drink), but think about planning a personalized drink to toast with as well–a specialty cocktail created with your significant other in mind. As for food, you could opt for a fun splurge night of snack foods and appetizers…anything you could feed to each other might hit the spot.
Alternatively, you could go all out with a classier in-home evening and make a three-course fondue meal to share. Warm chocolate and strawberries might just be the most romantic you can get on your own couch. Get nostalgic and look through the photos and videos you’ve taken together over the months or years. Keep things more lighthearted by playing a few card games (and make them more interesting by turning them into strip games or choose sexy dares for the loser). Put on a new movie that’s outside both of your comfort zones, or pick an old classic you haven’t seen in decades.
The Casual, Social Date
Ideal for the life-of-the-party couple or perhaps a newer, blossoming romance, this date style is all about fun and camaraderie. Grab a few close friends and your sexy date and plan a night out on the town. You can tweak the vibe based on your own preferences and location, but if you live near a city center, this is a great outline: Find a neighborhood with plenty of fun, unique restaurants and bars. Start earlier in the evening with a meandering appetizer crawl. Grab a shared plate or two at one restaurant, then hop to another two (or more!) and get some more shared food at each–along with plenty of cocktails, if that’s your style. You’ll get to do some extra bonding with your friends and date, plus you’re bound to enjoy a variety of cuisines without getting way too stuffed (and sleepy). Later in the evening when you find a bar you’re vibing with, stick around and either wind down or get the party started, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Live music can always be a nice touch.
The Luxury, Out on the Town Date
If you’re in the mood for a bit more glamour and splurging to celebrate your love, why not really live it up for one luxurious evening? Head into a city you enjoy, even if it’s not right down the road. Book a room in a swanky hotel, get all dressed up, then head out for a night of upscale romance. Enjoy a four (or more)-course meal in a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, have cocktails in a swanky bar or a romantic wine cellar. You might even find some live music to enjoy. Then seek out the most beautiful view you can find (preferably from a rooftop cocktail bar) and toast to your relationship and the evening. Enjoy the fun, sexiness of staying in a nice hotel, and consider booking a morning spa appointment to really end the date right.
Annie Burdick is a writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon, but transplanted from the Midwest. She also works as a community inclusion specialist for adults with disabilities. Previously she's edited and written for magazines, websites, books, and small businesses, on an absurdly wide range of topics. She spends the rest of her time reading, eating good food, and finding new adventures in the Pacific Northwest.