SpIcE it up…8 dating techniques

posted on January 26, 2015 by  |  posted under Romance, Valentine's Day  |  34 Comments

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

Perfect for Valentine’s Day

Our LOVE experts (remember this post) are back to share some insight into DATING!

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

You know those couples that OOZE love?  Not the cheesy get a room ones, the ones you want to be around because they are always happy and  full of energy.   That is Chris and Ali.  Added bonus: pretty much everything that comes out of their mouths makes you laugh, yet sincerity is among their top attributes. Not liking them is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE.  I am so excited they accepted the invitation to share more romantic insight with us to help us all stay in love!  Take it away guys!

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

(Warning: This article may not be suitable for children, the elderly, people at risk of heart attack, or anyone currently operating a vehicle. Side effects may include hot flashes, flashing in general and  saying (in a southern accent) the words “oh, my!” You should not read this if you are currently IN any of the following: church, a hot tub, Walgreens, or surgery. You have been warned.)

A lasting piece of advice offered by a friend on our wedding day was to date and keep dating, because in his words, “How long would a relationship last if you never made time for just the two of you?”  Realizing he might have been a little vague, he added the important consideration, “Date EACH OTHER!”  With or without this addendum, we knew that dating would have to be a priority for the marital bliss we hoped to have.

Let’s begin with the definitions of what a date IS and IS NOT.  This may be necessary for the multi-tasking spouse who believes that picking up your dog’s parvo medicine, stopping for a couple “minutes” at the boat show, or swinging by a Pampered Chef party is a date as long as it includes dinner.  Simply adding McNuggets to an errand does not upgrade it to a date.  Sorry.

Also, while double dating and group dating are fun, they are not as much about the personal bond between the two of you.  We’ll address those in another snarky, irreverent article later.

A date IS spending quality time with just the two of you.

A date IS NOT an event including children, relatives, buddies, pets, or a court appearance.

A date IS visiting an establishment or participating in an activity you both enjoy.

It IS NOT dragging your spouse to “Hot Yoga”, because “I had to go fishing with you, now it’s your turn!”

Simply put, a date IS the two of you, enjoying an activity that you both relish, or trying something new you both are interested in.  It should be mutually agreed upon and inspire enthusiasm from both parties.  Don’t feel bad if dinner and a movie seem to be the majority of your dates. If you love it together, do it together.

The following are a few elements that make dates more enjoyable.


Many of us back out the door shouting instructions for how to make Shells-and-cheese and threats if kids do not get along.  “What do you want to do?” is not best determined in the driveway.  Such planning often results in an evening of Costco and a dinner of tiny samples.  As we have already discussed, not a date.

While getting out together is always good, a great date begins days before the event.  Like a good vacation, the lead-up to the event is as exciting as the event.  Leave each other post-its, and send text messages about what you hope your date will be like.  (Note: Be sure you are sending the text to your date, not your friend.  My friend Nate still wants to know what I meant by “Popcorn surprise”.  Embarrassing!) The lead up is critical!

Dating Techniques:

Like an ancient martial art, the craft of dating (Date-foo) has core techniques that can serve to maximize the experience for both parties.  As married Date-foo masters, we recommend these things to make your date more fun and romantic.

1.     Put on something nice: We’re not talking formals here, just don’t wear that velour tracksuit you slept in or the ever-classy “Git–R-Done” sleeveless tee. A little self-respect goes a long way.

2.     Get a booth:  Don’t let hostess Britney seat you at a drafty table, insist on a booth for the two of you.  She’ll roll her eyes but ultimately give in because she needs to get back to texting.

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

3.     Sit close: If you are at dinner, sit on the same side of the booth. This will allow you to tangle up a little more, enjoy being close, and creep out that family sitting a few feet away.

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

4.     Turn your phones off:  Leave them in the car.  It should just be the two of you. Unless, of course, you text each other in a provocative way…wait, that’s bad.

5.     Share entrées: Get some things you both like and share away.

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

6.     Sneak food into a movie:  That’s right, you’re bad.  Stuff your coat, purse or old baby car seat with a blanket over it.  (To the usher: “Yeah, all our babies smelled like Chinese food at this age.”)

7.     Plan things to talk about:  This should include uplifting and fun topics like “What fun places should we go this summer?”, “Tell me your Top 10 restaurant dishes”, and “If we could move anywhere, where would you pick?”  It should not include such topics as “What is wrong with your mother?”, “Check out this patch of athlete’s foot” or “Remember in high school when I dated ________?”  Good conversations are the best part of a loving and romantic date.

8.     Be spontaneous: If you happen upon a concert in the park or at your local coffee house, be willing to change your plans and just enjoy it together if it’s something that you both are interested in.

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

Cool down:

If you have children, let’s face it, even with the best babysitter in the world, FEMA will likely be on-site delivering disaster assistance when you return home.  Things will not be clean. Know this going in. Accepting that your house might resemble a crime scene worthy of a Bill Curtis voice over will actually lower the stress level of returning with your spouse and improve the enjoyment of the date.

To make the experience more fun, you and your sweetheart could make side wagers. Place bets on which child will have lost their shoes “somewhere, I don’t know where.” Gamble a foot massage on what might be under that towel in the living room.  Even try and surmise who will likely need to have their stomach pumped because of fruit snack overdose. Humor about such things will make the entire date much more enjoyable.

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

Dating is just one of the ways you can stay, and fall even deeper, in love.  It’s not some big mystery.  An active, burning love life requires the same thing that got the fire burning in the first place: time and attention.  If you both want that to happen at the Boat Show with a 20-piece McNugget, then just Git-R-Done!

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

Thank you, Thank you!  You guys ROCK!  Can’t wait for more (hint, hint)!

SpIcE it up 8 dating techniques

    1. February 14th, 2011 at 7:51 am
      christa says:
      HAHAHA - that "check out this patch of athlete's foot" comment made me laugh out loud!!!! hilarious! yes, my hubby & I always sit on the same side of the booth. love it. :)
    2. February 14th, 2011 at 8:40 am
      Alison says:
      Chris and Ali we miss you! You really are so good at dating! It is an art! Thanks for the tips...I am going to get some post-it notes and start leaving them around the house!
    3. February 14th, 2011 at 11:31 am
      Shelley says:
      You two are. the. cutest. I've always admired your relationship and I love your dating tips. Brad and I are sitting down to re-read this post TOGETHER tonight. :)
    4. February 14th, 2011 at 2:50 pm
      alysha says:
      Thank you SO much for the tips! I really needed this reminder of just how important it is to DATE your spouse. Keepin that spark alive is the key!!

      PS you are hiliarious! fun read. :)
    5. February 14th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
      stacy says:
      What a cute couple you are...I enjoyed reading your tips. Thanks!
    6. February 14th, 2011 at 3:48 pm
      Mindy says:
      Great tips! Thanks for the reminder.
    7. February 14th, 2011 at 7:31 pm
      Staci says:
      Popcorn surprise huh Chris? I remember an accidental text sent my way from you once....it wasn't quite as vague though! LOL! You guys are awesome! When we grow up we want to be just like the Haskells! ☺
    8. February 14th, 2011 at 7:54 pm
      Judy says:
      Makes me love you guys even more. yes Steve and I have had dates at costco with timy samples for dinner, but...we went to a hot spring for valentines day and rented the pool for 2 hours of just visiting with each other.
      Oh joy!! great Ideas
    9. February 14th, 2011 at 10:31 pm
      M says:
      I think the booth idea is great if you want to snuggle, but a table can be nice (so long as the seats aren't hard) if you enjoy looking into each other's eyes while you talk. Sometimes its nice to see the way your hubby's eyes light up, or the way your wife's nose crinkles a little when you are talking about stuff, without straining your neck to constantly turn and look at them. Just another side to the coin.
    10. February 15th, 2011 at 2:42 am
      Emily Tagg says:
      Your ideas are great, my husband and I would love to go on dates together but unfortunately we live in switzerland where Mc donalds for two costs 40 dollars and two cinema tickets also cost 40 dollars....so 80 dollars for an outing without even counting in the baby-sitter. It's sad to say that we can't afford a nice outing together:(
      • February 16th, 2011 at 1:15 pm
        Mikal says:
        Awwwww...Emily, walks are free! Go for a nice, long walk somewhere and hold hands. Make a pact to kiss 10 times during your walk...or something else fun. Buy some cheese, a loaf of bread and some tasty beverage and sit in the park and nibble. Dates don't have to be expensive.
    11. February 15th, 2011 at 1:57 pm
      Heather - Chickabug says:
      LOVE, LOVE your disclaimers... and your advice! This post seriously made me laugh today! : )
    12. February 16th, 2011 at 4:40 pm
      Amy says:
      It's not often that I actually laughed out loud when I type lol but those disclaimers caught me totally by surprise! :-) Literal lol-ing, great stuff. I'm definitely showing this one to my husband when he gets home from work tonight. Thanks, I can't wait to see more from you guys!
    13. February 5th, 2012 at 7:59 pm
      Ashley says:
      I know I'm about a year late to this party, but I wanted to share my 2 cents anyway. One thing about the messy house, there was a family I baby sat for many times growing up that offered to pay extra if the house was picked up when they got home. I don't remember the numbers exactly but something like $2 for the family room being clean and $5 for doing the dishes. Great idea if you've got a little extra cash to give up or budget into your date.
    14. February 7th, 2012 at 10:01 am
      nesleirbag says:
      You two are the Date-Foo Masters! So cute! Loved your clever post!
    15. February 7th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
      Nicolette says:
    16. February 8th, 2012 at 7:22 am
      Taylor says:
      Um chris and Ali are my aunt and uncle! That is so funny! Everything you wrote about them is so true though, they are seriously one of the most amazing couples I've ever met! They are so fun and you really can tell how much the really love each other. I love that you featured them. Great choice!
    17. February 8th, 2012 at 9:06 am
      Taylor says:
      I know this is super corn!
      My husband works construction, so if it's been a rainy week, we don't always have the money to go out. Our favorite thing to do at home is sit in bed with the newlywed game on (comes on Game Show Network!) with a notepad for each of us. We play along and write our answers down, and if at the end of the show we have more points than the real contestants, we get a...special prize ;) We end up getting a prize even if we don't win!!
      • February 8th, 2012 at 9:29 am
        Shelley says:
        LOVE IT!!
    18. February 8th, 2012 at 9:56 am
      Maureen says:
      I just loved reading this! My husband and I really didn't have a dating period before we got married. He was a roomate and best friend so we kinda skipped that whole part. We've been married for almost 3 years, have a 2 year old and yeah... we're really in need of date nights. Great article! Really inspiring! Thank you!
    19. January 8th, 2013 at 1:39 am
      Tania says:
      Thanks! Total common sense tips. And my husband I both agreed on staying off the topic of "What is wrong with your mother?" (his) :D

      As for babysitters, you don't have Stephanie. She VACUUMS and is not afraid of a Lysol wipe. And she's busy. ;)
    20. February 14th, 2013 at 12:39 pm
      Stephanie says:
      This had me laughing out loud: "(Warning: This article may not be suitable for children, the elderly, people at risk of heart attack, or anyone currently operating a vehicle. Side effects may include hot flashes, flashing in general and saying (in a southern accent) the words “oh, my!” You should not read this if you are currently IN any of the following: church, a hot tub, Walgreens, or surgery. You have been warned.)"
      Good humor, obviously a fun couple, and great dating tips to boot! Thank you!
    21. February 19th, 2013 at 9:19 pm
      Rachelle says:
      Do they have a blog I can follow? They are hilarious!!
    22. February 19th, 2013 at 9:52 pm
      Genevieve Groesbeck says:
      How can I send this to my husband and my sister? Can't find the link and they're NOT on Facebook.
      • March 17th, 2013 at 11:11 pm
        Caley says:
        Hi, you are welcome to send them the direct link: http://www.howdoesshe.com/spice-it-up-8-dating-techniques/
    23. January 26th, 2015 at 1:19 pm
      Lori says:
      Fantastic!!! I related and laughed the whole way through!!!
    24. January 28th, 2015 at 10:32 pm
      Christina says:
      Aw, I love these tips! It's always great to have date nights especially when you have children and need some time to reconnect and relax.
    25. April 10th, 2015 at 7:06 am
      Val Hawkwind says:
      This is by far the funnest and most adorable article on dating your spouse that I've ever read! The playful tone really works very well with the "theme" of the date and drives the point home that playfulness and really, genuinely enjoying your date time will ultimately overflow into your day to day life. Why not make every moment with the one you love feel like date night? Personally, I'm absolutely in love with the suggestion at the end regarding the end of the date....that is clearly where the real magic in this couples relationship happens! This is totally happening in my life asap! Thank you!
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