Being in Love is the Easy Part…
… but being friends is harder.
Maybe it’s just me. To be fair, all relationships are different. So perhaps other people – or maybe most people – find the romantic side of things much harder than the friendship side. I don’t know. I’ve dated exactly one person in my life, so maybe I’m just inexperienced.
However, in the past year we’ve spent developing our relationship, it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had to get past one-sided fights (meaning I knew we were fighting but he never clued in), had to figure out moving in together after only three months, and a whole lot of other conflicts. But that’s the way relationships go, right? And each and every time something came up, we were able to say “we can get past this because we love each other.” And that’s awesome, it really is. Love is the very centerpiece in the puzzle, the most important part, and the thing that holds everything else together.
That’s easy. It’s easy to fall in love with someone. But there’s more to a relationship than that.
Just a few days ago I ran up to him all teary-eyed, in another one of my one-sided fights, mad because he always seemed to choose to spend time with his friends over me. I asked him if he found me boring, if he didn’t like spending time with me for any reason besides the romantics, and I honestly thought he was going to say I just wasn’t interesting to him anymore. That wasn’t the case, of course, and he simply stated that he loves my company, it’s just that we never do anything together.
He’s right. Besides watching whatever trash we can find that night on Netflix, we really don’t do anything together. And I guess that’s fair. We’ve been so caught up trying to work everything else out, that we haven’t stopped to build up a solid friendship first. And it’s important to note here that this is a guy I’ve known for a good seven years of my life.
So I’ve compiled a bit of a list – both things I’ve tried and things I haven’t – of ideas for dates. Let me know what you think! And if you have any other ideas, let me know. I’m always open to suggestions.
- Find a favorite tea (or coffee) shop and become regulars. Challenge each other to try all the items on the menu.
- If you’re not bored of Netflix, find a series you two can watch together. Make predictions, talk about your predictions and favorite characters – or whatever.
- For a twist on that idea, do a show swap. You pick one series, they pick the next one – etc.
- Find games you can enjoy together. Video game, board game, card game – you name it. Have game nights.
- Try new recipes together. Cookies, drinks, meals, snacks, bath bombs – whatever you’re into.
- Fancy homemade dinner dates. Set up that candlelit table, man.
- Get involved in a group, volunteering, or some sort of activity together. Volunteer at your local animal shelter, go to the gym together – just get involved in something.
- Host dinner parties (doesn’t have to be that formal I promise) together to get to know each other’s friends.
- Do chores together. Very domestic ❤
- Find a new project or hobby to start together. It can be as serious or as ridiculous as you would like.
- Read together – or to each other.
- Have a monthly check in – just to make sure you’re both happy in the relationship and getting what you need.
- Travel together. Road trips for the win.
- Start a collection together. But make it a challenge.
- Have bed dates. Breakfast in bed, lame selfies, lots of naps, that sort of jazz.
- Stargazing. Conversations get serious.
- Plan dates for each other. Swap back and forth. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
- Arcade games.
- Do trashy touristy things. Wine tasting, beaches – whatever your city offers.
- Movie marathons. All the Star Wars movies in one day. Do it.
- Go shopping together. Groceries, clothes, toiletries – also domestic.
- Try random food or drinks together. Experiment with new things.
- Take part in / take time to learn about each other’s hobbies.
- Spend intentional time snuggling and napping.
- Have showers. It’s a really good way to stop the business of life for a moment and catch up in each other’s lives.
- And if you enjoy that, find new shower products to try together.
- Library dates are good.
- Set goals together – they can be as big or as small as you want – and help each other achieve them.
- Talk about life things. Taxes, bills, food planning, etc – and work together to figure them out.
- Grow a garden together.
- Make a bucket list.