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The 2-2-2 Rule: Date Ideas to Build and Maintain a Long-Lasting Relationship

The 2-2-2 rule is nothing without amazing date ideas. Use these planning questions and date ideas to keep your love alive.

One of the most common misconceptions about long-term relationships is that dating only comes before. Instead, all that effort, communication, and quality time needs to be sustained throughout the relationship to keep love alive. And so, one of the most popular date ideas was born: the 2-2-2 rule.

The 2-2-2 Rule

Although it started from a simple Reddit post, the 2-2-2 dating rule has gained the attention of relationship experts and couples everywhere. Mostly because it’s so easy and effective. It goes like this: have one date night every two weeks, a weekend getaway every two months, and a weeklong vacation every two years. While couples don’t have to follow this to a T, the point is to focus on each other, reconnect, and break free from routine, which will help increase relationship satisfaction.

While the idea is perfect, it adds up to a lot of dates over your lifetime. And when you throw kids, pets, work, and everyday life into the mix, what even is a date? Don’t let yourself fall into the “we’ll date when the kids are grown and we’re retired” mindset. You can find the perfect date idea even with your chaotic, messy, amazing life, and your relationship will grow because of it.

Questions to Ask when Planning a Date Your Partner Will Love

The key to any great date is to show thoughtfulness and consideration. Taking the time to understand and prioritize your partner’s preferences contributes to a more enjoyable and meaningful relationship. Even if it means you have to ask them what they want to do.

When thoughtfully planning a date your partner will love, consider these questions:

  1. What dates and activities do they like?
  2. What are their favorite hobbies, pastimes, and activities?
  3. What makes them light up?
  4. What’s their favorite food, music, or places?
  5. What does your partner always want to do that you usually don’t?
  6. Does your partner prefer low-key activities with just the two of you, or do they like social events and group activities?
  7. What activities or interests do the both of you love doing?
  8. Have you tried asking your partner for their input?
  9. Do you remember all the special occasions and important milestones? (Pro tip: Create a calendar if you don’t!)
  10. Are you willing to try new things?
  11. Have you created a bucket list together?
  12. What is your partner’s current mindset? Are their stress and energy levels up to a night out, or do they need a date night in?
  13. Have you made time for all of the activities you love doing in between trying new things?
  14. Are you saving for a big purchase or a vacation that will mean your need to be a bit more budget-conscious for your date nights?

20 Date Ideas to Get You Started

If you still don’t know where to begin, these twenty date ideas have you covered:

1. Take a Cooking Class

Take a cooking class together to learn new recipes and bond over delicious food. You can even start you own personal cooking class at home by following along to online cooking videos.

2. Go on an Outdoor Adventure

Plan a hiking trip, a day at the beach, or a camping weekend to enjoy the outdoors together.

3. Appreciate Art and Culture

Visit museums, art galleries, or attend a live performance such as a play, concert, or dance show.

4. Volunteer Together

Spend time helping others by volunteering for a cause you both care about.

5. Go on a Bookstore or Library Date

Pick out books for each other, share your favorites, or find a cozy corner to read together. You could even do a challenge where your partner only has a limited time to grab as many books as they can, and you’ll buy only the books they’re holding.

6. Have a Movie Night

Have a themed movie night at home or go to a drive-in theater for a nostalgic experience. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with being a regular at your local theater.

7. Play Games

Play board games, card games, or video games together for a fun and relaxed evening.

8. Try a Fitness Class

Join a fitness class or try a new sport together to stay active and healthy as a couple.

9. Go on a Day Trip

Explore nearby towns, landmarks, or scenic spots for a change of scenery.

10. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Enjoy a breathtaking view together by taking a hot air balloon ride. It’s both unique and romantic.

11. Go to a Trampoline Park

Release your inner child and have a playful date at a trampoline park. Jumping around together can be a lot of fun.

12. Start a Culinary Adventure

Try a new cuisine by dining at a restaurant you’ve never been to before.

13. Go Stargazing

Find a quiet spot away from city lights and spend the evening stargazing. Pack a picnic for a romantic dinner under the stars.

14. Have a Paint and Sip Night

Attend a paint and sip class where you can create art together while enjoying a glass of your favorite drink. Or have your own arts and crafts night at home.

15. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Organize a scavenger hunt for each other or participate in a community event.

16. Have a Virtual Travel Night

“Visit” a foreign country by cooking a meal from that culture, watching a movie set there, and learning a few phrases in the language.

17. Enter an Escape Room

Challenge yourselves by solving puzzles and working together to “escape” within a time limit. You can go to an escape room, buy a board game, or make your own.

18. Visit a Cat or Dog Cafe

Spend time together surrounded by adorable animals at a cat or dog cafe. It’s a unique and heartwarming experience.

19. Gardening

Start a small garden together, whether it’s indoor plants or an outdoor vegetable patch.

20. Travel Planning

Spend an evening planning a dream vacation with your partner, even if it’s just a hypothetical trip. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll get to go on this dream vacation together.

Books to Inspire Your Date Ideas

The cover of the book Date Smart.

Date Smart

The cover of the book Big Book of Family Games.

Big Book of Family Games

The cover of the cookbook The Cookbook in Support of the United Nations: For People and Planet.

The Cookbook in Support of the United Nations: For People and Planet

Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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