I was once a pretty fun guy. I swear. I used to be a blast. But I'll admit I owe much of this “fun-ness” to the fact that I was very single, in my early 20s and rarely sober.
Since those blurry and boisterous days, I've purchased a home and gotten engaged. I've also matured enough to intelligibly see that I'm not the oldest guy at the bar, but I'm definitely on the higher end of the average.
As such, I feel like a creep just being there and have deduced that the club/pub scene is no longer my scene. I've receded into the corners of my recently purchased (and far too expensive) home and have reserved the downtown core for swanky dinners like any man approaching 30 in Hamilton, Ontario tends to do.
But I don't hate staying in. Quite the opposite, actually. Nights in with my fiancée have become events of their own. Just because I didn't spend $40 on a cab to dry hump my partner on a dance floor in some deceptively luxe location, doesn't make it any less special.
Sure, it's nothing fancy. Me in my underwear and my partner in my oversized tank top with her hair lazily tied to the top of her head, but that's the glory of it all. We're at home. We've got nobody to impress.
I know I'm not alone in this partiality. A lot of us are homebodies. If you identify as such, I've got some pretty fantastic home date ideas for you and your partner. None of which will break the bank or result in one of you hugging porcelain into the early hours of the morning, resolving to never drink again.
1. Have a bath.
This is actually a lot nicer than it sounds. Just fill your tub with WAY too many bubbles, crack open a bottle (or two) of wine, play some music, maybe light some candles and do WHATEVER you want. This activity, while intimate, doesn't have to be an interlude to sex, you two can simply lay back and enjoy each other's naked company after a long work day. Nice, right?
2. Stream a new series with finger food.
When you find a good show that's already in its ninth season on Netflix, there's nothing better than knowing you have hours upon hours of murder, mystery and cliffhangers to watch together. Or more applicable to my relationship, more fart jokes or competitive food programming.
Neither partner can watch an episode of the show without the other (these are the rules) and booze should almost always accompany the event. To make the marathoning even more fun, prepare finger foods with various dipping sauces that you two can pick at while the show plays on and on. It's kind of like a kiddie sleepover for adults. And what part of that doesn't sound incredible?
3. Prepare a new recipe.
My fiancée is vegan and I am very open-minded when it comes to food. So something we like to do together is pick out a recipe we both find appealing (be it online or in a cookbook), shop for the necessary ingredients and come home to make it together.
I'm no cook, but my fiancée is, so she likes showing me the ropes and have me serve as her assistant. And I don't mind. Being bossed around is kind of hot. Sometimes the recipes work out and sometimes they don't, but that's the fun in it all.
Just make sure you challenge yourselves. Attempt a new, ambitious recipe and Snapchat the crap out of it to impress your friends (or just to let them know you aren't a recluse and are, in fact, doing something).
4. Have a spa day.
This idea doesn't need alcohol, but it helps. Just have a nice spa day at home. Easy as that. Take a shower, close the doors and windows and create a steam room in your own bathroom.
Then, when you're done in there, wrap yourselves in white robes, put face masks on each other and munch on simple snack foods like veggies and hummus or one of those easy-peasy Triscuit recipes on their website.
After the face masks, move onto the massage. Rub massage (or baby) oil onto your partner and let YouTube be your guide. There are tons of massage tutorials that can make you an expert in your own right. Top this off with a face massage and melt in each other's hands. Or have sex. Either or.
5. Have a fondue for two.
You don't need an official fondue kit for this. A cheese and/or chocolate fondue are both very easy to do at home. It's an interactive dining experience and a rare one at that, which makes it feel like a special occasion.
What we do at our house is set up a table in our living room, start a nice movie to watch while we eat and pick away at the various carb and fruit/veggie offerings that we will be dunking into the gooey deliciousness that is melted cheese or chocolate. Or, you know, both.
6. Play video games.
I'm not talking something violent and difficult like "Gears Of War" or "Call Of Duty," I'm talking more "Mario Kart" or "Mario Party." Once you both get more familiarized and skilled at the game, things can get competitive and you will have a blast into the early hours of the morning.
Thanks to advances in online gaming, you two can then take your karts online and race against the world. Me and my fiancée like to challenge each other and will only put our controllers down after each of us have finished in the top three ranks, which can take a very long time depending on the caliber of people we're against.
7. Make homemade pizza night.
Pizza nights are the best nights. And instead of ordering in from a place that charges you extra for each topping added, you might as well make your own. My fiancée and I buy pitas and make pizzas on those.
Have fun personalizing your pizzas and munch away in front of the TV. If you're both fans of dipping sauces, search online for a recipe and try it out. And as I've said before, adding alcohol is not necessarily a bad idea here. Go for beer.
8. Have a YouTube video marathon.
Make yourselves a batch of popcorn and let YouTube take you on an epic marathoning quest via related sidebar videos. Peruse the latest Vine compilations, browse the latest carpool karaokes, watch stand-up, you name it. When done right, navigating YouTube is a much better alternative to channel surfing on cable TV.
9. Host a wine tasting.
Get fancy and buy some nice wines then pair these wines with foods the online experts recommend. Since I'm not much of a wine drinker, my fiancée and I like to pair craft beers with our recipes. Just as good in my opinion.
10. Stream with a theme.
I'll admit there isn't much to do at home aside from eating or drinking, so this one is similar to the streaming a new series idea, but it's themed. Basically, it's the exact same thing but you're putting more effort into making the event more cohesive through said theme. For example, toss on some "Sex and the City," dress up a little, mix some Cosmos and make sushi. Fun, right?
So homebodies, let us rejoice. Just because you're indoors doesn't make your evenings any less eventful. To the outside eye it might seem a little lame, sure, but screw those people. You're being frugal. You're doing you.