One of the first things that often leaves a life-long relationship is fun. Life becomes filled with routine and responsibility that we forget the importance of recreation. If children are in the mix, we build recreation around the family, too often forgetting how to have fun as a couple.

This Design-a-Date uses board games to have fun together over the timespan of a month. Playing board games moves you away from the computer, the television, and the phone to doing something face to face. It gives you the opportunity to laugh, talk, and even dream a little as you play. If it feels awkward at first, push through! You’re creating something new in your relationship. You’re learning to spend time together in a different way.

You can use one board game or several different ones. You can play nightly, 2-3 times a week, or once a week. Here are your options for this Design-A-Date:

Board Game Tournament—You will each choose a grand prize you’d like to win that’s within a price range that works in your budget. Then you’ll regularly play one game or different games over the timespan of a month, keeping track of who wins each game. The person who wins the most games will

receive their prize from their spouse at the end of the month.

Strip Yahtzee—This format of the Design-a-Date puts some spice into your game night. The game doesn’t have to be Yahtzee; it can be any game you choose. The person who wins each round or who is ahead at pre-determined intervals (time intervals or places in the game) gets to select what piece of clothing their spouse takes off (or gets to help him/her take it off). If you make it to the end of the game—great. If you get, ahem, sidetracked…that’s okay too!

Share a Memory Board Game—This format allows you to play a game AND share some memories you have as well. It works better with some games than others, so you’ll have to give it a try to see if it works with what you’re playing. Let’s say you’re playing the game of Bananagrams. When the game is over, go through the words in your crossword puzzle and try to have each of you do memory association with each word.  It can be a memory from your childhood, from your school years, from your adult life, or from your relationship together. Use the phrase “Tell me more” to keep each other sharing a little deeper. If it’s a numbers game, does that number bring up any memory for you? If it’s a game like LIFE or MONOPOLY, do the instruction cards or the name of the properties you can buy and sell make you think of anything specific?

Need some game ideas? Here are board games for two that you can play:

Bananagrams                                  Chess                                              Mancala

Battleship                                          Jenga                                             Scrabble

Boggle                                               LIFE                                                 Ticket to Ride

Checkers                                           Monopoly                                      Yahtzee

PDF to Print Out: Board-Game-Adventure.pdf