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Last Updated on August 28, 2018

50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

How many times can you go out to dinner and a movie? Not that there’s anything wrong with the quintessential date standard, but it gets boring after a while.

Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for any length of time, you’re probably running out of date ideas. You are still going on dates, right. Even long-term relationships need to go on a date occasionally.

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So, for those of you who feel stuck in the “dating rut” here are some date ideas for couples:

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  1. Do a restaurant tour – Pick an area with a bunch of restaurants. Start with cocktails and appetizers at a restaurant with a bar or lounge, head somewhere different for the main course and finish up someplace else with fabulous desserts.
  2. Look for treasure – Browse antique stores, flea markets, second hand shops or yard. You don’t have to buy; just looking is fun.
  3. Movies with a twist – Instead of haggling over drama vs. action and settling on a comedy flick to keep the peace, why not leave it up to chance. Close your eyes and pick. Whatever it is, both have to agree to honor the choice or it’s not fun.
  4. Explore the nearest state park – Pack a picnic. Go for a hike or hit a nature trail.
  5. Rent bikes – Go on a biking tour of your area. There are often organized bike tours or routes already mapped out for you.
  6. Rent a boat for the afternoon – If a sailboat is not your thing, rent a rowboat, paddle-boat, or kayak.
  7. Attend a festival in a neighboring city.
  8. Broaden your dinner horizons – Choose a new restaurant, someplace neither of you have ever tried. Bonus points if it’s a different ethnic cuisine than you normally eat.
  9. Do some stargazing – Get a book on constellations, aim your telescope at the stars see how many you can pick out. Prefer a more professional venue? Visit a planetarium.
    • Ghost tour – If you’re into the supernatural craze that’s storming our country, go on a ghost tour. Many towns now have “haunted houses” open for guided tours
    • Mini Golf – Old-fashioned fun, friendly competition and inexpensive, what’s not to love.
    • Cooking night – Make your favorite dishes together—work as a team on a brand-new recipe.
    • Dinner Cruise – Whether you live by the ocean or near a lake, you can easily find dinner cruises. Brunch or moonlight cruises are also another good option.
    • Have an indoor picnic – Serve dinner on a picnic blanket laid out in the living room. Open a bottle of wine with some favorite finger foods. An indoor picnic can be even more fun and romantic than a traditional outdoor one. It’s quieter and no interruptions!
    • Visit a museum – Nearly everyone has a museum or several within driving distance. Plan an afternoon wandering around the exhibits. If art isn’t your thing, try a history, sport, or cultural museum.
    • Learn a new activity together – Take a dance or photography class or learn how to play shuffleboard.
    • Go to the theater – The Theater is a date favorite. It’s a little classier than a movie and you get to dress up and soak in some culture.
    • Art gallery – A trip to the local art gallery is a wonderful date idea.
    • Try new cuisine – Check out a new ethnic cuisine — something neither of you have tried before. The element of adventure will add some excitement to your date, and, who knows, maybe the two of you will find a new favorite.
      • Be tourists for the day – Go sightseeing around your city. Stop inside places you often pass but never go into.
      • Reawaken your inner child – Stop at the toy store to pick up a few goodies. Try a Frisbee or kite for some outdoor fun.
      • Recreate a memorable date  – Think of a favorite past date, something that means something special to you as a couple; where you first met, your first date together, where you professed your love or popped the question.
      • Take in amateur night – Visit a local bar, club, or coffeehouse and watch the amateurs display their talent. If you’re adventurous, get up there and try it yourself.
      • Bowling – Bowling is an old-school date idea with a casual, relaxed feel. It not only makes a fun date, but also makes a great first date.
      • Be daring – Go rock climbing, bungee jumping or sky diving.
      • Outdoor theater – Think Shakespeare in the park. Theater is so much more fun and relaxed under the canopy of the sky than in a stuffy theater.
      • Bingo – Playing bingo is actually more fun than you might think. Find a local community organization, buy your cards, and get ready to shout “Bingo!”
      • Game night – You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Try a play date instead. Pick up a deck of cards and a board game for an indoor date.
      • Go skating – Roller-skating is always fun, even if neither of you have ever done it. Ice skating is a great option as well in the chilly months.
        • Mystery trip – Plan a day or an afternoon and take a trip to nowhere in particular. Just get into your car and drive. Stop when you want to eat or get a closer look at something of interest. Wing and have fun, but you might want to bring your smart-phone or GPS just in case you get hopelessly lost and can’t find your way home.
        • Engage in some friendly outdoor competition – Have a date at the driving range, batting cages, or go-kart track.
        • Take the gaming indoors – Visit a local arcade or gaming center. Don’t know where to go? Just ask some local 13 year olds, they’ll know.
        • Drive-In – Another old- school date idea that’s making a comeback of late. There’s something so cozy about watching a movie at the drive-in. Maybe it’s that you feel 16 all over again or maybe it’s just the fogged up windows…
        • Amusement Park – Ride roller coasters, eat cotton candy, get your picture taken in the photo booth, try your hand at some carnival games, and check out the view from the top of the Ferris wheel.
        • Play sports – Hit the golf course, tennis court, or ski slope for some sporting fun.
        • Dinner Theater – Interactive murder mystery-type dinner shows have become very popular. Good food, lively entertainment, and fun. A perfect date combination.
        • Visit the Aquarium – Aquariums aren’t just for schoolchildren, they’re also a great place for a date. Take a leisurely stroll while you survey the sea life.
        • Go on a picnic – A tried and true, but often overlooked date option. Pack up your picnic basket, add a bottle of wine, and choose a great spot. To make it more interesting, choose an ethnic cuisine, do a breakfast, or moonlight picnic.
          • Take in the sunset – Walk on the beach, sit on a dock, find higher ground, or just choose a quiet spot to soak in the sunset together. While you’re at it, pack some food and turn it into a simple sunset picnic.
          • Visit your local ballpark or stadium – Get tickets to a professional game or cheer for your hometown favorite.
          • Attend a concert – Live music is always a great way to spend a date. Get tickets to a big name act or enjoy a local band in the park, or a local club.
          • Wine tasting – Take an organized wine tour, or visit local wineries on your own (or with another couple.) Just make sure you have a designated driver please.
          • Go to the beach – Lie in the sun, take a swim, or skip some rocks. A day at the beach is a fun date.
            • High-school musical – No, not the movie…attend an actual high-school musical. Most high schools put on an annual musical or play. Tickets are inexpensive and you might just see some budding actors.
            • Go horseback riding – Find a local stable and either take a guided ride, a lesson or rent horses if you already know how to ride. Giddy up!
            • Volunteer – Spend some time at a local shelter or food kitchen or even join a community beautification project. Helping others can actually be a great way to spend time together and do some good in the process.
            • Casino night – Either visit a casino if you have one or go to a “casino night” fundraiser for a local organization. It’s thrilling and fun. Just don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.
            • Up, up and away – Take a hot air balloon ride. Glide over the roof tops pointing out sights of interest or just enjoy floating on air.
            • Factory tour – It sounds kind of lame, but it’s actually fascinating to see the inside of a local brewery or manufacturing plant. You’ll see things you never imagined.
            • Movie marathon – You each pick a couple of movies of your choice, (no arguments,) and cozy up on the couch with snacks and the remote.

            There are so many dating options out there to choose from, depending upon your interests, budget, and location. There’s something for every couple. Remember, whether you’re 20 or 60, dating should be fun!

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            photo credit: Pinterest

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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            Published on November 14, 2018

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

            For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

            In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

            Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

            Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

            It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

            For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

            Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

            Symptoms of Fatigue

            Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

            • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
            • mental blocks
            • lack of motivation
            • headache
            • dizziness
            • muscle weakness
            • slowed reflexes and responses
            • impaired decision-making and judgement
            • moodiness, such as irritability
            • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
            • reduced immune system function
            • blurry vision
            • short-term memory problems
            • poor concentration
            • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

            Causes of Fatigue

            The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

            • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
            • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
            • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
            • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

            Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

            Medical Causes of Fatigue

            If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

            Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

            Anemia

            Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

            Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

            There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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            This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

            Diabetes

            Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

            Sleep Apnea

            Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

            Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

            Thyroid disease

            An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

            Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

            • Lack of sleep
            • Too much sleep 
            • Alcohol and drugs 
            • Sleep disturbances 
            • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
            • Poor diet 

            Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

            • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
            • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
            • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
            • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

            Psychological Causes of Fatigue

            Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

            • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
            • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
            • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

            How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

            Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

            1. Tell The Truth

            Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

            To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

            Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

            The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

            One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

            • How you feel
            • What time of day it is
            • What may have contributed to your fatigue
            • How your mind and body reacts

            This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

            2. Reduce Your Commitments

            When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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            If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

            When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

            Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

            3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

            If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

            Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

            If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

            Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

            Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

            4. Express More Gratitude

            Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

            It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

            Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

            5. Focus On Yourself

            Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

            There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

            But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

            We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

            6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

            Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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            Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

            The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

            Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

            7. Take a Power Nap

            When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

            Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

            This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

            8. Take More Exercise

            The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

            Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

            The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

            You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

            9. Get More Quality Sleep

            To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

            Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

            My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

            10. Improve Your Diet

            Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

            Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

            On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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            To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

            Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

            Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

            11. Manage Your Stress Levels

            Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

            When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

            Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

            My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

            12. Get Hydrated

            Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

            Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

            If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

            The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

            The Bottom Line

            These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

            If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

            Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
            [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
            [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
            [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
            [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
            [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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