DATE NIGHT MOVIE OF THE MONTH
September 14, 2017
Stronger is the inspiring true story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become the symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin. Waiting for her at the finish line when the blast occurs, he loses both his legs in the attack.
After regaining consciousness in the hospital, Jeff is able to help law enforcement identify one of the bombers, but his own battle has just begun. He tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family.
This month we challenge you to treat your partner to a series of small indulgences and romantic events. See 22 date ideas below.
1. MAKE A COUPLE’S TIME CAPSULE
Your relationship as it stands today is something very special and unique. Make a video in which you each share your thoughts and feelings about your partner at this moment in time, and put a reminder in your diary to revisit it in a year’s time. Add some pictures and keepsakes to remind yourself of all the special moments you’ve shared. Top tip: Start by telling the story of how you met!
2. WRITE A LOVE LETTER
Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a hand-written letter. WhatsApp messages, emoticons and emails are all good and well, but when you put pen to paper you put a little bit of yourself into that missive. It doesn’t have to be a Shakespearean sonnet to be effective – a few simple lines about why you love them and how they’ve changed your life is all it takes. Get some pretty paper, pour out your heart and leave it on their pillow or hide it in their lunch – the choice is yours!
3. PAMPER THEM SILLY
The power of loving touch in a relationship cannot be overstated. Take today to show your partner how much you adore them by scheduling a little pamper session. This could be a shared foam bath with some candles and sparkling wine, a lengthy massage with some essential oils or a basic back rub to help them unwind when they come home from work. As long as you do it with love, any kind of pampering will do.
4. WHIP UP THEIR FAVOURITE MEAL
We all have that one dish, meal or treat that makes us woozy with longing, whether it be a fragrant curry, an indulgent chocolate cake or a burger with all the trimmings. Put on that apron, find the recipe and treat your partner to a home-made version of their best-loved meal. Make it extra special by decorating the table and putting on some of their favourite music.
5. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
In the midst of the daily grind, it can be easy to forget how fortunate we really are. Dolly up a mason jar or shoebox and make a point of writing down something good that happened to you as a couple each week. It can be as big as a promotion at work or as simple as having found a movie that you both liked! Open the mason jar on the 31st of December and count the blessings of the past year as you head into the next.
6. DO SOMETHING DARING
Today is the day to get the adrenaline pumping! Schedule a date at a shooting gallery, go down a zipline, try out surfing or really push out the boat and splurge on shark cage diving or a ballooning expedition. Whatever you do, make sure it scares you a little bit…
7. DRESS TO THE NINES AND HIT THE TOWN
Get that little black dress from the back of the closet, shine your fancy shoes, put on a tux or get your hair done – tonight is the night that you get gussied up and show off yourself and your partner to the world at large. It doesn’t have to be an all-singing, all-dancing outing that goes on until the early hours (although it can be!), you can simply pop out for an ice cream or a quick starter at your favourite restaurant. The point is to remind yourselves how stunning you can look when you make a bit of an effort.
8. CAMP OUT IN YOUR BACKYARD
Take the romance outside with a camping expedition in your backyard. Put up a tent, get a little fire going and spend the evening under the stars with some campfire classics like toasted marshmallows, boerewors on the coals and Irish coffee from tin mugs. If the weather isn’t playing along, simply put up the tent in the living room and spend the night in your in-door fort!
9. MAKE A VISION BOARD
We all have hopes and dreams for the future, especially as couples. Make your future vision a tangible reality by creating a shared vision board. Get out the paper, glue, scissors and old magazines and cut out pictures that represent the things you hope to achieve in the coming year. This could be anything from getting into shape, visiting a faraway destination, learning a new skill or finally getting your garden the way you like it. Make a collage and put it up where you can see it every day so your goals are top of mind.
10. HAVE A MOVIE NIGHT
Choose a movie and create a fun theme night around it. For instance, you could watch La Dolce Vita, The Godfather or Roman Holiday and turn it into an Italian affair! Make some pasta from scratch, get a bottle of Italian wine and speak in Italian accents as you camp out in front of the TV.
11. CREATE A ROMANTIC TREASURE HUNT
Send your partner on a tantalising scavenger hunt around your house, yard, neighbourhood or city. Depending on how much time you have, you could involve your neighbours, local business owners or friends, who could provide clues or run interference. Bonus points if you could make each stop along the way a place that holds special significance for you as a couple! neighbours, local business owners or friends, who could provide clues or run interference.
12. HAVE A GAMES NIGHT
Get silly and up the stakes with some good old-fashioned gaming. This could be anything from Monopoly or chess, to video games or poker. Add a saucy element by turning your game of choice into the ‘strip’ version thereof or take a bet on who will win and make sure that the winner enjoys a special treat of their choice…
13. UNPLUG AND GET AWAY
The saying goes that a change is as good as a holiday, and nothing rings more true. Book a weekend or evening at one of your favourite getaways, put off your phones and indulge in come uninterrupted couple time. If your budget is a little strained after all the revelry of the festive season, see if you can house sit for a friend or family member who lives out of town. Wherever you end up going, make a point of shutting out the world and making time to focus on one another.
14. GET REACQUAINTED
So, you think you know everything there is to know about your partner? Guess again! Find out more about your significant other by seeking out another side of them. Do some quizzes to find out more about your different personality types, play the Newly-wed Game where you ask questions and win prizes for correct answers or really shake things up and meet each other at a restaurant for a ‘first date’ as your alter egos… The sky’s the limit!
15. GET A LITTLE LOST
While there’s a lot to be said for planning a weekend away down to the very last detail, it can also be great fun to throw your bags in the car and hit the road without a definite destination in mind. Follow your noses, stop when you feel like it and who knows what kind of awesome places you will find? South Africa is dotted with quaint countryside inns and cosy B&Bs that are just waiting to be discovered? Feeling extra daring? Pack a tent and some sleeping bags and spend the night under the stars wherever you end up.
16. GET SNAPPY
One of the best ways to celebrate the singular beauty of your relationship is to get in front of (or behind!) the camera. Book a couple’s shoot with a local photographer, dress up in your favourite outfits, head out to one of your best-loved romantic spots and take a few nice pictures to commemorate this special moment in time. Alternatively, you could always book a saucy boudoir shoot to surprise and delight your partner…
17. HEAD FOR THE HILLS
The very best dates are always the ones where you end up a little sweaty. Hey, mind out of the gutter there – we’re talking about hiking! South Africa has some of the most beautiful trails in the world, so lace up those boots and head for the hills to enjoy a romantic getaway with your partner. If you aren’t all that keen on bushwhacking, you could always just go for a nice long stroll along the beach or even opt for an urban hike – a walk through your city or hometown with a map from the tourism board that points out cool places of interest. 5 of South Africa's best multi day hikes
18. FLEX THOSE MIND MUSCLES
Do you know what’s super sexy? Personal growth! This year, make a point of making time for a course or new hobby that you can enjoy with your partner. Go on a charcuterie course, learn how to make your own wine, teach yourself one of the 11 official South African languages, or learn how to turn your garden into an organic food-producing machine. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you’re having fun while you do it.
19. HEAD TO A MARKET
Looking for a date idea that the whole family will enjoy? South Africa's abundance of fresh produce and innovative producers mean we have a wide variety of family-friendly fresh good markets that take place all over this fair country of ours. Find one in your vicinity, pack a picnic blanket and some sunscreen and go spend the day in the fresh air. There will be plenty of tasty treats to try and you'll easily find the makings of an ad hoc picnic.
20. GET SNIFFING
South Africa's wine industry is making news all over the globe, and with good reason - we produce some exceptional vintages! Go wine tasting on a farm, take part in a scheduled wine tour, or simply stay home and enjoy a new wine with a homemade meal. If fermented grape juice is not your thing, why not try some proudly South African gin or tequila?
21. GO FORAGING!
Foraging for edible foliage is one of the greatest foodie trends of the moment. Following on the coattails of the sustainable farm-to-fork approach to dining, this exciting idea can be implemented in a variety of ways. Book a mushroom foraging session, opt for an urban foraging and cooking session in Cape Town or, if you’re more inclined to digging in that digging up, head to Wolfgat restaurant in Paternoster
where you can indulge in all sorts of locally sourced veld-food deliciousness. 8 Paternoster restaurants worth visiting
: While it can be tempting to head into the wild and gather a bunch of likely-looking weeds and fungi with which to experiment at home, it’s best to be guided by professionals who know the lay of the land. Better be safe than sorry! 12 edible indigenous South African plants
22. GET WET
South Africa has some of the best weather the world over, which means we can pretty much take to the water whenever we please. Why not take your date night on, in or below the water? Go shark diving
, water-skiing, or sign up for a scuba course, dive with dolphins or take a leisurely canoe ride down a river. If you really feel like pushing out the boat, you could even go on a week-long canoe safari on the Orange River! Alternatively, head to the aquarium and learn more about our rich marine life and how to preserve it.