Is your relationship feeling all kinds of stale? A viral date night concept from TikTok could pull you out of that rut.
For the past year, Rosie Piper, a content creator based in Boise, Idaho, has been talking on TikTok about the plan she and her husband Ryan use to keep their marriage fun, fresh and strong. Some of the videos have racked up millions of views and counting.
The structure is simple: They commit to two dates per month. One is a date at home, and one is a date outside their house. They alternate who is responsible for planning each one.
“So for example, this past month Ry did the at-home date, and I did the out-of-the-house date,” Piper told HuffPost. “Next month, I’ll be in charge of the at-home date, and he will do the date out of the house.”
The couple, who has been together for nine years, tied the knot in 2021. Amid all of the wedding preparation and celebratory events, they realized they hadn’t made time for any intentional dates. That inspired Piper to create a more structured plan.
“With quality time being such a vital part of our relationship, I thought of the idea to make sure we prioritized this area of our life,” she said. “Plus, my husband and I are big planners and like to have planned dates on the calendar, so this helped us make sure we did that monthly.”
Since committing to date nights twice a month, the couple has seen “so many benefits.” For one, it’s been fun to get creative with their date ideas and do interesting activities together that they wouldn’t have done otherwise, Piper said. Plus, it’s brought them together even closer as a couple.
“It’s so easy to get in the routine of just hanging on the couch together or planning time with friends, that dates may just not happen as often,” she said. “Especially living together, you are always spending time together, but that’s not a date — that is just living! So making this a part of our monthly plan has been something we look forward to and have made some of our favorite memories from it.”
Some of their best at-home dates include a festive holiday decorating day and an Italian-themed night inspired by a trip they took together.
“In November, Ryan planned an afternoon to get into the holiday spirit and decorate our house for Christmas. He made us Christmas cocktails, apps and an incredible dinner, on top of making sure we had all the stuff ready to decorate. Then, we finished the night watching a holiday favorite, ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles,’” Piper said.
“Another favorite was in August when I planned an at-home date and themed it as an Italian night,” she added. “We had recently got back from our summer vacation in Italy, so I prepped an evening of yummy Italian food for us. We also did these cards called ‘Love Lingual’ that are super fun and unique questions to chat with your partner about.”
Some of their favorite out-of-the-house dates have been golfing, getting matching tattoos, renting a tiny home for a night and attending a Guinness Brewery tour.
Adam Albrite, a marriage and family therapist at Act2Change Therapy & Wellness Center in Atlanta, stumbled across some of the Pipers’ date night TikToks, and applauds the concept.
“Rosie and Ryan’s concept of monthly date nights is fantastic,” he told HuffPost. “At first glance, it appears quite simple, right? Both partners are responsible for planning one of two date nights each month, and they alternate between a date night at home and a date night out. So, it’s fairly straightforward — which is a good thing actually. In my experience, couples who thrive are open to new experiences. And those can be as simple as monthly structured date nights.”
Albrite also appreciates the fact that the couple shares the responsibility of planning the dates so it doesn’t all fall on one person’s shoulders. More egalitarian arrangements like this are associated with greater overall relationship satisfaction, he said.
In Albrite’s view, there’s a benefit to keeping date nights relatively simple and low-pressure, since that may help couples actually follow through on the commitment.
“It’s the small, simple things that give your relationship a boost,” he said. “Save the elaborate stuff for anniversaries or other very special occasions.”
Piper shares the belief that date nights don’t need to be extravagant or expensive to be memorable.
“If you’re on a budget you can still do this,” she said. “Just intentional, quality time together is all you need!”
Seeing the date night concept pick up steam on social media has made Piper “so happy,” she said.
“I have seen so many people trying it, and I truly think it is such an easy thing to incorporate into your life,” she said. “I’d recommend sitting down at the end of the month, looking at the month to come and finding two days that work for you as a couple. They can be day dates, night dates, weekends, weekdays, whatever works for you. Then trust your partner, and let them get creative! I swear my husband constantly surprises me with the ideas he comes up with.”
To see more of the Pipers’ date night inspiration, follow her on TikTok at @rosie.piper.