To those readers who’ve been enjoying this week’s posts about imagination and surprisology, but aren’t sure how best to go about integrating them into your own life, this is for you! In today’s Weekend Homework Assignment, we share one of our favorite activities, providing a perfect way to incorporate the combined principles of intentionality and surprise into your relationship on an ongoing basis. Without further ado, here’s Date Night in a Jar.

Get together with your partner this weekend and come up with a list of things you both want to try: local restaurants, movies to go see or rent, events to attend, attractions to visit, first experiences to experience together, etc. Keep it updated as new ideas are brought up in everyday conversation. Put these ideas on little scraps of paper or write them on popsicle sticks, as depicted above. Then place your date night ideas go into jar, and save them for your next night out together! 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

If “Date Night in a Jar” doesn’t really fit into the way that you and your partner interact, think of other ideas to surprise each other in a playful, romantic way. Check out Unbox Love, a subscription service that delivers a creative Date Night in a box to your doorstep once a month.

Remember: It is the small things done often that make the most difference in your relationship. Introduce fun into your relationship in ways that feel more natural to you – every relationship is different! Perhaps you could surprise your love with tokens: a “kiss” token, a “massage” token, a “trip to the ice cream parlor” token… let your imagination run free!

You can give a sweet gift like this to your partner on any occasion, no need to wait for birthdays or holidays! Surprise them with something and rejuvenate your friendship and closeness. Creating great memories together and sharing laughter and joy will help the two of you to build affection and fondness for each other. As the two of you play and have fun with each other, trust and support in your relationship will naturally follow.

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Weekend Homework Assignment: In a Jar

Ellie Lisitsa is a staff writer at The Gottman Institute and a regular contributor to The Gottman Relationship Blog. Ellie is pursuing her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis on Cognitive Dissonance at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.