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When date night inspiration runs low and movie/dinner combos are no longer cutting it, would you consider some professional assistance?
DINKs have very different opinions when it comes to the best part of our collective lifestyle. Some say it’s our superior sex lives, while others declare it’s the ability to drop everything and see the world. Some even believe it’s the freedom to take a considerable leap of faith with our livelihoods. However, most non-parenting couples would agree, the liberty to do exactly what we want with our time and disposable income is pretty fantastic. A perfect example: date night.
Rut or routine?
We might not have to worry about carpool duties or pediatrician appointments, but that doesn’t mean everyday is a non-stop picnic. We’re busy people, too. Balancing professions, passions and relationships often leaves us with less energy than we’d like at the end of the day.
Second, as couples, we value quality time and memorable experiences. For many, this is a major reason we chose the DINK life. Feel like an indulgent dinner on a random Wednesday? Go for it. Craving a moonlight hike on a quiet Sunday evening? Grab your boots and hit the trail.
But what happens when you start running low on creative date ideas? Despite gravitating toward unique and meaningful experiences, even the most adventurous couples can fall into a date night rut - and that’s where your potential date planner would like to offer their services.
If your extracurricular lives revolve around carry out and DVR, would you consider getting professional help?
The date night shake up
Surprisingly, date planning - or Full Service Romantic Date Planning - as one enterprising company puts it, has been around for awhile but only recently made headlines thanks to a busy young NYC couple. Although newly dating, the two professionals quickly found the “have your people call my people” joke was wearing thin. Strapped for time to plan the quirky outings they desired,they outsourced their dinner reservation, theatre ticket purchasing and logistics duties to one Brenndon Knox.
Knox took his responsibilities very seriously and swiftly dubbed himself their “Secretary of Romance.” For a cool $12.50 an hour, the couple submits their schedules, interests and preferences; Knox crafts the perfect itinerary and makes all necessary arrangements. He’s not alone. Phoenix-based planning service A Date Coach offers a variety of date planning services, and even adds that - thanks to partnerships with various merchants - they are actually able to save clients money on those romantic dinners and museum passes. Fellow entrepreneurs The Heart Bandits, who specialize in both marriage proposal and date planning, will curate the perfect outing from start to finish based on the couple’s Personal Relationship Questionnaire; while Let’s Make it a Date even features a personal shopping and concierge component.
Date night help…
It seems many DINKs are split on the idea of hiring out date planning duties. Jessica Lauer, who shares a home with her longtime partner in Michigan, quickly warmed to the idea. “I could see it being a useful service...If you have been with the same person for years and are tired of dinner at the same restaurant AGAIN, then the service could provide some fresh, new ideas. Win/win!”
Many agree with Jessica. On one hand, we pay professionals to style our hair, rotate our tires and do our taxes - why is planning the perfect date or special event so different? Our personalities can still shine even if we weren’t at the helm, and soliciting outside help does take the pressure off.
And if these services can help us save some cash to boot, why not?
…or date night DIY?
PhD candidate Emily Cura Saunders disagrees. “I think you can (plan a great date) without paying someone," says the California-based DINK. She makes two good points. First,in a time when the majority of the country is experiencing financial hardship on some level, is a pre-packaged evening with your S.O. a frivolity or a way to
get the most bang for your time and buck? Second, one can easily argue DINKs are creative, resourceful and completely capable of planning fantastic evenings and escapes. We know our partners better than anyone and have a very good idea of what they’ll enjoy - and doesn’t putting in the effort make for a richer experience?
Maybe the most compelling argument is also the simplest: are comfortable patterns such a bad thing? Does your routine absolutely require a shake up simply by virtue of being routine? The DINK life is whatever you choose, and if you agree as a couple that making dinner, taking a stroll and tucking in with a great movie is exactly what you want seven nights a week, fantastic. That said, if you prefer constantly integrating new activities and pursuits into your lives, kudos to you as well.
Weigh in on the date night debate
So what do you think, DINKs? Would you happily pay up for a perfect, stress-free night on the town, or do you prefer to save the cash and get creative?
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