This New Year’s Eve was, well, different. Our tuxedo, gown, and sparkly shoes were replaced by shorts, T-shirts, comfy pajamas, and slippers.
My husband, Mike, and I didn’t have a plan, but ultimately, we spent New Year’s Eve creating our own date night. We cooked dinner, made a fire, played gin rummy, and recorded a silly dance video. I began to think that a stay-at-home date night may be a real thing.
Turns out it is, and our New Year’s Eve gave us a plan for Valentine’s Day, or even the next snowstorm. Many online resources offer creative ideas. My research led me to “32 Stay-at-Home Date Ideas” from Six Sisters’ Stuff. On New Year’s Eve, we managed to knock out three or four on the list.
Anyone from my parents to the newlyweds in our family can enjoy many of the activities, so age is irrelevant. While many of the suggestions can be modified for different abilities, physical ability does come into play when deciding which date idea is a good fit.
What about Parkinson’s?
Fostering intimacy is essential in every relationship. Romance and intimacy can get lost in the chaos that consumes life with young-onset Parkinson’s. A simple stay-at-home date night may be the perfect solution, but finding the right activity may take some trial and error.
While it is tempting to choose something traditional, such as watching a movie, don’t discount the effect of doing something outside your comfort zone. Your top choices may not include dancing, working out, or conducting a question-and-answer session, but be open to different ideas. Get creative!
My top 10 activities
- Dance, of course
- Virtually travel around the world to exotic places
- Cook dinner together
- Work out together
- Do a chocolate-tasting
- Watch old movies
- Play cards
- Eat fondue (more chocolate)
- Have a marshmallow gun war
- Play “Would You Rather … ?”
Breaking out of our comfort zones
Mike and I have a weekly dance date with a great instructor. However, dance lessons are not for everyone. The Show Her Off virtual program is a great option for getting into the “dance game.” It’s a nonstressful and fun way to get out of your comfort zone. We were excited to try it.
We settled in with our dinner, wine, and playlist, and got the “Date Night 1: Living Room Dancing” program ready to go. The videos were fun to watch, as the dancers introduced us to the moves called the “Lego bricks” of the program. However, actually attempting some of them would have resulted in one or both of us on the floor — especially any move involving the words “air and dip.”
We agreed on two Lego bricks to add to our repertoire, but there are many Lego bricks left to learn. Date Night 1 will last us for several date nights. The playlist is ours to keep and use as often as we like. There is a DVD option available as well if an online program is not a good fit for you.
We had our date night of dinner and dancing, but we didn’t use music. While it was odd at first, learning a few moves without it can be beneficial. When you are ready to put them together, the music you choose can be fast or slow. That’s perfect, because sometimes your body cooperates and moves freely, and other times, moving slowly is your only option.
Plan your stay-at-home date night, but remember: It’s not about the dancing, the dinner, or any other activity you choose. It’s about the person beside you. Romance and intimacy can be simple if you think outside the box.
Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.
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