This time of year, we haven't gone into full-on hibernation mode yet; that comes later in, say, January, when all we want to do is snuggle by the fire in our wool socks and eat cheesy, baked things. But with a nip in the air and the days getting shorter, the prospect of staying in is more and more appealing. After a long week, battling rain and traffic and crowded restaurants is the last thing we want to do.
Let us propose a solution: date night in. And when we say "date night," we're not just talking about a romantic evening with your main squeeze; we're talking about a planned evening with someone (or several someones) you love. That might be your significant other, but it could also be your kids, your best friend, your dog, your cat, or hey, even yourself. We all need a little me time, after all.
Ready to start planning? This quiz will help you figure out your perfect date night in. We're also supplying a few game plans, including tips, menus, movie lists, and, importantly, the best Ben & Jerry's pints for every occasion.
Ready, set, quiz!
1. Are you hungry? How hungry? And how hungry is your date?
a) We're hungry. Like, we could literally eat a horse, or a large pizza. Each.
b) Snacks might be nice, but what I really want is to get my mind off of my week.
c) We have a big lunch planned, so a small but delicious meal would be nice.
d) Pretty hungry. We're thinking multi-course meal.
2. Feel like cooking?
b) Sure. I've been meaning to try something new, like this furikake popcorn. Ooh! Or maybe this classic seven-layer dip.
c) Yes and I know what I want. I have an hour or so, and a pretty good playlist for cooking.
d) For sure. I've been meaning to make our favorite dish, or maybe these salmon steaks. And didn't my partner cut out a soup recipe from the New York Times food section recently? We should head to the farmers market this morning and see what's in season.
3. Do you have children in your house? What's bedtime?
a) Yes. And what's this bedtime of which you speak?
b) Nope. No kids. Wheeeeee!
c) Yes. And he just started going to sleep at a regular hour and giving us a solid 10 hours of child-free time. But we only need about seven of those hours to sleep.
d) Yes. But they're pretty chill. We actually do believe in using screen time as a babysitter. (What else would we use it for? Education? Surrogate parenting?)
4. How social are you feeling?
a) I'm feeling pretty social, but I still want to wear my yoga pants.
b) A few hours with a friend or three would be great. I need to laugh.
c) My partner and I haven't connected in a while, because we've both been busy. We need a night in.
d) So social! I want stories, I want to laugh, and I might even want to play Cards Against Humanity!
5. Do you, much like Bad Company, feel like makin' love?
a) I could take it or leave it.
b) Nah. This is not my week.
c) Yes. Oh, please, yes. In the words of Marvin Gaye, let's get it on. Netflix and chill might be the perfect menu.
d) Sure, but I'm more of a morning person.
6. How's your bank account looking?
a) We've got enough to feed the family, but aren't looking to splurge.
b) I've got enough spare cash to pick up a couple things at the store.
c) Not worried about it. Besides, I'm pretty sure we have a couple of filets in the freezer. But I might pick up a decent bottle of wine.
d) Sweet. I just got a bonus at work and I want to celebrate!
7. Do you feel like wearing shoes?
b) Absolutely not, but I'd love to slip on my favorite socks; the rainbow striped ones with toes.
c) Not really, because that wouldn't help my chances at a foot rub.
d) Sure. I have a few pair of chic loafers that look great with anything.
8. Who are you missing?
a) The kids! It seems like we're all so busy!
b) My friends. I want to sit around talking about what they've been up to lately, and we really do need to figure out what really happened with Angelina and Brad.
c) My partner. It's been ages since it was just the two of us!
d) That cool couple we haven't seen in a while. I think the last time we got together may have been back in May!
9. How clean is your place right now?
a) The usual. I mean, it's clean, but I wouldn't call it tidy.
b) It's fine. And if I take 10 minutes to put things away and change out the hand towels in the bathroom, it'll be in great shape.
c) It's clean enough that we aren't mad at it. Or each other.
d) Looking great! In fact, we rearranged the living room furniture recently and I'd love to show it off.
10. What's your end game?
a) I just want to be with my family and relax.
b) I need some good old-fashioned belly laughs, and if politics come up? All I want to do is preach to the choir. Can I get an "Amen?"
c) I feel like makin' love. Didn't I already say that?
d) I want to really use my hosting skills. I love a dinner party!