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43 Date-Night Ideas

Ready, Set, Speed Date! continued...

Plan on having breakfast or, if time is too tight for even a bagelicious moment, a wakeup coffee together once a week at the same local diner. Whether it's a charming bistro or a truck stop, the fact that you make it your own date place will make it feel special.

Make a phone date to talk for 15 minutes. This is different from hitting the speed dial to remind him that you'll be late tonight or to pick up milk on the way home. Ink it into your calendar and make sure you are in a space where there are no other distractions (screaming kids, nosy coworkers, cheery checkout workers, and so on) so you can give each other your full attention. You can keep your conversation innocent — or not!

Enjoy a mini date. Think: a half hour for a pizza lunch for two or one quick cocktail or coffee together after work. "The important thing is getting time together," says Courtney, 28. "There have been times when we squeezed in a quick meal before my husband had to return to work. But spending that hour together was better than not having any time alone with each other that week."

Pull Out the Stops

Definitely not your everyday dates:

Plan a hush-hush romantic "mystery night." One of you makes all the arrangements and just tells the other where and when you'll meet (perhaps via a note in a lunch bag or a briefcase, in the car on the driver's seat, propped against the milk in the refrigerator, or scribbled on the kids' Magna Doodle). The destination can be anything from dinner at a nice restaurant to a scavenger hunt with you as the prize. It's not the venue that makes the evening special, but the anticipatory thrill that comes with not knowing what's coming next.

Spend the day at a weird and wild festival: mashed potato wrestling, a chicken plucking competition, a cardboard boat race, or a watermelon seed spitting contest. For an overview of bizarre goings on nationwide, check out eccentricamerica.com.

Pull an all nighter and check into a high end hotel. Even if it's less than a mile from your own bed, you'll still feel transported to luxury land, where the only thing you need to concentrate on is each other. For one thing, there's a great big bed. For another, there is a "Do Not Disturb" sign that actually works. Lounge in the fluffy white robes, order room service and feed each other in bed, get hot in the steam room, have a randy romp in the hot tub (preferably in your room!), and sleep until checkout.

And Dates He'll Totally Love You For...

You won't have to ask him twice to:

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