Category Archives: Planning

Restaurant.com: the Best Type of Discount Coupon

Your Date Nights don’t have to put undue pressure on your wallet.

We have found many ways to enjoy an economical evening out, just by utilizing some on-line discounts, specifically the ones we found at restaurant.com.

They call themselves the “Community Matchmaker”; offering new ways to pair you with a new dining experience.

Restaurant.com has discounted gift certificates to the restaurants you are already familiar with, as well as new, local establishments you have yet to try.

Just within 15 miles of our downtown Chicago home, there are 322 participating restaurants and bars. The number is always growing and this is actually a nationwide service. Most importantly, if we want to walk to a neighborhood eatery for a bite, we can get on our computer, pick a location and print out a coupon offering us as much as 80% off of our meal.

The site typically offers gift certificates worth $25 for $10 each, they also have a $10 certificate for $4 option. These discounts do come with restrictions, some being:

  • May be used only Sunday through Thursday evenings.
  • Minimum $35 purchase.
  • 18% gratuity required.
  • Parties of (4) or more – Obviously… this makes it a “Double Date Night”

Seriously, you can enjoy a $50 meal for as little as $20 and you can trust the service: they’ve been doing this for 10 years!

Click here for Restaurant.com Gift Certificates

Date Night Planning Tug-of-War?

“What do you want to do tonight?”
“I don’t know, what ever you want to do.”
“I want to do what you want.”
“I don’t want to make a decision.”

The Churning of the Ocean of Milk
The Churning of the Ocean of Milk, photo by Mark Alexander
Sometimes making a decision can be a passive-aggressive tug-of-war for a married couple who are trying to balance the needs of the other, themselves, and even just fighting the doldrums of doing the same thing because it’s “what we always do.”

Date Nights can be planned as a couple, or at least discussed as a couple, but they don’t have to be that way. Many of us find that the best way to get some variety is to take turns planning (and even paying for) your date nights.

This gives an opportunity to inflect more of “you” into your choice of entertainment or meal (or no meal). Let your date learn and more deeply understand what you like, not just revisit what works for you as a couple. Sharing your interests and even finding new interests together is the ultimate goal here.

Taking turns makes it fair and spreads out the responsibility. You never want date night to be avoided, feared, or a hassle. Plan in advance, get reservations and know that you’re free to enjoy your spouse without worry of managing the next date.

Fear giving up some control? Don’t worry, your week is next.

The Rules of Date Night

Okay, enough aimlessly wandering around the internet trying to figure out what to do to re-kindle your married relationships. A Date Night, or regular married couple’s commitment to spend quality time with each other, doesn’t have to be complicated or obtrusive and should absolutely, positively be fun every time.

How do you make sure this happens? Follow the Date Night Chicago rules:

  1. Keep it simple. You’re not trying to set the record for most amazing date ever (there is no “most shocking rose ceremony ever” afterward). Your plans should work to only enhance the natural chemistry you and your spouse already have. If you’re planning an extravagant and elaborate itinerary you’re more likely to be caught up in the idea of the date and not tuning in to your spouse.
  2. Commit to a schedule. Date Night needs to be consistent. Your variety will be in the meals, entertainment and events that you choose; not the days or dates. It will be far easier for those with busy social lives or a history of double-booking to not have to check a calendar when scheduling other activities. Pick a night of the week, once a month, every other week, and so forth, and stick to the commitment.
  3. No distractions. Your focus should be each other and along with keeping things simple you’ll want to turn off that television, put the crackberry on silent, leave the children with a sitter and forget about your jobs and housework for the night.
  4. Enjoy each other. It sounds obvious, but as you’re salivating over the best meal ever, cheerfully red-cheeked and pouring just one more glass of wine, do not forget that you should be filling yourself on the love of your spouse and drinking in all the wonderful things that made you say “I do” in the first place.