*This post is done in partnership with Date Night In Box (DNIB), but all thoughts and opinions are 2LWithIt’s*
Date Night In Box (DNIB) is a monthly subscription that sends a curated box of everything needed to plan a romantic date night at home. Each box includes: a custom Spotify soundtrack, an optional dinner menu (complete with recipes for apps, entrees, dessert, and drinks), games, crafts, and thoughtful conversation starters.
One of the things I like most about DNIB is their partnership with Tri-Development Center of Aiken County (TDC). TDC helps individuals with autism, head and spinal cord injuries, and intellectual disabilities, find employment in Aiken, South Carolina. TDC finds the helpful hands that put together each and every DNIB (and Kids Night In Boxes, too). I love to support companies that give back to their communities, so if you’re looking to give a gift that supports a good cause, look no further!
This month’s theme is “Key To My Heart,” which follows up on last month’s box, “Foundations of Love.” Loosely based on the ever-popular “escape room” phenomenon, this month’s box encourages couples to get to know their partner by working on a series of clue-based activities together. It’s a play on words about finding the key to the metaphoric escape room, combined with the romantic phrase “you hold the key to my heart.” Pretty clever, if you ask me!
Also in this box, date night-ers will find there’s are a few “healthy heart” related things in the box, and that’s because in addition to all the heart-shaped candy, February (when this box was released) is also American Heart Month. So, in partnership with the American Heart Association, DNIB has included some tips about promoting healthy heart habits, starting with the optional dinner menu that’s included in the box.
The menu includes: spaghetti squash cacio e pepe, french green beans, and frozen dark chocolate-covered bananas. The spaghetti squash is a great (healthier) alternative to pasta, and the cheese can easily be substituted for vegan or other non-dairy ingredients. The dessert is also very easy to make, and date night-ers can find a step-by-step guide on how to prepare each dish in the PDF of this month’s recipes (available through your DNIB online account).
The healthy heart theme continues with some related “table talk,” which are guided discussion questions to explore the topic in more detail with your partner. My favorite on this list is “couples yoga.” Last summer when I was studying for the bar exam, I took my fiancé to a few yoga classes. Like most guys, he was apprehensive, but quickly warmed up to it (literally because it’s an infared studio, and metaphorically because he noticed how calming it can be if you just give it a try). Exercising as a couple, in general, is actually one of my recent favorite things to do together. Not only are you keeping the other accountable to showing up and getting a workout in, but you’re each putting in effort to look and feel good as a couple. Sometimes it can be hard to make the time between work schedules and everything else going on, but when all else fails, a walk around the neighborhood and some stretching can be a good fallback plan.
In addition to physical heart health, it’s important to also keep up with emotional heart health. One of this month’s included activities is Dr. Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” test, which if you aren’t familiar with, I’d highly recommend checking it out. Prior to reading about them, I literally had no idea people can communicate love so differently.
Take for example me and my fiancé. I’m a gift-giver. Not many things get me more excited than curating the perfect gift for someone. For his birthday last year, I got him tickets to see his favorite band at an out-of-state at a venue that’s literally in the middle of nowhere with the prettiest view of the Columbia River. If I say it was just GORGEous, that’d be funny because the venue is called the “Gorge.” Anywhoo, super thoughtful, totally me.
As far as what I like to receive, I am all about acts of service. This means that I’d much rather prefer he change the oil in my car and/or make dinner at home, rather than take me out to a fancy meal or tell me I’m pretty. Inversely, he thrives when I spend quality time with him and/or when I give him words of affirmation. Words of affirmation is a difficult language for me, because even though I appreciate and love him to no end, sometimes I’m not the best at articulating that into words.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, even if you’ve been dating for a couple months or a couple years, this is a fun activity to do together because it can bring up deeper conversation. In addition to this activity, there’s also a series of conversation topics tied in with a snack you can share together. For us, this was probably the only thing we disliked about this box. Maybe we got a stale batch, but the included chocolate and strawberry crepes were a no-go for us.
This month we also got the optional add-on if you and your partner are faith-based. It’s a short discussion guide that pairs really well with the love language activity. Each “language” is matched with relevant bible verses, so if you’re looking to add some dimension to that conversation, this could be a fun option to include in your date night.
Finally, there are two game-like activities: the “Key To My Heart” adventure (which is how the escape room theme ties in), and the “Parisian Password Game.” Both are fun games that travel well and can easily be repeated in the future.
All in all, we really enjoyed this box. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as we did a few of the activities right before we got engaged, and then finished up the activities after the engagement. It wasn’t planned like that, but we usually do our date night in parts just because doing the whole thing in one go on a weeknight can be a little tough.
Next month’s box is “Throwback” themed and we are SO excited to see what’s inside. I’m secretly hoping there’s a scrunchie and some Lisa Frank stickers, while my fiancé would be fine with some Hot Wheels and Warheads. Any guesses what it might be?
For pricing and more details about the boxes, check out Date Night In’s pages here:
Use code “BEMINE” for 20% off all plans; limited quantities apply.