There’s something about eating in the moonlight or under the stars that’s romantic all by itself, as lovers who frequently enjoy the outdoor dining Raleigh NC venues know well. But relationship experts and long-time partners can all vouch that the same old barbecue on the patio won’t cut it forever; you’ll eventually need to add some sparks if you want to keep the romance alive.
What’s a partner to do?
Here are a few expert ideas to get you started (you might want to grab a cocktail as well as a notepad if it’s been a while since you last planned a romantic evening, just to get your gears turning!).
A little advance planning can send a romantic signal
Celebrate an un-holiday—choose a random date, or a date you’d both remember but don’t typically make a point of celebrating (e.g., your first date, first kiss, or moving into your first home). Treat it as you would an anniversary or other special occasion—or how you used to do that if you’ve fallen out of the habit of celebrating!
Make a list of 5 things you love about your partner, or 5 memories of romantic times in your relationship. Share them at dinner, or go one step further and write each one on its own small scroll or note to hide at the table. You might even recruit your waiter to help with delivery (or distraction).
Arrange ahead to have a flower arrangement delivered to the restaurant where you’ll be dining in advance. (Married folks: bonus points if the flowers are the same as those used in your wedding!) Check with the restaurant to make sure they’ll be ready and agreeable; plus, they may have some other suggestions to help turn up the heat on your evening.
Get dressed at a friend’s house or at the office and pick your spouse up at the door as if it’s a true date. Bring flowers, candy or a small gift. Then have a romantic evening kit, with massage oil and whatever other accessories mean romance to your partner, packed and ready to open when you get back home…
Choose somewhere special—an outdoor dining Raleigh NC spot
Thankfully, romance doesn’t always have to require a big plan; sometimes just a small step outside the norm is enough. If life is hectic—and whose isn’t right about now—grab your date and head in a different direction from your usual go-to restaurants. Creating a mini-adventure by choosing a new outdoor dining venue in a different part of Raleigh or NC could be just what the relationship doctor ordered. Look for these romantic amenities:
- Quiet, but not too quiet: make sure you can actually talk but having some background music or the hum of quiet conversation can be soothing and make you feel less “on stage.”
- Soft overall lighting: You want to be able to see one another and the food you’re eating, without a glare coming from too bright or harsh floodlights.
- Covered patio: a full covering will help ensure your evening doesn’t get rained out.
- Unique ambiance: stepping out of your regular routine and into an atmosphere that carries a touch of romance might be as simple as getting more attentive service or being in a setting that’s a little exotic.
Wherever you go, ask someone to take a photo of the two of you—consider keeping it in classic black and white—and get it printed and framed, or put a tiny version in a locket.
And if all else fails, and you’re stumped as to what your partner might like most, take a couples’ quiz at the 5 Love Languages site. This will help you learn whether your sweet’s heart is likely to swell from Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time or Physical Touch. You may make a surprising discovery.
Then book your reservation, drop a quiet word to your waiter, and let the talented team at your new or favorite special outdoor dining Raleigh NC restaurant help you create a little extra romance in your lives.