Well, first I should have probably used another title, as if you are anything like me and Ste, you are normally in bed by 8pm! Luckily, these date ideas can be enjoyed at any time of the day. I have tried to include a mix of things that everyone could enjoy. As Ste is TPN fed and barely eats due to his gastroparesis, going out to a restaurant is pretty much a no-go for us. Many other people struggle with eating out as well due to their IBD and other various conditions so it isn’t always so easy to get some grown up, romantic time.
This is one of mine and Ste’s favourite things to do as we are both into our movies and enjoy getting to see them on the big screen. As ostomates will know, popcorn can be a big no-no for us but I find chewing well and drinking plenty alongside it means I have never had a problem. We have gone to the cinema at 10am on a Friday morning before which was something nice and different, and it is something that can pretty much be enjoyed at any time of day. Cinemas are wheelchair and disabled friendly and I have always found staff to be very helpful. A movie night at home is a good alternative when you can’t get out. Grab your favourite snacks and treats and snuggle up on the sofa or in bed.
I love this one. Pick a night and present your partner with a box full of everything you need for a cosy night in. You can incorporate one of the other ideas into this so make it a ‘Movie Night Date In A Box’ for example, fill it with partner’s favourite treats and a movie that they want to see or that they love to watch. A bottle of champagne (or alcohol free cocktails if you can’t drink alcohol perhaps), some strawberries or some new lingerie are all great things to add!
Grab yourself a couple of canvases and get creative, decorate your stoma bags, you could even give each other a roll of tin foil and see who can make the best sculpture! You could make it a competition or just for fun but get the creative juices flowing and have some fun.
This can be taken outdoors if you can manage it but you can easily spread out a blanket at home and enjoy your favourite picnic treats in the comfort of your own living room!
Pop on a face mask, give each other a massage or share a bath/shower together. Medication, surgery and pain can mean sex is off the menu but a sensual massage with a gorgeous smelling massage oil or cream can help you to create that closeness you may have been missing.
Being woken up to breakfast in bed is one of my favourite treats! Be it a romantic one from Ste or a Mother’s Day treat from the boys, you can’t go wrong with a lovely cuppa, some fresh juice and a nice breakfast treat. Little touches like a few daffodils in a vase on the tray can really make you smile too, and if you or your partner are struggling to get out of bed, this can be a nice treat for them.
Turn off the TV and get your game face on. Just because you can’t go out does not leave you unable to communicate with your partner, so turn off your devices and go ‘old school’ with some board or card games. To make it more interesting you can add in a forfeit when you lose (can be as naughty as you like).
Go for a coffee, or even better bring it to you! Go and enjoy a coffee and some cake (this is one of my favourite hospital appointment day treats) but if you are struggling to get out the house, your partner can pick up a takeaway coffee and a nice treat and bring it to you!
Go outside, snuggle under a blanket with your hot water bottle and your special one and enjoy a chat while you watch the beautiful sky come alive. A great time for reconnecting, talking future plans and planning your coming weeks.
Leave a sticky note on the mirror telling them they are beautiful, buy a little gift that you know they will just love, serve them food in heart shapes or pop a note in their work lunchbox! These little things can really make a difference on a bad day and will really make your partner smile. You could also write a traditional love letter, pop a stamp on it and get it delivered to your loved one. A great idea from my lovely friend Rachel (AKA Rocking2Stomas) was the ‘Open When’ letters. She wrote about twenty five notes to her partner and sealed them in envelopes with instructions like ‘Open When We Have Had An Argument’ or ‘Open When You Miss Me’ on and gave them to him. He said he really loved them and they were great as they were also in a long distance relationship. These romantic little touches can really lift the spirits and help you remember the reasons you got together.
When you are struggling with walking due to stiff joints it isn’t always possible to enjoy the great outdoors like you might like. There are however, lots of spots to park your car and enjoy the countryside scenery from your seat. Take a coffee with you and keep the heaters on if it is chilly and enjoy the view and a chat.
Surgery, pain, medication – it can all take it’s toll on a Spoonie’s sex life. Maybe send your partner a cheeky text while they are at work to tell them what to expect when they get home, buy some new lingerie to make you feel more beautiful and confident (Jasmine Stacey Collection is stunning and high-waisted – perfect for ostomates and mum-tums), change up a routine and set your alarm a little earlier rather than wait till bedtime. When you have had surgery, sex can be the last thing on your mind and can vbe very daunting but it can be an important part of your relationship. Check out my post about Sex With An Ostomy here for more tips and advice
Visitng time can still be quality time. Ste spent a month in hospital over an hour and half away from me at the end of last year. Visiting wasn’t as frequent as I would have liked, so the time we spent together was important. We would regularly snuggle up and watch a movie we downloaded from Netflix or if he felt up to it would take a little walk to the coffee shop or restaurant. Taking in some little gifts you know they will like, even if it is just their favourite snack, a new pair of PJ’s or some nice wash stuff – when you are in hospital these things can really help lift your spirits.
Hope you have been inspired by my ideas for some quality, romantic time with partner. It is really important that people take time out to just enjoy being with their partner, to reconnect and keep that spark alive. What do you and your parnter enjoy doing together? Let me know in the comments below! And one final thought for you all….