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Couple wrapped in blankets to be cozy by the fireplace

Few things boost intimacy like a winter date night at home. With snow falling outdoors and a warm fire crackling indoors, you and your significant other can inhabit your own, cozy world.

A basic home date night doesn’t take much forethought, but by putting in a little extra effort, you can take your evening from good to spectacular.

Here’s how.

Setting the Scene

Creating a warm and inviting environment sets the perfect mood and puts your date at ease.

First, ensure your home is clean and tidy. Unvacuumed floors or piles of laundry are major turn-offs.

You don’t exactly have to scatter rose petals on the floor, but it’s always a good idea to add a little romance.

Stoke a Fire

A fireplace is the perfect way to warm a room and set the stage for a romantic evening. There’s nothing quite like cuddling on the couch while a fire crackles away.

Romance blossoms in the warm glow and the added heat will ensure your date is comfortable despite the outdoor chill.

Include Other Accessories

Whether you have a fireplace or not, don’t forget to make your space extra cozy by draping a throw blanket over the arm of a couch and lighting some candles.

Sharing a blanket while watching a movie increases intimacy while candles add soft, dreamy light.

Choosing the Perfect Movie

Romantic comedies are usually a great bet for a date night. However, it’s best to take your date’s preferences into account.

Find out in advance what type of movies your date likes. Is your date a classical movie buff? Find that one Ingmar Bergman movie he hasn’t seen yet. If you share common interests, emphasize them by choosing a movie you’ve already bonded over, then watch it together.

Crafting a Delicious Menu

Here, you need to take your culinary skills into account. If you’re not an experienced cook, stick with simple recipes you already know, or order in.

If you do have serious skills in the kitchen, show them off!

Find out in advance if your date has any dietary preferences or restrictions. Asking ahead of time will demonstrate your thoughtfulness.

Warm meals are always a good bet in the winter. Soups, stews, or pasta are all decent possibilities. And stick with dishes that are relatively easy to eat. You don’t want to spend the night wrestling overly long noodles into your mouth. Extra heavy or greasy dishes are also a no-no.

Keep things simple. You don’t need a five-course menu. An entrée with a side dish and dessert is enough.

If you’re meeting a bit later in the evening, plan to snack on popcorn or nachos for an at-the-movies feel.

If you both enjoy wine, choose something respectable that will pair well with your meal. If you’re uncertain, ask for advice from a local wine merchant. Mulled wine is always a nice option in the winter.

Adding Special Touches

Romance is in the details. Adding special touches to the evening will show your date how much you care.

First, it never hurts to dress up a bit. Stay comfortable and casual but put some effort in. Wear the sweater that brings out the colour in your eyes or strut your stuff in a new pair of jeans. Shower beforehand and take time with your hair and makeup if you wear it.

If you do share popcorn while watching the movie, serving it in red and white striped retro bags shows you went the extra mile.

Surprising your date with a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates is also a nice thought.

Look for Meaningful Connection

The most important aspect of the evening is making a real connection.

If you haven’t been dating long, ask your partner questions about herself and really listen. And don’t be afraid to share your memories, opinions, and perspectives.

Move out of your comfort zone. If you’re more of a talker, focus on listening. If your date’s eyes start looking a little glazed over, ask a question and hand over the conversational baton.

If you know you are more of a listener, challenge yourself to say more than you normally would. Elaborate on details and don’t wait to be asked a question to contribute something.

For those already in longer relationships, vow not to mention work, the household, or kids. Ask your partner something new. Conversation cards can be a great way to get different discussions started.

Enjoy the Evening

Finally, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!

Most things in life don’t go as planned. If there is a date-night mishap, don’t worry – it will likely make a great story one day.

Just do what you can to make the evening a success, then relax and have fun.