It’s no wonder that Cratejoy subscribers, well, love Crated with Love. This inventive date-night box brings together 4-5 creative, challenging activities chock-full of fun opportunities for couples to bond, collaborate, and connect.
In short, it’s the perfect monthly delivery for a date at home. And now that everyone seems to be dating from home -- whether they live together or not -- we sat down with Tyler, one half of the husband-and-wife team behind Crated with Love, for tips on dating within four walls.
Why a date-night subscription box?
CRATEJOY: What inspired you to start Crated with Love?
TYLER: My wife, Michelle, and I were sitting on the couch one night doing our typical routine: TV and Facebook scrolling. Out of nowhere, Michelle asked me, “Why aren’t we as romantic as we used to be when we were dating?”
To be completely honest, at first, I was a little upset by the question. I mean, we both were paying our way through school, we both had multiple jobs and internships, and we were planning our wedding.
But that sparked a conversation that would change our relationship forever.
After talking, we both agreed that if we were going to spend the rest of our lives together, we needed to invest in our relationship. So, we took $20 each month (which was a lot for us at the time) and created a “Date Night Budget.” We promised each other that no matter what, we would have a monthly date night that focused on growing closer together. And it worked.
In fact, not only did we see more romantic date nights, our daily interactions improved. We could feel our relationship as a whole getting stronger because we committed to this monthly quality time.
Then we asked ourselves if other couples could benefit from the same thing.
At the time, I was getting a degree in entrepreneurship, and Michelle was finishing her Master’s degree in marriage/family therapy (the perfect combination). That, combined with our new monthly date night, sparked the idea for what would become Crated with Love.
Since that conversation way back in 2014, we have shipped hundreds of thousands of date nights to couples all over the world with the simple goal of bringing couples closer.
What are some ways that couples can stay connected when they’re sheltering in place?
CRATEJOY: We know that working from home, especially if you need to homeschool kids at the same time, can add more stress along with these increased responsibilities.
TYLER: One thing I would say for any couple is to first find healthy ways to manage stress. Especially in these uncertain times, stress and anxiety levels can reach a pinnacle, so it’s essential to work together and support each other during these tribulations.
Being cooped up in the house can give us all a sense of “cabin fever,” so another thing you can do is try to “escape” (while staying home). This could be something as simple as planning a dream vacation together, doing a themed date night box, or simply having a picnic in the backyard together.
The most important element is being able to mentally and emotionally connect with your partner while detaching yourselves from the stress around you, if only for a little bit. It may not seem like much, but even 15-30 minutes of dedicated one-on-one time with each other can make a world of difference.
Another vital thing to remember is to make sure you are supporting one another. Remembering that you both are a team and need to work together during this time is essential, but something we can forget. This could mean having daily check-ins with each other to see how each person is feeling, one of you picking up the slack around the house so the other can do a bit of “self-care,” or even giving each other simple words of affirmation from time to time.
What are some ways that couples can have a “date night” if they’re sheltering in different places?
CRATEJOY: It seems that many couples right now have to be “long-distance” by default.
TYLER: Long-distance relationships can seem tough in the first place. Add the fact that you both must be sheltered at home, and it can seem near-impossible. That being said, there are some wonderful ways to stay connected, even during these times.
The first thing to remember is that the most important ingredient is quality time. It doesn’t matter if you are in the same house or (what seems like) a million miles away; that dedicated time to sit and reconnect with your partner on an emotional level is essential.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of video conference tools to help us reconnect with loved ones from a distance. Now you just have to think of interesting ways to spend the time.
You can have a co-op board game night from afar, a movie night where you stream the same flick, or even just sitting and talking while you both take on an enormous puzzle.
Or, you can get a little creative with it. Did someone say, “Virtual At-Home Cooking Show Contest?” Place your video chat device in the kitchen so that you can peer into each other’s stations. You have 30 minutes to create the most elegant dish by only using the ingredients in your pantry.
But here is the kicker: each ingredient must in some way represent your relationship. Before using each ingredient, you must run to the camera and explain to your partner the meaning of that ingredient before using it. Once you both are finished, have a (virtual) candlelit dinner, and enjoy your masterpieces.
The idea above represents a few key pieces that make a virtual date successful. The first is the spontaneity. Doing something different and off-the-wall helps to create a little excitement, even from afar.
Secondly, it focuses on laughter. Watching your partner run around the kitchen trying to think of how spaghetti noodles relate to your relationship can be quite the spectacle. Especially in these stressful times, joy and laughter can be critical, and helping you strengthen your relationship.
Lastly, it all comes down to quality time. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s about sharing those moments together. Sure, “typical” date nights might seem out of the question for now, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to grow closer to your partner. All it takes is a little creativity and some time.