My husband Eric recently marked our shared calendar “Mystery Date.” I notice it and start to wonder. Where are we going? I won’t know until we get there, although he will give me some instructions, usually about whether dress is casual or fancy, I’ll need special shoes, things like that. I usually get a card the day before telling me any instructions I might need.
Several times each year, we plan mystery dates for each other. It might be as simple as dinner at a restaurant we love or tickets to a concert to see a favorite band. I might score some tickets to a Red Sox game. A day trip to Plum Island. It can be day or night. The important thing is that it is a mystery.
This upcoming “Mystery Date” will occur on February 14 & 15. Sometimes we plan mysteries around special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, and the like, but usually it is just a random date. Maybe I notice a show in Boston I know he’d like to see. Bird migration weekend on Monhegan Island. A stay at a romantic bed and breakfast with dinner at a great restaurant, and maybe some hiking the following day or visiting a museum.
We love mystery trips and dates. Occasionally, we take our kids (who are young adults now) as well. Mostly, these events are a way to add fun and excitement to our almost three decades long relationship. It is one of the reasons why our marriage keeps getting better over time.
Planning the trips, being the one making the mystery, is part of the fun. Making arrangements, charging expenses but taking care not to give anything away. Sometimes he has to tell me not to look at the VISA bill.
One anniversary, Eric planned what turned out to be a magical weekend in Boston. Everything from the minute we left the house was perfect. Because I wasn’t blindfolded, I guessed the destination at some point, but still didn’t know the details until we got to each location. (He says I always manage to guess where we’re going so he doesn’t know why he even bothers to call it a mystery.) He knew what I would love, planned all the details, and I didn’t have to make any of the arrangements. Isn’t that fantastic?
Another time, I planned an overnight trip near Brattleboro, Vermont. The whole time, he had no idea where we were going. With each turn I made, his most recent guess was out the window. Though I didn’t plan it, the fact that we almost ran out of gas on snowy remote New Hampshire backroads actually added to the excitement.
It really is so much fun, regardless of whether you are the planner or the recipient. Couples with no kids at home can plan entire vacations this way. Instructions: pack clothing for very warm weather, a bathing suit, snorkel gear. Wow. Or you can make it even more mysterious by packing for your spouse so he doesn’t have a clue! Eric told me to add that only a fool of a husband would dream of packing for his wife!
So spice it up! Plan your first mystery date now and see what it does for your marriage.