- Dinner for Two. Need a break from cafeteria meals? Ask the staff for restaurants who deliver or offer take-out. Bring a tablecloth (or borrow one or even a sheet from hospital staff!). Pull the curtains closed, set the table for two, and pretend you’re together at your favorite restaurant. Maybe you’ll want to do a “Take Me Away” focus. Same as above, but with a country theme— aka Italy, France, Mexico.
- Play 2 TRUTHS and a LIE. See how well you know your other half. Each lie needs to be as good as your truths so it’s not a dead give-away.
- Love Story Alphabet. Beginning with the letter A, take turns thinking of words that remind you of your relationship, places you’ve been on dates, etc.
- Christmas in July. Bring in a holiday movie, holiday socks or hats, and hot cocoa. Watch a holiday movie together!
- Charades. Act out some memorable times in your relationship while the patient guesses. Reward each correct guess with a hug, kiss, etc.
- Spread the Love. Write letters of appreciation together to hospital guests or staff. You can make them anonymous or sign your name!
- Put together a costume kit for your visitors or nurses to wear. Moustaches, silly hats, wigs, masks you decorate with sharpies, etc. Stick them in a bowl. Make it a photo booth atmosphere if at all possible.
- Create your own romantic comedy. Make a YouTube playlist of videos that strike you as funny. Or make it a documentary the same way. Add commercials that you love. If not using a YouTube playlist, accomplish this by either making an actual disc, if you have that skill, or just cutting and pasting the HTTP addresses into your document one at a time.
- Just for fun and a little levity, ask a friend to come in and shoot a pretend “boudoir” photo shoot with you both in the hospital bed. Really play up the hospital gown aspect. It’ll add a smile for you later down the road, as well as there while it’s happening. (Don’t get into trouble, though, haha)
- Start with each of you having a blank piece of paper. The first person is given 60 seconds to write a story 5 lines long, about a story line they choose. When they’re done, they read ONLY their last sentence out loud, and then the other partner does the same thing. Take turns going back and forth for ten or 15 minutes. When done, read your story, going back and forth. We promise, you’ll smile. Feel free to pick themes that have to do with YOU guys. Make it about your taking a vacation, or put yourselves in a mystery.
- Prank call some of your pals and have them stop to do a MadLibs excerpt over the phone. Don’t wanna do MadLibs? Pick something from Dr Seuss, or something silly from the tabloids, read a recipe or??? Use your best narrator voices and lift someone else’s spirits at the same time. Even if it’s just one of you with enough “air” or energy to do the calls, both of you will enjoy the fun if it’s on speaker phone.
- Make a THIS WEEK time capsule. Typically, if you’re on a wing or in a unit, there’s some serious stuff happening. If possible, make a short-term time capsule with some of the following ideas to share and write down, then agree to look at it a week later and see what’s happened or changed. There’s some vulnerability to this date idea, but sometimes, it can be a welcome gift and focuser, on a journey that can always use those things:
- Sing, or at least share, one line of a song. Once that line is shared, the next person has to come up with a line from another song that contains one word from the last person's song line. For example, “Whoa-oh, we’re living on a prayer” (Bon Jovi)… The next song sung could be, “When you call my name, it’s like a little PRAYER” (Madonna)…
With the song to follow that, “Even on my weakest days, I get a LITTLE bit stronger” (Sara Evans).
Bounce it back and forth until someone can’t think of one. Keep score until someone hits whatever number limit you feel up to. The loser has to give the other person either a 60-second neck or foot massage, or maybe sing a whole song to the other.
- Play GUESS WHO DID THAT. Each of you write ten facts out on a piece of paper, sharing fun facts the other person may not know about people in BOTH of your worlds. (Don’t OUT anyone or share something that stands to embarrass anyone else on ANY level. Right? Right.) But see if your partner can guess who the fun fact is about. (Examples: This person used to have a pet rabbit named Elvis; This person knows how to drive a horse and buggy; This person once participated in a hotdog eating contest…)
- Do it yourself, or ask someone to help you if you’re unable to write while admitted, but make a list of at least 15 times your partner has done something that really touched you, made you feel special, or helped you at a time when you really needed it but hadn’t asked. Then during a quiet time together, when the nurses and tests are able to leave you alone for a while, read them to one another.
- Have someone snag some mylar balloons & ribbon (only kind hospitals allow), and using a Sharpie, write some encouraging messages on the back of the balloons. Then if you’re allowed to wander the halls, just go leave them around the hospital. If you’re not, then when you’re done, one of you go leave them at the nurse’s station with a free sign, or down in the Surgery waiting area, or maybe outside the chapel. Your local Dollar Tree or similar store has the best prices on these.
- I Spy. This probably needs no explanation!
1. Best thing to happen to US in the last few days was:
2. Something you did this week that made me smile was:
3. If I was going to lift a prayer this week for you, it would be:
4. If I could change one thing about today for you, it would be:
5. I have zero desire right now to:
6. I’d give anything if I could do this right now:
7. If I could arrange for this famous person to drop by for a visit just to do a selfie with you, it would be:
8. If I could have this one person from your world magically appear to sit with you for an hour, it would be:
9. Right now, as we’re sitting here, one memory about you that comes to mind really quickly and always makes me smile is:
10. The hardest thing on our plate right now is:
11. Our nurse today reminds me of:
12. One thing I wish we could sneak in here from home is:
13. Something that’s weighing on my mind right now is:
14. My favorite part of your body to kiss right now is:
15. A week from now, I think our situation is: