IBS-Friendly Date Ideas: Rekindle Romance Without the Digestive Drama

IBS-Friendly Date Ideas: Rekindle Romance Without the Digestive Drama

Published on Monday, April 29, 2024 by Kari Tallent

Fun and Adventurous Date Ideas for Couples with IBS

Have you ever scrolled through social media and felt you saw people who seemed to have endless time to do all these fantastic things? With hectic schedules filled with work and family responsibilities, it can take time to carve out time for you and your significant other. Add an extra layer of irritable bowel syndrome, and your GI tract can thwart plans without warning. 

Whether one or both of you are IBS sufferers does not matter. At this point in your relationship, you have been through at least a couple of flare-ups to understand how IBS works and how to support each other best. Stress, interrupted routines, and inconsistent eating habits can throw everything off. This includes time set aside for connectedness with your spouse. 

If you are anything like my husband and I, by the time you get home from all the other obligations, you barely have the energy to watch a show on the couch, let alone get ready and actually go out. Being sucked into this way of living can leave you and your spouse from missing out on a happier and more committed marriage. Date night or day, ideas do not have to be over-the-top or extravagant. You also do not need to allow your IBS to ruin your plans. You can find creative, fun, and gut-friendly activities that you both can enjoy.

If you are unsure what exactly you want to do, let me help you. I have assembled a list of activities you can do with your partner in crime. I have broken them down into categories of “Fun/Adventurous,” “Romantic/Fancy, " and “Cozy/Relaxing.”

Fun and Adventurous Date Ideas: 

  1. Ax Throwing—Whether it is a stand-alone facility or a location that offers this as one of many different activities, it can be a fun way to let off some steam and develop some friendly and flirty competition. 
  2. Escape Room—Nothing says love and trust, like being trapped in a room and working together to find clues to escape.
  3. Indoor Climbing Wall—This is a fun way to spend time together and actively support each other. You can bolder, self-belay, or belay each other (you and your partner take turns holding each other in place on the wall and stop each other from plummeting to the ground - TRUST)
  4. Skating Rink—Take it back to middle school with this fun and nostalgic activity. Request those old-school tunes, couples skate and see if you can still pull off those sweet moves from the past.
  5. Arcade/Game Restaurant—These fun-filled spots can offer fun game options, and a number of them also include food and/or beverages (if you choose to imbibe). Just remember your trigger foods and be mindful of any deep-fried menu options.
  6. Ropes Course—This may be a seasonal option based on where you live, but it does not disappoint. Most courses are broken down into difficulty levels, and some combine the option of a zip-line course. Either way, if you love some adventure and a great challenge, this is an awesome option you and your partner can laugh about for days.
  7. Indoor Skydiving—Prepare to be exhilarated with this one, my friends. After the safety briefing, you will be grouped with a professional diver who will assist you in reaching new heights. The pictures of your face being manipulated by the high-speed wind are also quite entertaining. 

Cultivating an active lifestyle and incorporating that into other plans or outings, such as dates with your partner, can offer considerable benefits to managing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Supporting your spouse by providing these options is a way to foster deeper trust and rekindle the flame. 

Romantic or Fancy Date Ideas:

  1. Explore Your City—Act like a tourist for a few hours, check out a museum, or get lost at a botanical garden. If a zoo is in your area, see if they have a “Night at the Zoo” or wander through a gallery and banter about the art.
  2. Pack a Picnic—There is no better way to ensure you are getting FODMAP-friendly foods than by packing them yourself. Find a secluded spot at the park, near some nature trails you can explore, or at the beach (just watch the sand). 
  3. Take In a Show—Many local parks host movies or concerts during summer. These are often free and offer a vast area for viewing, allowing you to come and go as you please.
  4. Host a Dinner Party or Game Night—Keep the food under control and IBS-friendly by hosting an intimate dinner party with friends. Rotate the host house with your friend group so the venue changes. You and the other couples can pool your funds to cover the cost of a couple of babysitters to watch all the kids. Engage with other adults, play games where you collaborate with your person, growing your connection as a team.
  5. Book a Couples Massage—Get calm and relaxed with a couples massage. Release the tension of your hectic lives and take it to the next level with the soothing scents of essential oils. 

Ignite romance and laughter with these creative and intimate activities. Implement gut-friendly snacks and meals to keep the mood going without your IBS creeping in and ruining things. Enjoy quality time together and forget about your stomach.

Cozy and Relaxing Date Ideas:

  1. Movie Night—Get in your comfy clothes, make some homemade popcorn, and get ready to Netflix and chill with a movie marathon or binge-watch a season of your favorite show.
  2. Coffee Date—Snag your favorite lattes (choose decaf and milk alternatives if caffeine and lactose trigger your IBS) and grab the cozy couch in the back corner. Chill and have an uninterrupted conversation about literally anything. Reconnect in a simple way.
  3. Backyard Bliss—Turn your backyard into a romantic experience. Make dinner together, plan an IBS-friendly meal, and take it to the backyard. Hang some café lights, play music, and enjoy the bliss of your parcel of peace.
  4. Read a Book—This may be a lost art, but read a book together. Find a genre you both cuddle up, and take turns passing the book back and forth. Engage your imagination by turning off the screen and turning on the pages, among other things.

You should not have to let your IBS control everything you do, including your date nights. You can find wonderfully enjoyable things to do with your person. This list is only a fraction of things you can engage in.

Please comment if you are reading this and can offer any other recipes or date ideas that worked for you. Our community focuses on providing valuable information and inspiration for others seeking romantic outings without digestive woes. 

  1. ElHage, A. (2023, February 14). Date your spouse and stay happily married. Institute for Family Studies. https://ifstudies.org/blog/date-your-spouse-and-stay-happily-married 
  2. Johannesson, E., Ringström, G., Abrahamsson, H., & Sadik, R. (2015). Intervention to increase physical activity in irritable bowel syndrome shows long-term positive effects. World journal of gastroenterology, 21(2), 600–608. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v21.i2.600 

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