Why You Should Create a ‘Marriage Bucket List’ (& How to Do It)

I’ve been dreaming of tropical islands and cocktails decorated with paper umbrellas. One night I shared my sun-soaked fantasy with my husband, and the next thing I knew we were creating our own marriage bucket list.


This list is very different from our sex bucket list. Instead of trying out new positions or testing out new vibrators, our marriage bucket list is all about shared experiences outside the bedroom. Think date night activities with an adventurous streak, like taking a trip down a zipline together or spending the night in an ice hotel.

We haven’t limited ourselves to just one year to accomplish everything on our list, but we’ve made it our goal to check off at least one item by this December. The more items we’ve added to our list, the more excited we’ve become. When was the last time we shared a goal that didn’t involve paying off credit cards and making sure the kids got to school on time? We have yet to see Diana Krall, our favorite jazz musician, in concert. Instead of making excuses about budgets and sitters, we’re pledging to see her the next time she comes to DC.

So far, the experience has allowed us to reconnect and share our ultimate dreams and fantasies with each other. How about a decadent omakase (chef’s choice) dinner at Morimoto? We’ve admired Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking ever since he appeared on “Iron Chef.” We also have further-flung goals on our list; for example, both of us have always wanted to visit the pyramids of Egypt.  

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It may sound like the ultimate daydreaming exercise to come up with a list filled with amazing, life-changing adventures, but it was more challenging than we anticipated. Here’s what we learned when we created our marriage bucket list — and what you should know before you sit down with your partner to write yours:

1. Don’t expect to create a lifetime list in one sitting. It takes time to create a list this big. Sit down together over coffee or dessert and throw out ideas — multiple times.

2. Write down every idea. Like any brainstorming session, don’t judge your ideas. Let them flow and write down every idea. You can narrow them down later. I have no idea when we’ll get to Egypt’s pyramids, but I’m not ruling it out.

3. Choose different types of adventures. My husband and I don’t travel as much as we did before kids and it showed during our brainstorming sessions. We wanted to go on cruises, take a cross country road trip — basically take a couples escape away from the kids. We challenged each other to come up with ideas that didn’t involve travel. So far we want to take a couples cooking class and a tour of every brewery within a two-hour drive of our home.

4. Create an action plan. What’s the point of making a wishlist of things if you don’t manage to do any of them? Set a goal of accomplishing one item on your list every year. Extra points if you can check off more than one!

5. Keep adding to your list. You’ll come up with more ideas as you cross off your current plans.

Currently our list is just some scribbles on a scrap paper. Eventually, I’ll transfer it to Evernote. As long as I have my Smartphone, I can easily add new ideas to our list. If my husband actually used Evernote, I could share the list with him too. (He’s not as technically inclined as I am.)

At first it was hard to make our list, but once we named a few things we’d always wanted to do, the ideas gushed out like a flood. So far we’ve got all kinds of ideas on our list, from eating at Jose Andres’ minibar in DC to taking a Napa Valley road trip to seeing a burlesque show.

I’m thinking attending a burlesque show might be the first thing on our list that we actually do. A fun night out and I’ll learn some new moves to practice in the bedroom. 

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What would you put on your marriage bucket list?

Photo: Getty