The infamous “Date Night.” What does that mean to you?
Here is what I have found to be true. My husband and I usually use the weekend to catch up with each other. To hang out late and watch movies. To catch up on some romance that is severely lacking during the week. We sometimes get one of the grandparents to watch the kids while we go to dinner or the movie theatre. Weekends are awesome. They allow us to rejuvenate ourselves and our relationship. We feel in love, connected, happy.
Then Monday comes and it all quickly heads downhill. Monday thru Friday is a big blur. Shuttling my son too and from preschool, picking up my daughter from school, cleaning, chorus, dance class, work, making dinner, laundry, work, volunteering at my daughter’s school, meetings, work, helping with homework… well you get the picture. I am sure you are very familiar with it yourself.
My husband an I quickly slip out of our sweet pocket of weekend romance into two people who seem to run on auto mode. The week is exhausting to say the least. Every night I collapse into bed, aching for sleep. Most weeks, I reach Friday and have to really think back through the week to remember if I had given my husband a real kiss or to try to recall when the last time we were intimate was. I get to Friday and feel short with my husband and disconnected and aching to have a moment alone just to breathe. We both agreed, the problem was we didn’t really feel like a couple. We didn’t make time to cuddle, kiss, listen to music together, chat about nothing in particular. Everything was always so rushed. We were too tired for those simple things.
We decided, enough was enough. If we were going to make our marriage our priority we needed to figure out a way to connect during the weekdays. A way to feel stronger as a couple. Romance and connection should not just be a weekend treat.
We decided to start having date night on a week day. But, having to go out for “date night” during the week wasn’t practical. The challenge was, it would have to be an at-home date night after the kids went down for bed.
As of January, this year, Tuesday has become our date night.
We decided date night wouldn’t be about sex. In fact we would take it off the table. It would be a night where there was no pressure to have it.
That was a relief for me. I longed for time with my husband that wasn’t about sex. I wanted to talk and to cuddle.
We also decided that “date night” should not include talk about children, work or money. Let me tell you, it is incredibly difficult to know what to talk about once we weren’t allowed to talk about those things. What else was there?
I found an article in a magazine that I read that had suggestions of conversations starters for “getting to know your husband again.” How ridiculous is that? Getting to know my husband? I have been with him my whole life. I know him better than he knows himself. But, there was something intriguing and sexy about the idea of “getting to know him again.” The questions the article provided were fun, light and had absolutely nothing to do with our “tabu” topics. Perfect!
So what do Tuesday nights look like for us? We found, through many trial and error date nights, what works best for us.
After the kids go down, even though sometimes we don’t want to or are too tired, we meet in bed. Funny huh? No pressure for sex, but we meet in bed. Why? Because it is the most intimate place in our house. It is our little haven in a world of chaos. A candle and Kenny Chesney in the background. We meet, not for sex, but for conversation and to hang out. We ask silly questions like, “If someone made a movie about your life, who would play your character?” (Meg Ryan, for sure) or “What superhero would you want to be, and why?” (The girl from Hancock. She could do it all) or “What was the best dessert you ever had?” (The lava cake at Roy’s. Absolutely sinful). We talk about fantasies, where we want to go on vacation, our bucket list. We learn about each other.
It is sweet, romantic, relaxing and,usually, incredibly hot. Did I mention we do this, sans clothing? Let’s just say, for us, taking sex off the table does not mean that we don’t have sex on date night. In fact, not one of them has passed without, let’s say, a happy ending 🙂 It just means the pressure is off. We don’t have to worry about a result. It is just good old-fashioned quality time.
I love date night. It has made a huge impact in our marriage.
All the articles I read about keeping a marriage strong talk about the importance of date night. But, I think what is really important is to do date night right. Find out what really works best for both of you. It should be a time that you both enjoy and that should allow you to focus solely on each other. It is meant as a time to come back together as a couple and remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place.
Although it is hard to put the time aside, and most of us can make up a million reasons not to, every couple should have a regular date night. As Nike would say, “Just do it.” If you are dedicated to it, the payoff is amazing.