We Kissed Date Nights Goodbye

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Regular date Nights. Sounds great, right? Get a sitter, get out of the house and spend time together. If you don’t, your marriage is doomed. Everyone from Redbook to your pastor is declaring it.

Pisha, I say. On what grounds, you may ask, do I declare this pisha?

Forty three years of marriage and counting. Staying happily married for that much time lends credibility to one’s opinions.

I can’t jump on the date night bandwagon, in spite of the fact that hubby and I are in the “business” of hitching and counseling young couples:

  • First, the word regular. Regular as in your bowel function? Done or happening frequently? Or regular as in conforming to the usual?
  • Have you ever wrangled the kids out of the house on a weeknight? Better yet, on a Thursday night??? After a Wednesday night at church? That project that’s due on Friday isn’t gluing itself to a poster board.
  • Money. I know that you can argue that you can come up with creative date night ideas that don’t cost a dime, and good for you. What happens when we use those creative juices to come up with a way to get the baby to sleep through the night (or just through a quickie)?
  • No children in the house? Why in the world do you want to leave the coziness of your own nest? Nothing more romantic than a snuggling together and seeing where the night goes.
  • I’m totally in favor of special time together.
  • Weddings…always be the first to respond Yes! And never take your young children unless it’s a close family member. What a great gift to you! A beautiful ceremony to recall the joy and sacredness of your vows, followed by dinner (free) and dancing. What could be more romantic?
  • Coffee Breaks – I’m a striver. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to relax at home, surrounded by the things that I need to do. When he “scoops me up” for a visit to a nearby coffee shop it is a perfect diversion and gets me focused on the man I love.
  • Volunteer – What are you passionate or your spouse passionate about? Get involved together.
  • Completing projects – Paint a room, organize your pictures, or plant a garden. Work side by side, even if it’s after the kids are tucked in at night.
  • Family walks – Even with a passel of kids, you know they will run ahead and around you as you walk. Head to a park, run off some steam and you’ll be surprised what the endorphins will do for their sleep and your love life. There is nothing sexier than your man playing with your children.
  • Vacations – Biggest regret? That we didn’t take more…but as a family.
  • Every night – okay I know this doesn’t work for everyone but you know your life and can figure this out:
    • Put the kids to bed and spend time together, not just sitting in front of the TV
    • Go to bed together. It can be tricky if you’re a night owl and he gets up early. Adjust. The time before you sleep is critical to your relationship. Devote a few minutes to each other, even if you have to get up after he’s drifted off.In 1989, the Orlando Magic was established as a franchise. I married a man who loves, and taught me to love, the game of basketball. We were season ticket holders for the first few years and rarely missed a game. We were away from home lots of nights, but our girls were responsible and could look after themselves – it was “our” time. I remember seeing Larry Bird (Google him – he’s a legend) and Michael Jordan on the court and pinching myself. We thought we were in heaven.When I look back, the seats in the arena were a dream come true, but the time and money spent were extravagant. However, working as a team in that gym we accomplished something that was truly ours, yet outside of ourselves. It was ours to share.
    • Fifteen years earlier, we volunteered to run the basketball league for a local organization. Every Saturday we drove around, collecting a rag tag bunch of preteen boys in our Chevelle. The rear floor board was rusted out and we were always a little concerned about having enough gas to make the drive across town and back. We had our baby girl with us, too and she was at home on the courts. We spent all day at the gym, working together to get games started on time, pay the officials, keep scorebooks and keep tabs on those boys. Lots of weeks we spent our meager budget to buy at least one of them a burger. We worked hard side by side and we loved it.
    • It’s great to plan a night out. It’s even better to have a night out planned for you; to be dated, to be wooed and in the process remember the things that brought you together in the beginning. I love getting primped for a night out because it’s special. But I’m just going to say it. Regular sounds a little too….regular. There’s nothing magical happening at Chili’s, friends.

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If you are still with me…go, enjoy a night out once in a while. If your church (like mine) is offering babysitting services free or at a great price, take advantage of it. But don’t let anyone tell you that your marriage is doomed if you don’t have a weekly date night.

 

 

 

 

 

10 responses »

  1. I wouldn’t go so far as to “pisha” the notion that regular date nights are a great idea. Isaiah and I struggle immensely when we’re not regularly making an effort to connect. It’s not that we can’t connect at home, but it’s way more difficult to do so. An “official” time is the only way we’ve found to keep us consistent. We only watch 1-2 hours of TV a week, but it’s too easy to get distracted with even good things at home. Like chores, mental recovery, and sleep! 🙂 The volunteering is a great idea, but even that (and your other fun ideas) would also require a distinct time commitment and money for a babysitter for us. Anyway, all that to say I’m really grateful for whoever came up with the date night idea. We have a consistent, dependable, cheap date night to keep us connected. Just my two cents! 🙂

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    • Just to make sure this is clear….My “pisha” is to the notion that your marriage is at risk without them. I think every relationship needs shared times that are devoted to it…whether husband/wife, friends or other family relationships.

      As hubby and I have discussed this, we feel like we managed to accomplish to stay connected in the ways that I mentioned. I have always worked full time, held numerous positions in the church and community; I can related to the challenge for time and resources.

      I’m really glad that the date night idea is serving you and Isaiah well. Keep at it – and you’ll be celebrating 40+ years before you know it.

      And thanks for offering your two cents! Bless.

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  2. Great post, as always. My first thought~ “stuff’s” gettin’ real. agree with you. To me, regular becomes an obligation of sorts. That being said, it’s nice that it’s available as long as one doesn’t feel like they have to participate, or they are no longer part of “the group”. Thanks for another great read!

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  3. John and I will be celebrating 20 years this September. We never had regular date nights….once in a blue moon we would go out to celebrate birthdays or special occassions. We’ve never gone on a trip without our children either…..even This year, we’ve planned a great family trip to celebrate us. Now that the kids are older, John and I have been known to say that we are going to Target, but wind up eating bang bang shrimp at bonefish! It’s those spontaneously stolen moments that are my favorite!!

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  4. You know what? Not going to argue any single word) It’s not the family that makes our life hard and takes time from each other, it’s US. I could never agree for just a one date night a week and I know for sure it is not even necessary when you have SO many options. Your ideas are great! Thank you for a great post.

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  5. I think it’s a matter of generation and values. Today, young people have more distractions than ever. Cheating has become so much easier to do… AND hide! When we aren’t getting our needs met, instead of giving grace and seeking the Lord, we struggle looking over the fence. Furthermore, most people are waiting to marry which gives them more time to create a part of themselves that possibly included aa greater single social life than previous generations had, experienced a longer dating period and have more independence. It’s not the social norm for a young lady to live her life based on who she will marry and wait to live life til then… On that premise, one of the things that keeps younger people marriages alive IS DATING!

    One idea is because we are no longer a society that by and large values marriage for marriage. We value “what’s in it for me?” Sad. Therefore, most of today’s young stay-at-home moms aren’t impressed that hubby works 60 hours a week. Instead, she gets bored, selfish and lonely and starts sleeping with an old flame she found on Facebook… And dad doesn’t appreciate moms dedication to the home because he may be too busy staring at skirts they see at work every day, scrolling Tinder or looking up their own old flame on Facebook. Not all… But seriously, the morals in this country have dropped.

    Divorce is always a possibility… If YOU aren’t happy. It’s a real option and the answer when you’re angry… No one thinks, “I’m happy for what I have. I’ll be a good steward of it”. They are more worried about what they get next. Therefore, if you aren’t giving this generation attention, the motto is “someone else will” and “I just want to be happy” takes precedence over “the happiness of the family as a whole”. Selfishness. This generation, NOT ALL, but many are selfish and self seeking. That’s why.

    Now, dating is so special to my husband and I. Don’t take this wrong! But I also know that as a stay at home mom, my husband does not deserve to come home to me in sweat pants every day or baggy (unsexy) pajama bottoms. Yuck! I am his mate, friend, helper, but I’m also want to be his object of affection and I don’t want him to struggle there either. So, in today’s world… I pray for him (he’s a wonderful Christian man) but I also work out, dress up frequently, wear makeup most days, am his lady and frequently we go out alone or with couples. It’s nice to remember that part of us, that romance. Regularly? I don’t have time for that. But when we are alone its super awesome and we always park bc… Well what else do parents who are always interrupted do when they are suddenly alone, dresses up and feeling young? We have great sex! 🙂

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  6. Pingback: Great Expectations of the Heart | Grace and Graffiti

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