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.
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.