Hey everyone and Happy Monday. This week I want to talk about the elusive date night. Let’s face it, life comes along and date nights get few and far between once you get married. Now I don’t want this to be discouraging so just stay with me through this first part…
- The initial dating phase
- You are on your best behavior, ALL of the time.
- You are still getting to know each other.
- You are spending time just the two of you
- You are spending time with friends
- You fall madly in love.
- You talk about everything and nothing for hours
- You are in love and don’t care who knows it.
- You know and learn more about each other
- You go on private romantic dates
- You talk mainly about the upcoming wedding
- You unintentionally alienate your, not as close friends
- The Honeymoon Phase (The first year(s) of Marriage)
- You are involved with yourselves
- You spend hours upon hours talking about how much you love each other.
- You have a few close Friends that you still get together with
- You go out as much as possible at least a couple of times per week.
- You love each other and those around you are close to sick of hearing about it.
- The Career Phase
- You are both working hard on your careers trying to get things in line for a family.
- You go out when you can. Usually just on the weekends
- You catch up with your friends if you can, but you don’t make as much effort
- You still spend as much time as you can with each other, but occasionally work gets in the way.
- Long nights of talking turn into binge watching shows while you finish up extra work or browse Facebook, or read some blog.
- The Family Phase
- Kids are now in the picture or on the way or both
- Life has gotten crazy. Days, weeks, months, move faster
- You go out sometimes maybe.
- The big outing as a couple is a trip to the grocery store without the kid(s)
- You take the few hours that you have of grown up time to catch up on shows, reading, and to catch up with each other.
I could go on with lists but I won’t you all get the picture.
Where do you find yourself in this list? It doesn’t matter where you find yourself, eventually you will hit one part of these lists or another. This happened with my wife and I. We realized one day that we hadn’t really done anything for ourselves for a while. We started making sure that we at least got a weekend just us every few months. You have to spend time working on your marriage. It doesn’t matter how strong of a marriage you believe that you have, if you aren’t continually working on keeping in touch with the person in your bed at night, you’re not on the right track.
I fully understand how busy life can get. Face it you have 3-4 hours of family time each day, you have 1-3 hours of spouse time, and 16 hours things to do after you’re 8 hour work day. It seems impossible to make time for it all. It takes A LOT of effort. But anything worth anything isn’t easy. It wasn’t easy at the start of the relationship getting to know each other, but you found time for each other. Now that you’ve been together 2, 3, 7, 10, 20 years, are you still willing to put in the same time and effort? I hope so. Yes, dates are going to become few and far between once you have kids. Make the effort to go out, by yourselves, start with once a month. Go to a nice grown folks dinner, go out to a movie with real people as the actors, and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go grocery shopping. Any date that ends in the Wal-Mart/Kroger/(Insert Local Store here), is not a date.
And this if for the men reading this, make the effort. Surprise her, do something you wouldn’t normally do. She has dropped hints, at some point recently about something she would like to do, make it happen. We are men, we are doers, even when you fail, if your plan is so jacked up, it will give you something to look back on and laugh about. To the women reading this. We are men, we are doers, we are literal. We are not going to pick up on the hints that you are dropping in small doses. We need direction. Don’t mention something 4 years ago in the middle of doing dishes after that one meal that we had, and expect us to remember in intimate detail. We are going to let you down when we plan a date. Sometimes we will knock it out of the park, but we will try.
Not every date has to be epic. But you need to ensure that you are taking time for yourselves. Go out for coffee and just sit and enjoy being with each other again. Pick one thing that you used to do when you were dating, or engaged, or newly married and go do that. Take time to remember those things that you used to do before life got in the way. Maybe your favorite date memories were riding around in the car talking with no real place to go, maybe you loved going out for coffee and desserts and reading a book together. No matter what it was that brought you closer together and built that love that you have that used to drive everyone around you crazy when you were starry-eyed lovers, do the best that you can to go to that point again.
If you don’t know by now, my challenge for you this week – Go on a date. Spend time together, as just a couple, catch up on each others lives even if it’s only for an extra couple of hours that you get together.