Whether you’ve just begun dating, have been dating for nearly nine years (ahem, Mike and I) or have been married for thirty years… you need date night!
Like any other couple, Mike and I go through some rough patches. Sometimes we fight, sometimes we get so busy we forget about each other and sometimes we are just in a rut. Whenever we are going through one of these times, I try to find a solution: counseling, love languages, time apart… but you know what really works?
Going on a date.
Sometimes, you just need to remind yourselves that you make each other happy. You need to dress yourself up and get out of the house.
Recently, Mike and I have been struggling. We are not fighting, but we just don’t always seem on the same page. And quite honestly, we’re not. We have different work schedules, different priorities, different friends, not enough money, just went through a hurricane… it’s hard to make it all mesh. It’s not that we don’t love each other but when we get so busy, we don’t show it. We become roommates. That’s always my complaint in any argument- “it doesn’t feel like I’m living with my boyfriend, it just feels like I have a boy roommate!” This is simply because we aren’t going out of our way to make each other smile, we lead separate lives that seem to connect at night for a brief chunk of time to share what happened that day and get ready for bed. We used to always guarantee an “I love you” or kiss each morning and night, but we have been so exhausted- we’ve been dropping the ball.
Anyways, last night was date night! I’ve been looking forward to it all week. We did a lot of driving around yesterday. Normally, driving is not my favorite. But, yesterday, I was jamming out to some song on the radio- singing and dancing- when I noticed Mike just watching me, smiling (smirking, I’d say) and I realized it’s been a while since I had seen a look like that. I asked him what was so funny and he just said, “you’re cute.” Sometimes, you just need to be yourself and remember what you like about each other. After a fun day swimming at DeLeon springs with family, a delicious make-your-own pancake brunch and a few errands in the rain- we put on some “real” clothes and went out. Dinner and a movie.
We saw Kingsmen- which was wildly, inappropriately funny and action packed. The best part of going to the movie theater (over home rentals which we do often!) is that you sit right next to each other, focused and relaxed. No cell phones, no dogs, no work. You hold hands and watch a movie. You laugh, you get scared, you watch each others reactions- you’re in the moment.
Next up, dinner at Bonefish Grill. We haven’t eaten there in years, but both love the food and the atmosphere. (AND I had a coupon for a free entree… which may or may not have been the deciding factor.) We ordered some drinks and enjoyed the bread with pesto, yum! Pineapple martini for Mike (he said that it felt right since they had martinis in the movie) and some good old red wine for me. 🙂
We talked about the movie, judged the people who brought their toddlers, joked about the couples who sit side by side in their booths… but really the big factor here was what we did NOT talk about. We did NOT talk about finances, we did NOT talk about work, we did NOT talk about our to-do lists or home projects… we just enjoyed each other and talked about frivolous things. It was great! We also enjoyed and shared some delicious food! Dynamite shrimp for Mike and lobster stuffed shrimp for me.
My point is- spending that “romantic” time together that was so precious in the early stages of your relationship shouldn’t collapse as time goes on, it should intensify. You can’t stop “dating” no matter how long you’ve been together. We used to have date night more often, but this has been a dry spell. While we love going out with friends, we both need to remember to make time for ourselves. My goal is to include a true, date night twice a month. I think this will be critical for us- I mean, it can’t hurt!
No matter who you are with, when times get tough, remember why you picked your partner. Suggest a date, dress up, and go out just the two of you. Leave your worries behind and be in the moment. The rest should fix itself. It’s work. Relationships are not as easy as those Disney movies led me to believe!
Got date ideas? Let me know below!