one million words

find your voice. tell your story.

The resurrection of date night

Date nights fizzled out long ago. Because the energy to make them happen is flowing elsewhere. Kids. Work. Exercise. Sickness. Homeschooling. Friends. Other interests which are truly not more important than our marriage but somehow take over. We need a date night boss. An event planner, life manager whoever makes things happen, We are not up working extra jobs. But connecting in meaningful ways remains near the top of our life values. Date night is a good place to start. If only you can get yourself there.

If only it wasn’t this easy to get sidetracked by a million other things. In the beginning, even before vows, we decided we’d never stop dating. We’d always find fun things to do, new places to explore, stimulating things to discuss. Only boring couples get sucked up into domestic chaos and endless to do lists, we thought. 

We succeeded for a while but have been slipping. Just the last decade or so. Not intentionally steering away from our values but not really leaning in, pushing against the growing obstacles to intimacy. Children? We’re experts at trading child care back and forth. Can you watch the kids while I go to the gym? Are you planning to be home tonight because I really want to…..

We have friends who go out the same night every week while the same sitter watches their same children. We’ve never taken date night this serious.

Presently we’re waiting for a date night fairy to show up with a plan, cover childcare, thrill us with a fun surprise. Turns out, real grown ups take these sort of matters into their own hands. Adults get to write part of their own story.

It’s hard to get into the swing of things again. We wait for the other to take a first step. We remember how last time we tried, it didn’t last long. We can’t seem to stick with our good intentions. But we’re also trying again.

Last month, when my mother was visiting and we had extra help, we felt brave enough to try again. In January, we went out every week. Definite progress. (thank you kind relatives for sending restaurant gift cards for Christmas 🙂  

Lately we are discovering the joy of date bites. A date bite is almost like date night only shorter. Less elaborate. Often free. Date bites are kid free moments in which we see each other. As lovers. If you can’t pull off a date night, start with a date bite.

Wednesday nights have helped. On Wednesday night our children attend a kids club nearby which means we are kid free for 1.5 hrs. I am not saying we can’t wait for Wednesday night. Or that we are the first ones to drop them off. Or do a little dance in the dark parking lot. Other exhausted parents would probably do that. We’re just happy Wednesday nights has made it easier.

Wednesday night we drive to a local Starbucks. I’ll try not to be grumpy because I’ve listened and talked to people all day and my niceness is used up. Truly I’d rather curl into a ball and not talk to anyone all night. But that’s not what I signed up for 15 years ago. I am here because I’ve chosen to be here even if that means choosing again and again to be here.

I turn off my phone. We find a cozy corner at Starbucks. We sit and try to be present with each other. It’s hard. And helpful. We learn things there we’d otherwise miss.

Dates bites seem doable. Date bites may be even simpler than Wednesday nights. Sometimes date bites happen after the kids go bed. Or right after dinner when all the kids scatter for fear of bedtime or chores. Dates bites may happen in crowded spaces, at a kids party when everyone is distracted. Date bites happen when we arrive at church before the crowds and we sit in the silent sanctuary whispering to each other. Date bites happen sometimes unexpectedly. We learning to see and seize the moment. Date bites make us hope that one day we’ll be good at date night again. One day soon will be the resurrection of date night.

IMG_1228.jpg

#date #bite #selfie

 

One Reply

  1. Heather

    Beautiful ., love it! Date Bites!

Leave a Reply