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Why we need Date Night

Here we are, dressed up for date night. Taking the rare photo of us.

Here we are, dressed up for date night. Taking the rare photo of us.

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Last Friday, Tom and I got out for the longest “real” date since Lucy’s birth: it was 5.5 hours from start to finish, and included both dinner and a (very long) show. Was it fun? Of course. The Japanese meal was warm and filling, and Les Mis was well done overall (though we had a hard time not singing along…). The important thing though, was that we were able to be together, alone, for a substantial period, to talk uninterrupted (minus the 3 hours of musical watching) and reconnect for a little while, after this crazy, crazy little interlude of surprises in our life.

As we drove home, Tom looked over at me and said, “Thanks for dating me!” I smiled because it’s so easy to forget– though we are married and now parents, we are still dating. Or we should be. I think that especially for young married couples who willingly jump into the shared life of marriage as well as welcoming a new life (or two) immediately upon marriage(um…us), keeping up a pretty regular date night (i.e. planned out, and without the kid{s}) is very important. You’ve gone from having only each other to lavish time upon, in the exciting, fun-loving, whirlwind time of dating and engagement to spending all your time trying to set up a new home, both working all day and then sharing household duties.  And then the baby comes and everything gets a little cray. It’s easy to take one another for granted and count watching Netflix  on the couch as a date.

It is great (and necessary) to have daily downtime with the spouse, but there are always going to be pressing home and parenting duties when you’re actually at home, things that will necessarily distract you from focusing singularly on each other. The act of getting spruced up (or in my case, finally blow drying my hair for once) and going somewhere alone together gives you the time and space to breathe out all the stresses of life and home and parenting and refocus on your beloved. It’s good to remind each other of the things that first drew you together in the first place when you began dating. And it’s also just so nice to eat a meal in peace from start to finish.

I also realized last weekend that taking the time to go on dates and spend quality time together helps to strengthen you as a couple for tough times. Take the day after our date, for example. It was one for the books– terrible miscommunication, an overpacked schedule, lots of stress and general exhaustion, and then stomach woes for me. It led to a messy mid-morning tiff. After airing some grievances, we were able to sort things out and tackle our crazy day as a team, stronger, I think, than we would have been without our date the night before.

Also, this was only our 2nd or 3rd solo date since Lucy’s birth, since she’s just now getting to an age where we can really leave her at night with my parents. Sometimes those at-home “dates” were really all we could manage, and when we did go out, the nursling had to come along. And that is totally fine too, of course. But I’m glad we’re at a point where we’re moving up in the dating scene again…that is, until July, when Baby 2 arrives, and then we’ll be back to the beginning again. Which is totally fine, since after all, he or she will be the best proof of our love possible.

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2 thoughts on “Why we need Date Night

  1. Pingback: 2014: Our Year in Review |

  2. Pingback: World Marriage/Valentine’s Day! |

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