O: Why can't I come? You're going to get dessert, aren't you?
We talked a lot about this mythical idea of a "date night". That's a thing people do, right? But sitters are so expensive, and no one else can get our kids to sleep, and by the time the evening rolls around we are so tired, and fill-in-the-blank with another generic excuse here. But something about this article in Darling magazine about dating your husband, inspired me. I think it was the part about investing in what you value.
So we've been making a real effort to have a date night, or even a date morning, every week. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it takes some planning and thought. Yes, we are exhausted.
I guess, the thing we've learned is to not over-complicate it. Most of the time, we've had a sitter come, on a weeknight, for two hours while we walk to a casual dinner up the street. One time, we went to get pecan rolls while Jim's mom and dad enjoyed a morning with the girls. Once, we just went to Target. Just to clarify, I did not drag my husband to Target on date night; we were prepping for a camping trip.
We have yet to tackle the high-stakes, high-price, dress-up kind of evening I used to associate with a date-night, and we don't plan to. The idea that it is going to happen every week has taken the pressure off, made each evening, afternoon, or morning, more enjoyable. The stakes are so low: a burger and fries, a picnic blanket, a beach sunset. There is no huge layout of funds, no massively complicated logistics, no expectation of romance, hence our trip to Target.
But in the last few weeks, I have found myself gesturing wildly over a basket of food truck tacos, talking passionately about the theatre. I have found myself laughing until my sides ached. I have found myself sharing some of the quiet truths that we sometimes don't have time for over the course of our average day, the things that don't get said at 10:00pm when the girls are asleep, the dishes are done, we've watched Game of Thrones, and the dog needs to be walked. I have found myself being kissed, long and slow, under a street lamp, just like on our first date all those years ago when he walked me back to my car.
It has been both easier than I expected and more fulfilling than I imagined. Jim and I aren't trying to fix anything that is broken, but after eight years of marriage and two kids, it sure is reassuring to remember how much you like the person you've always loved.
I really like Jim.
Never miss a date night.