We tried to do date night. For years we tried to work out nights when: hubby didn’t have to work late, didn’t have a meeting, I didn’t have work, mum had a free night to watch the boys, it wasn’t clashing with anyone’s timetable, schedule or GoT night.
We would pick somewhere hip young Melbournians were going to. Book a reservation. Pack a bag for the boys. Drop them off. Get ready and boom! We were out the door.
But boom was I tired. All that planning and moving people around to actually go to date night meant that I often started the night pretty exhausted. I was exhausted anyway. Date night did not give me magic powers of feeling refreshed and ready to hit the town. Quite the opposite actually.
And all that planning and moving people around also meant the night started with fairly high expectations. I mean how could it not? It often felt like mountains were moved to get there. So I often wasn’t surprised when those expectations fizzled, usually after the main course.
We always had a good time, always appreciated and valued the time we had to spend together as a couple who once upon a time had nights like this all the time. But it just didn’t fit. It didn’t work for us.
So we ditched date night. Done. Dusted. See you later.
But we needed date night! Well, what we needed was each other. And sure hubby and I live together, under the same roof, raising our boys together. You could say we see each other all the time.
But we needed time that wasn’t talking and washing dishes. Talking and getting the boys ready for soccer. Talking and doing the grocery shopping. And we realized that we needed that time to happen far more often than our once in a blue moon date night.
So we started to do something every day together. Something easy, no fuss, no planning, no moving people across mountains to achieve.
Maybe if hubby and I both worked close by, we could have done lunch together. But we don’t. Maybe if hubby and I were motivated enough, we could have exercised early in the morning together. But we aren’t.
Instead, we decided that once our boys were in bed, we would disconnect from everything else and watch a show together.
Ok, ok I can hear you all mumble and moan, how can watching television be an opportunity to connect with someone. Well for us it is. We spend that one hour or so chatting, watching, cuddled up together.
We pick shows I like. We pick shows hubby likes. No reservations required.
What is has meant is that instead of working so hard trying to find time to spend together. The expectation now is that we end every night spending time together. Easy.
It is not about being a couple again. It is not about being parents. It is not about being individuals. For us, it is about making things work as a family. This works for us as a family.
Now don’t get me wrong, when opportunity rears its unexpected head we jump on the chance to go out together. Or if there is a special occasion coming up, we certainly do plan for that. Special occasions are different. Unexpected opportunities are even better.
But the grind of date night is gone and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Give it a try. Pick something you both enjoy together, something at home, something easy, something relaxed, no calendar request or hashtag required.
How do you do date night?