Friday, October 12, 2012

A Weekly Date Night=Blissful Couplehood

Me and Mark--Celebrating our 30th in Nassau (2011)

When Mark and I got engaged (many moons ago), my father gave us a piece of advice that we have adhered to quite faithfully: "Go out on at least one date as a couple a week."  Of course, there have been times (e.g. births of our sons) when we missed a week or two along the way.  But, all-in-all, we have, quite happily, observed date night on a regular basis for as many years as I can remember (smile).

Today, we will joyously celebrate the union of our oldest son, Andrew, to his lovely soulmate, Amanda.  I offer them this same advice:  "Go out on at least one date as a couple a week."

The excerpt, below, is from my book, Eternal Presents Accepting and Using the Precious, Intangible Gifts Others Give Us.  The passage references the importance of keeping date night sacred--which Mark and I have continued to do for over 30 years now--even during those crazy-busy days when we both pursued our undergraduate educations (Mark did so while working full-time) and were simultaneously parenting two young boys.  It abundantly sums up my thoughts on date nights (and the importance of honoring them) :

Mark and I honored our ongoing commitment to “date night” each week—even at the busiest of times. “Date night” is the time we spend together alone and away from home—without the boys and without our other friends. At times, “date night” took place during the daytime hours. For example, if he and I both had a break in our daily schedules, we would meet on campus to talk while enjoying lunch or a snack break together.

We had very limited financial resources in those days, so “date night” did not necessarily mean we had to spend much or any money to enjoy time together. We had established a babysitting network among several other young couples who were friends of ours—also with young children and limited incomes. This allowed us to take turns babysitting free of charge for each other. 

At times, Mark and I simply enjoyed a walk on campus or a visit to the mall to window shop on our dates. Sometimes, a meager couple of dollars yielded a memorable date. Driving to the local ice cream shop, we would purchase ice cream cones. Thereafter, we would head to the newly-built housing developments in town, where we would cruise through and share with each other our dreams about the home we would some day own. 

Stealing moments away, each week, from our daily grind enabled us to ensure we had needed time together alone as two adults. During these precious breaks, we would talk about everything good, bad and in between that was happening in our lives. Our dates helped us to stay connected and provided us with consistent recharging that relationships must have to stay young and fresh.

All the best! Love, T.