Peter and I had scheduled in a date night for Sunday night for a while yet when the time came round and the freezing cold set in (it was minus 15 or something or it felt it at least), fatigue from the weekend and the ‘meh’ feeling of ‘we’re just not in the mood’ made us weary to go ahead with it.
The babysitter had been booked though and we’d recently committed to a monthly or more ambitiously, bi monthly date night (and remembering the fun of the previous two date nights) meant ‘no’ and slobbing out on the sofa, our usual date night equivalent wasn’t an option. We kissed the kids then forced ourselves out into the darkness (it was 7.30pm) and by the time we arrived at the restaurant, we were glad that we did.
Two hours of adult convo, laughter and far too many kimchi salmon buns later, we rolled home happier than before. And that’s the thing isn’t it? It’s the actually getting out of the door bit that’s the hard part, the planning and sticking to the arrangements once they’re made that’s the effort, yet once you’re out, you’re grateful for the time and wondered why you were so flipping slothful. It’s a bit like running. Once your trainers are on and you hit the street, you’re up and away, lost in the moment, the endorphins in full flow. But this time you get sashimi and wine. Yay!
It’s just so easy being lazy when it comes to the one you love and have been with forever.
Chilling on the sofa together sounds great in theory but in reality, we both like different shows for the most part-me, Made in Chelsea, him Family Guy on repeat so a night in tends to be both of us cuddling up with our own laptops on our knees, earphones in. Not the most romantic of times to be fair.
So date night is just the ticket, a chance to make some effort, get spruced up a bit and head to a restaurant or bar just the two of us.
And actually having date night regularly has made me realise quite how important it actually is.
It tells you that you matter-that your relationship matters.
It gives you time and space to actually speak without being constantly interrupted. To simply reconnect without noise and responsibility. To focus on one another. To feel happily irresponsible (!) and a bit liberated from your kids. It’s OK to say you need to be liberated sometimes. We all do.
And you know what, since we’ve had these regular dates, OK this was just the third, but trust me, it really does set me up for the whole week.
After date night, there’s a spring in my step, general life/work balance feels easier to achieve, I’m calmer from all the laughter (and wine) and happy from the precious time with my favourite person.
And it is precious.
Life is busy. Kids need time. A lot of time, attention and love too. But so do we. Parenting-and adulting can be life-affirming and glorious, yes, but it can also be draining. We all need time out and time off. And we need that time to be together too, not just ‘me time’.
A window when we can to have some fun as a couple-to let loose more (before we forget how to), to be those 23 year olds we were when we first met once more-which in Peter’s case means order 4 salmon burgers for himself- just because he can. Fair enough, not as wild as were actually were at 23 but our kind of mid thirties wild at least!
We don’t have to watch our language because of little ears (peppering talk with swear words is so liberating) and having the time to talk about all the mindless things which interest us, be it Kanye’s creative vision (me) to the latest supercar (him) without kids trying to climb on our heads, is just a joy. We feel ‘normal’ again. Clearly our kind of normal.
We were together pre-kids and we are together post and more in love than ever (bit sickly but true) so it’s important we don’t forget who we were. Who we still are.
Time together lets us bring back our ‘A game’ as parents when we’re back or you know, at the very least, raises our patience level when our kids are trying to kill each other, once again.
You know that saying, ‘You need to get out more’. Yep, well, we do.
So we’ll be sticking to our next date night, however cold it gets out there.
I filmed a little vlog of our day, shooting a small part of the night so check it out below: