Who said date night was essential anyways?
I know that every relationship advice under the stars features one solid key to an everlasting, almost blissful marriage and that’s this:
You have to date your spouse.
Well, I'm calling bah-humbug on this one because I've tried it and tried it and tried it again and in the end, all of that trying has only led to problems in my marriage. So here are a few simple reasons why I gave up dating my husband:
1. Date night always led to a fight. It's always the same story: girl meets boy, boy asks her what she wants to do for date night, girl and boy fight. "What do you want to do?" "I don't know, what to do you want to do?" "Why do I always have to decide everything in this relationship?!" "You're so lazy!" Ugh. It's so not worth it.
2. One word: moneymoneymoney. Want to play a game? Let's see who can have heart palpitations first when we start to calculate how much money we will throw away for a simple dinner and movie when you have to shell out 10 bucks an hour (or more) for a teenager to keep your kids awake and ruin the next morning for you, too!
3. I can't take the pressure. Speaking of dinner and a movie, that type of date is really only for the lazy amongst the coupled pool. These days, elaborate dates are "in" and unless you're going to be posting pictures of your painting class, wine tasting, or rock-climbing date night, you might as well forget it. And then to have to pose for a cutesy selfie shot and edit the picture so as to highlight our best features as a couple? No, thanks.
4. Date night made me resentful. You know how you hear those romantic stories of men who plan dates or whisk their women off on surprise getaways? Yeah, that'll never happen to me. I married a man who genuinely would never think to plan a date for us and while I'm OK with being the planner and the keeper in our marriage, eventually, I grew a little weary of being the only one to plan dates.
5. My idea of fun has changed. My husband and I are in that season of parenting known as "the trenches" with four young kiddos and let's be honest: my idea of fun just looks different these days. I'm not saying it won't change someday and I'm not saying it's forever, but for now? Any peace and quiet trumps a night out.
6. There are more important things than dating. Obviously, it's important to spend time together as a couple and I'm coming to see the wisdom in investing in our marriage in the midst of the busy parenting years but I also don't think the only way to do that is to go out on dates. I mean, Pa and Ma Ingalls did all right and they didn't have time for dating, right? For us, giving each other time to do the things we love (for my husband, that means woodworking and for me, that's writing) are a way that we are putting each other's needs first. By making sure our own cups are full first, we're able to be more fulfilled as a couple together.
7. Date night always led to disappointment. Allow me to illustrate this point with an example from two nights ago: I had been planning our evolved version of a "date night," which basically looks like Netflix on the couch with a baby in my lap. Each and every night, I vowed to get the kids in bed early so we could actually have time to stay awake and watch something together but it never worked out. Someone was always up, needing a drink of water, using the bathroom, etc. or by the time we had them all down and asleep, we were too exhausted to stay up.
It literally was a month before all the stars aligned, I gave in to letting the kids watch a movie in their own rooms, and I settled down with the baby to rent a movie I'd been wanting to watch with the hubs. Here's how things went down: the movie wasn't available, the baby never went to sleep, the kids started fighting, and the toddler peed his pants right before the end of the movie. My point is: When it comes to a date night, something will inevitably always go wrong and eventually, it's easier to just not set the bar too high. A sad but temporary truth.
8. Home is where our hearts are. I used to think that going out was the only way to make date night happen, but the truth is, we have worked hard to own a home and build a life together and sometimes the best date night is just simply being together in the house we've brought our babies home to. And if that makes me wrong, well then I just don't want to be right.