"It's date night," Jessica tells her co-worker with a grimace.
She goes on to explain her dread by talking about how excited she used to get about going out to dinner or getting away with her husband. But lately, date nights feel like just one more thing she has to do. It's not that she's stopped loving her husband, it's because her time and energy are so limited. Every day, she's pulled in about a million directions and even the thought of arranging a special night out is exhausting.
Whether you're a woman or a man, Jessica's sentiments may be almost identical to your own. Yes, you deeply love your partner and you enjoy spending time with him or her. But with the lightning fact pace of your life at work, home and in the community, the last thing you want is one more "thing" to plan and do.
Our reminder to you is this.....
Love and life are supposed to be enjoyable.
While there are serious situations, responsibilities and required effort to get the results you want, none of that means you have to give up fun — especially passion and fun shared with the one you love.
When you feel tapped out and stretched, it's no surprise that you may dread (or resist) the prospect of coming up with a romantic way to connect with your partner and then make the time to actually do it. Plunking down on the couch to watch tv or play games on your phone may sound so much more appealing and easy!
The negative effects on your relationship will begin to pile up if that's how you habitually choose to spend your free time. You'll look up from your phone one day and realize that you haven't laughed with your partner in a very long time. You two haven't really talked lately and you can hardly remember the last time you made love with one another.
Instead of pushing through tension and mental exhaustion and forcing "fun" because you're worried about what will happen if you don't, take a brand new approach.
Try these quick ways to re-connect that will leave you both relaxed and closer than before:
1. Start with you.
None of the ideas that follow will be any different than anything else you've tried unless you first make self-care a regular priority. When you feel strung out and exhausted, your impulse may be a quick fix like another cup of coffee, candy bar or to "veg" out online. Instead, ask yourself what would truly nourish and rejuvenate you and then do that.
It might be a short (or long) nap, cool glass of water, ten minutes of meditation (or longer), a bubble bath, brisk walk in the park, rigorous workout at the gym or half an hour alone with the novel you've been promising yourself you'll read one day.
One day can be right now.
2. Coffee Shop Mini-Date
So many couples cite a lack of time as the reason why they don't stay connected. When you have careers, kids and countless other demands filling your day, you've got to get creative. Re-think this as something you can do in high quality and concentrated slots of time that actually fit your schedule.
For example, during your lunch hour or in-between dropping your kids off at school in the morning and heading to the office, meet your partner at a local coffee shop. Agree to not talk about the kids or whatever needs fixed around the house. Just be together. Read aloud the comics from the paper. Discuss a news story you heard on the radio or a magazine article that sparked your interest.
3. Backyard Picnic
Another perceived obstacle to staying connected is money. A lot of folks have tight budgets and simply cannot afford to go out to eat or to the movies more than on special occasions. A weekend get-away is just not financially manageable at this time.
Again, creativity and a focus on what's most important — the re-connect — are required.
When the weather cooperates, have a picnic with your partner in your backyard or at a local park. You can dine on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if that's what you have available and it will still be a great date. Fresh air and a change of scenery are what make the moment. Bring a frisbee along or have an evening picnic so that the two of you can lie back and star gaze after your meal.
4. Foot Rub
Loving touch is another inexpensive way to re-connect with your partner and it fits even the busiest schedules too. It's a real treat to receive from your partner — and even to give — a gentle foot or back rub at the end of a long day. Physical touch can be intimate, sensual and a prelude to lovemaking or it can be a non-sexual stress-reliever and way to show support. You can even share foot and back rubs as your family is gathered in the living room watching a movie.
More on date night ideas from YouTango:
- Date Nights That Are Easy On Your Wallet
- Ideas For That Special Night
- Date Night Ideas That Are Worth Trying