This isn’t going to be a story of my first date with my husband. In fact, I’m not sure we ever had an official first date. We began dating in high school and I’m pretty sure a couple of movies with friends and then evenings spent making out in the car were the beginning of our relationship.
No, rather, this is a story about how we were 12 years into a relationship and losing touch with each other. I realized one evening that as I was putting on my pajamas and my husband was holding our screaming infant; that I had not seen my husbands face that day. Sure, he was in the house and we had spoken, but I had not looked into his eyes I couldn’t remember if we had touched, but since I had been avoiding his hands like a game of dodgeball recently I’m guessing we hadn’t
At that moment I realized how scared I was. Life was tough right now with children and financial insecurity. The last thing we both needed was to drift apart from each other, yet that was exactly what we were doing. In that moment I decided we were going to date and get to know each other again. We were going to work as hard as we could to make sure we touched, kissed, and giggled together as we had years ago.
If you have small children or little money like us, you may be thinking “Yeah, no way my friend, dates just don’t happen around here.” But I’m here to tell you that dates can and should exist in every relationship. But how can you make it happen? Let me tell you…
- Get rid of distractions- this definitely means phones and television, off and away. That part is easy. But what about kids? That was our struggle, but there is a way. Put them to sleep. This might be easier said than done, especially if you have a two month old infant. But it is doable, believe me! I have A very needy infant who co sleeps and only falls asleep in my arms, but we did it! Sure, he woke up twice during our date but with patience, preparation, and persistence we were able to get a solid 60 minutes baby free.
- An activity- We had decided on a candlelight camping idea for our date we busted out some candles, lots of blankets, and s’more ingredients. I laughed so hard whenever the blankets we hung up fell on my husbands head or the dog came barging into our tent. It sounded really corny and my husband was skeptical, but the activity we did actually helped us feel like we weren’t just going through a normal conversation at the end of the day sitting on the couch.
- Set the Mood- I’m taking about ambiance. For us, playing some music we used to listen to in high school when we first fell in love, along with a glass of wine did the trick. Dim lighting and a candle helped too. This really made us feel outside of our normal home and almost transported to a magical place. I really felt like it was a weekend away, until the baby started crying.
- Conversation- It may sound easy, just talk to your spouse. But how many times have you gone out to dinner and talked about the kids, bills, or plans for next week? SUPER romantic. So we set limits. No conversations about money, children, work, stressors, or family. Wow, that didn’t leave us a lot to talk about. Well I’m here to give you some ideas. Pull some questions from the following and try it out: What can I do to support you this week? How can I be a better lover? What do I do that makes you proud? What is the first thing you think of when someone mentions me? If you had to brag about me to a friend, what one thing would you say? What is a way I can make you happy? What is a goal we can set for five years from now?
Thats it! Does it sound too simple? Maybe because it should be. Hopefully your spouse can get on board with the whole thing and not poo-poo the activity. This first date led us to crying tears, hugging, and some other things that I’ll talk about in future posts. But I hope you can try this out and an evening of candlelight camping can open up a whole world of possibilities for you too.
If you have small children or little money like us, you may be thinking “Yeah, no way my friend, dates just don’t happen around here.” But I’m here to tell you that dates can and should exist in every relationship.