Ah, date night. They just don’t happen enough these days, and today The Parent Bloggers Network has teamed up with E-Harmony to ask the question: “You know you need a date with your husband/partner when…[fill in the blank].” If you’ve got a blog, write about this question today (including links to PBN and E-Harmony, please), email your post to PBN, and you’ll be entered to win a $100 AMEX gift card for a dinner date with your spouse/partner, plus $100 cash for the babysitter. And if you don’t have a blog, feel free to add a comment to this post; we’d love to hear how you keep connected with your partner.
As for us, Jon and I are notoriously derelict on the date night front, partially due to laziness about breaking in sitters, and also since our weekdays are so chaotic that we often miss Laurel and want to spend time with her, especially if she’s been at school all day. But that doesn’t mean that when we do finally get out, we don’t enjoy it enormously. Here are a couple of signs that suggest it’s time to book a date:
And while we’re not great about getting a sitter and heading out, since our very rough early parenting days (during which we started seeing said therapist to cope with adjustments issues), Jon and I have worked a lot on trying to stay connected, even if it doesn’t involve a whole evening. We’ve found that the little things, such as making a point to sit down even for 15 minutes after Laurel goes to sleep to sit and chat before diving into other projects makes a huge difference (and during this time, household minutia talk is forbidden). We also periodically have a “welcome to the weekend ceremony" if we’ve had a particularly crazy week, during which we enjoy drinks and decadent dessert and officially declare that it’s time to let go of anxious work mojo and enjoy the weekend. Somehow, explicitly stating and celebrating can really help us reset our brains into weekend mode. Finally, as I’ve written on earlier - and related to my last date night warning sign above - a book reading I went to by Esther Perel helped me become more proactive about booking date time with Jon. I highly recommend her book, Mating in Captivity, which discusses how modern, complex relationships can get bogged down by daily minutia, and what you can do to rekindle the home fires.