Are Date Nights a Real Thing?
Let’s face it – date night as an adult, with children, is about as easy to implement as portion control on Christmas day. I know my husband and I actually roll our eyes when we hear others talk about their date night ideas. Honestly, that is buried near the bottom of our list. We often feel pressure from other couples that we must not be appreciating each other “the right way” if we don’t prioritize date nights. This pressure does not help. It only leads us into a journey of guilt and rationalization. Cleaning bathrooms together on Sunday afternoon should totally count as date night.
The Unexpected Charm to Be Found in Date Nights
We are real people, with real issues and real baggage. Neither of us is under the mistaken impression that we have it all figured out. In fact, most of the time we find a lot of humor in the fact that we flail through life with no clue of what we are doing. However, we do know deep down that our “realness” gives us a great opportunity to share with others what works. Not what is magical and not what is movie set perfect – but what works. Specifically what works in an every day love story of two very imperfect people who seem to be perfectly matched.
While we may not schedule in date nights, we have inadvertently learned they sometimes happen unexpectedly. We have also learned that these can be some of the absolute best memories that a couple can make.
Case in point: after a dinner out without the young’un, we happened to walk past a Chinese massage parlor on the way back to the truck. I say Chinese massage parlor because that is what was plastered on the door. My first thought, quite honestly, was “ick.” However, I then read the actual advertisements of services. These people were advertising a 30 minute foot rub for $16!!! That stopped both my husband and myself in our tracks. I believe I actually said to him, “if you try this out with me you won’t have to rub my feet tonight” to which he immediately agreed. It may not seem like the most romantic date, but on the adventure scale it was about a 10 for us.
Why This Was the Best Date Night of the Year for Us:
- We had no idea what we were getting into, but we were in it together.
- Apparently, in these places massages take place (fully clothed) in a big room together, full of comfy chairs. Disclaimer here – there was nothing racy that happened at any time and everything was appropriate.
- My husband initially threatened that he would walk out if he had a male “masseuse” to which I intimidated him into backing down and being quiet.
- EVERYONE had male masseurs, including my husband.
- Although I requested a “30 minute foot rub,” it actually started at my face and after an hour was still going. At one point, I was concerned I would end up as a partner in the business before we got out.
- Everyone had an eye covering, so there was no way to know what was happening to each other. I could hear what sounded like random slapping, but honestly it was so relaxing I just filed it away and assumed they could fend for themselves.
- When it was time to “turn over,” I caught a glimpse of my previously resistant husband – who now had his hair standing up all over and looked like he couldn’t remember his own name.
The whole process ended, after what felt like days, with serious bouts of laughter and a strong case of survival bonding. We both had no idea what had just happened, but we knew we survived it together. It was like a movie scene where main characters head to a strip club in Las Vegas – and end up leaving unsure of the date, with the sun in their eyes, and wearing someone else’s clothes.
Make Date Night Ideas Work for You
Moral of the story is this: don’t be pressured to plan something extravagant with your spouse in order to maintain your relationship. That may work in the beginning, when you’re infatuated and want to experience the world together. But after years of stress, hard work, and cleaning up messes, date night ideas can really be as simple as finding a way to laugh together again. We routinely laugh at ourselves, at other people, and at our situations. It may not look good in a textbook, but in real life the small ways are the best ways to reconnect with your partner. Think outside the box and just let date night happen in a natural way, with no pressure and no planning. What could be more real than that?