The other night, Adam and I had the chance to go on a much-needed night out without children. Otherwise known as a date. Complete with dinner, a movie and a darn awesome babysitter. It was heavenly.
We were seated at a booth in the bar and after about ten minutes, another couple was seated behind us. Let's just say they were...ahem...very affectionate. I'm all for affection, but at the table of a restaurant?
It started me thinking, which is always dangerous, about how typically, married folks (I just said folks...I think I just aged myself 15 years) don't publicly grope each other. We may not even hold hands. We're so comfortable with each other that it's second nature to settle into that laid back, nonchalant relationship we've grown to love like the soft, fraying quilt hanging over the arm of the couch.
While you're not likely to find me participating in heavy petting at a restaurant (especially at a tall table...these two were talented...) perhaps there's something to be said for dating your spouse. So I've made a list.
The Top Five Reasons to Date Your Spouse.
I know you've already got your pen and paper out. Ann Landers has nothing on me in the advice-giving department.
But truly... if you think of your marriage like something precious you can hold in your hand, it needs a little care...some spit-shine...every now and then. Here's why it's good to make a point to date your (hot) spouse.
Reason #1: You're more than Roommates.
It's so easy to fall into this weird disjointed roommate type of relationship when you're married. You harp on his inability to put the lid back on the peanut better. He throws the pile of clothes you've oh-so-neatly (translation: not neatly at all) draped (translation: thrown) over the end of the bed into a heap on the floor.
This is part of living together, but it's not the fun part. Getting out and reconnecting. That's the good stuff. Just make a rule that you can't talk about housework on your date. (One of you is bound to fall asleep...or worse, dart out the bathroom window ala "bad-blind-date" from your single days.)
Reason #2: Routine is a killer.
- He gtes home, recharges alone for 20 minutes while I try to keep the kids occupied.
- I throw together some weird concoction of a dinner.
- Everyone eats.
- We shuffle the kids through their bedtime routine.
- We trade off chores for the next day like two old people playing gin.
- We sit on the couch and watch TV.
- The end.
I don't have to tell you, this isn't great for a marriage. Mix it up! Get out of the house (I'm preaching to myself). Let someone else cook for you and break that routine. Routine is a GREAT marriage killer. Fer reals.
Reason #3: It reminds you why you love each other.
We may not be the couple at the tall table, but sitting in a booth across from Adam, listening to what's on his mind and then sharing what's on mine...I remember all the things I love about this man. When he comes out of the bathroom and says "I really don't feel 36." I realize I don't feel 35. Maybe because we just had a date that took us back ten years?
Reason #4: It gives you a chance to trade in your "Mom Jeans"...
Just kidding. I'm not criticizing considering that I rarely wear anything but yoga pants. And therein lies the problem. I recently asked Adam if he would still love me if I just "let myself go..." something worth asking considering the amount of Halloween candy I've consumed this week.
And the fact that I'm not wearing make-up nearly as often.
Or pants with a waistband.
The truth is, sometimes it's okay to not be a mom. To let your husband see you as a woman. Paint it up a little, ladies. Let your inner hottie out.
Reason #5: Children suck the life out of you.
Adam: So, I was walking up the stairs when...
Ethan: Hey, dad, do you want to see what I built?
Adam: In a minute, Ethan, I'm talking to Mommy. (back to me) So, I was walking up the stairs...
Ethan: But it's really cool, Dad. You have to come see...
Adam: Right, I will. But let me finish talking to Mommy first. (back to me) So, I was walking up the stairs...
Ethan starts bouncing and flailing his arm, motioning in the direction of his room...where "what he built" is waiting.
Adam: Ethan, really? (Ethan walks away in a huff. Adam takes a breath and turns back to me.) Anyway, as I was saying...
Sam (full on, ready to play): Daddy! You can't get me!
It's at this point we both get up and go away. We'll talk about it later. A date ensures that the only one interrupting you will be your waiter...and that's only because he wants to do things for you, so it's a complete 180.
It doesn't have to be fancy (though that would be fun) or expensive (we often opt for "couch dates" where we're employing the same tactics only in the comfort of our elastic waistbanded pants), but a date every now and then will sprinkle some life back into your marriage.
And we could all use a little life-sprinkling now and then, don't you think?
So tell me...when was the last time you dated your spouse? How do you keep your marriage from getting as stale as the month-old crackers in my cupboard?