Friday, February 15, 2013


3 - Keep Dating (each other)

Ska Fest was one of our all time favorite dates.  Who would have guessed?
This band was Tequila Mockingbird - clever name and they rocked
Most likely, even if you don't embrace all the sappy commercialized Hallmarky V-day traditions (we certainly don't), you are going on a date at some point this weekend ---BUT consider starting a habit of regularly dating (each other) --every week if you are really lucky and can pull it off!  It doesn't need to be a Date Night style all-nighter on a crowded weekend or include an exhausting after-hours clubin’ dance-off.  The dates don't all need to be expensive or elaborate or epic.  It just needs to be some consciously dedicated adult / couple time; a walk, or a trip to Costco, or even feeding the kids frozen pizza (and maybe a touch of Benadryl*) in front of movie while you sneak to a quiet corner of the house with a candle and some take-out (filled with adult-friendly bogus vegetables that are floating in a green algae looking sauce).  

It is healthy for couples to remember the kind of people they were before being parents, for them to talk/listen without interruption, eat their own food (slowly), have adult fun, and going on dates helps maintain that shared bond only created by experiences and memories together.  Honestly, it is really good for the kids to see their parents making each other a priority.  Besides, someday, the kids will grow up and move out (if you do things right).  This stage with small children feels long but is relatively short in the scope of life, it isn't worth neglecting the long-term relationship that you both chose; ideally, after these refreshers, everyone comes back more patient and relaxed-- ready to be better parents.

As young parental units, we are most often exhausted and crave peace but don’t let marriage dates become too humdrum.  Try to plan at least some of these dates to be legendary experiences.  It is comfortable, safe, and easy to frequent your favorite place, a local chain, a movie, or stay on the couch with a Red Box, but it can get predictable and frankly, boring; it never hurts to mix things up and add to the story of your lives together: 
  • check yelp
  • buy a random groupon
  • see an off-beat small time play
  • parouse metro-mix
  • taste-test at a local winery
  • card nights with other couples
  • find live (hopefully free) music (the local American Legion can be a funny time)
  • take turns making plans for the date (we don't do this since I love to plan)
  • create a dating bucket list when you hear people mention cool ideas
  • go on a bike ride
  • visit a local garden or conservatory (although, we usually do this with the kids)
  • a walk or a hike along a scenic path
  • canoe around in the water
  • learn a new skill at a class (my parents went to Home Depot for their classes all the time on dates-- I laughed as a HS kid but I think it is awesome now)
  • tour a public building or other non-kid-friendly educational tour
  • keep gathering “firsts” (zip-lining, white water rafting, trapeze, the polar bear swim, etc.)
  • re-watch Yes Man or honestly, any number of romantic comedies
  • just head downtown or go to a museum (some adult friendly museums are free)
Frequently, on the way into our dates, one of us has said, "Well, either this will be awesome or an awesome story."  We keep a top loading display case filed with ticket stubs, self-portraits, wine corks, and memories of our awesome dates (or awesome stories) together (no zoo passes or circus tickets or Thomas the Train rides).  I love having the visual reminder of our dates-- there will be a picture of the display case in tomorrow's blog.
If there aren't any relatives in the area and no money to hire a babysitter, talk with another family or two and start a kid swap (you survive some time with all of their monkeys and in exchange, they take all of your darling angels another time).  We've been fortunate to have a date at least once a month and to get away together every year of our marriage.  It is really challenging to consistently orchestrate, but is well worth the trouble; if you really can’t pull a date off as often as you like, at least make your bedroom feel like a resort…

See you tomorrow at 6am CST, my blog reading friend!  Bring coffee.  4 creams.  No sugar ;0)

DANCE DANCE DANCE - Steve Miller Band / How can you NOT want to go on a date after listening to that song?!

*My mom does not approve of me repeatedly suggesting that drugging one's kids is ever a good idea (who gave her my blog info?!).  Apparently my sense of humor does not carry through well into the blogging medium... to clarify, I would NEVER premeditate or intentionally give my children Benadryl when my DH and I need a break from their incessant chatter and company.

For a regularly updated and concise list of all of the mini blog series on love:  refer to the Intro / Love is all You Need


  1. I love this practical, funny, all-you love series! keep it up! :)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Cara!! I'm having fun with it ;0). Happy month of Love to you-- and your tall dark and handsome knight...