Date Night 2013

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Proverbs 5: 18-19

This past weekend, my church sponsored a Couple’s Date Night event. I wasn’t planning to attend, but had a friend who had signed up and then was unable to go herself due to a death in the family. If I were honest I’d say these sorts of programs don’t really thrill me. As I shared last week, I married to a solider, not a Romeo, and I don’t see myself as a romantic either.

I don’t know why, but I often find attempts to create romance overrated and forced. My mom and I talked about this over the weekend, and I think maybe I like to downplay romantic overtones because I feel that sort of thing hypes expectations to levels that are beyond realistic. As a young mother, I was exhausted at the end of the day. I had babies to tend and diapers to change, groceries to gather and laundry to hang. As a young father, my husband had enough to worry about just keeping a job lined up and food on the table. He needed to focus on paying the rent and making sure the car would run one more day. Neither one of us needed one more item added to our To Do List. Realistically, we were beat, and while we might have mustered the strength to “get jiggy with it” once in a while–there was simply not enough hours in our day for romance. I was surprised that the emcees for the Date Night DVD from Focus on the Family felt the same way.

At the outset of the presentation my husband and I saw Saturday night, the emcees recognized and addressed the exhaustion factor for many young couples. They agreed that as young parents, they were tired too. They also acknowledged that bringing romance back into their marriage after having children was work for them. It didn’t happen naturally, but had to be prioritized. Instead of suggesting that young married couples bring back the buzz to their relationship by adding a host of new experiences and projects to their already jammed schedules, they encouraged couples to use the naturally occurring moments of their day to encourage each other and add a little spice to life. Something as simple as giving out a compliment, smiling hello to each other over a pillow, or giving your spouse a “real” kiss as he or she headed out the door in the morning. Mentioning, Wow, you look hot!” seemed to be a real morale booster, too.

While I was watching the emcees for this event and listening to the musical talent and comedian, I was also looking around the room at the other couples in attendance at this shindig. I saw one young dad taking notes. How heartwarming is that? I saw men rubbing their wives shoulders. I watched as men leaned in to grab a quick squeeze. My own hubby winked at me a time or two. We smiled at each other, knowingly, more than once.

The day after the event I heard a guy at church say, “I enjoyed that last night.” To which I quipped, “You liar!” His quick retort was, “I can’t believe you said that to me.”

“I told Bob last night that there wasn’t one man in that place that wasn’t dragged there by his wife,” I replied.

“Okay,” he said, “She might have had to talk it up a bit to get me there, but I really did enjoy it once I settled in. Going up town to dinner creates too much chaos. It isn’t fun for me, but this, this was nice. I got to relax and talk with friends and maybe even heard a few things that I needed to be reminded about..things that are easy to forget.”

The emcees for Date Night 2013 left us all with a challenge. For the next month, we are asked to set aside one night each week to get away together, reconnect with each other, spend some quality time together and let the kids fend for themselves. Not too hard to do at our house, the kids are long since able to fend for themselves. But we’ll see if my hubby remembers what our assignment was for this week.

My takeaway from Date Night 2013: Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks.

Do you celebrate Date Night in your relationship?  Do you feel your marriage is stronger because you make it a point to eek out alone time with your mate?  How do you make time for each other with a household to run?

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