Monday, July 8, 2013

Date night is a must.

One of the most helpful bits of advice I can pass onto you via my little bloggo is this: if you're married, go on dates. And if you two have kids, find another couple with kids (probably one you know and trust) and swap babysitting. It's seriously the best thing we have EVER done. (OK, aside from getting hitched in the first place, it is.) We trade weekly with Dill's brother Mark and his wife, Meg, who happen to also have a girl and a boy. Our kids play well together so it's really more like managing a cousin playdate than babysitting. Around 8:30, we put all the kids to bed and enjoy a movie together until their parents get back. It's easy and fun, especially knowing we get our turn the following week.

Truth be told, a few years ago we were starting to get a little jaded because we didn't go on nearly as many dates as we should have. Mark and Meg didn't live here and we didn't have any friends in a similar situation, so we usually relied on our parents to watch the kids. But with the birth of our second child, we felt bad asking our parents to babysit anymore and we didn't have the financial means to hire a sitter. As a result, we just didn't go out. And it was actually hard on our relationship.

Look, I know you can pop some corn and snuggle up for some Netflix time, but it's just not the same as a real date. After having tried that method for an extended period of time, I've concluded that a couple needs to go OUT together. They need to enjoy themselves somewhere other than home every once in a while. They need time to talk about their personal interests and concerns and engage in activities they don't do every day. Even if it's free, like a walk around the mall to window-shop or a sack lunch picnic. If you're not married, remember this for if/when you do get married. If you ARE married and you date like crazy because you have no kids, well, good for you! Just don't forget to keep it up after the kids come along. Trust me -- it's easier said than done.

And one more thing: taking the kids along for the ride is NOT a date. It's quality family time and it's ... er, it CAN be fun, but it's not actually a date. So, I suggest subsidizing a teenaged neighbor if you can swing it. And if you can't (or you'd rather spend that money on your date activity), try working out some kind of babysitting trade with another couple so you can hit the town kid-free.

That being said ...

On Friday, Dill and I went to Cafe Zupas for a little soup, salad and sandwiches. I ordered a lobster bisque (fabulous) and this salad called the MangoBerry that pretty much almost killed me because it was so good. It was a green salad with some blueberries, strawberries and mango mixed in, topped with crushed candied almonds and a delicious mango dressing. It was practically a dessert!

I also brought my camera (Nikon D3100 << this is a super-good deal!) because sometimes, it's fun to document these things...


... and something told me Dill would look super-cute biting into a panini.

Afterward, we saw "White House Down" which was exceedingly stupid. Good thing we had movie gift cards. Even Channing Tatum couldn't improve that one. But we shared some hearty laughs, anyway.

So, do you date your spouse? What are your favorite things to do on dates?

11 comments:

  1. Oh, the creepy ambient blue glow of Zuppas. ;)

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    1. It's a little much, isn't it? Haha.

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  2. Oh my gosh, YES! I love Zupas. In fact, it sounds good right now. And we need to work on that whole going-on-dates thing. I am not very good at leaving my baby yet!

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    1. It's tough! Do you have any family or friends close by? I'd start there, that way you know you're leaving her in good hands.

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  3. We've been doing a swap with Taylor's cousin and his Brother and their families who each also have 2 kids for almost 2 years. It's kinda the best thing ever!!! We get 2 dates a month and only have to babysit once a month. It's so worth it!!!

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  4. Chris and I are so bad about dating. last time we went out sans kids was December. yeah.

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  5. Chris and I are so bad about dating. last time we went out sans kids was December. yeah.

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  6. We have no children, but we both have full time jobs that wear us out!!
    We do go on dates, but have fallen into a MAJOR rut on the places we go...and normally we do dinner. Sometimes dinner and a movie.

    Thats why I was asking for advice on new places to try--thanks for your suggestions!!
    Keep the flame alive, right?!

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  7. We have a HUGE problem with this because we don't have friends with kids, and we can only ask family so many times, but we're trying to get better! I definitely agree about kids coming is not considered a date.

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  8. I love this! Ryan and I don't go on dates as much as we should and we've finally started. It's amazing!

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  9. I totally agree! Unfortunately my husband hates doing the "free dates" such as walks, window shopping, going for a drive, etc. He really only likes the dates that cost money. Like going to the movies, out to eat, etc.

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I like feedback almost as much as I like food.