“What is the definition of regular?” Which of my husband’s and my dates are regular? Does this mean “a” as in one night of going out on a “regular” date? Or do I need to think of ways to form and continue a pattern of going on dates with my husband? Do my spouse and I share the same definition of date?
My husband’s and my definition of “date” is like water in a container. Our situation molds our shape. One day we slide in 15 minutes for a dip in the hot tub. And the next day, we spend 20 minutes to play card games, 30 minutes to run because physical training (PT) is coming up, or an hour for decorating our bedroom and folding laundry. By decorate I mean liven up your bedroom with intimate memories. And by folding laundry, I mean make your bed when you’re done. Use your imagination!
My Kind Of Date Nights
I’m not going to lie; I’d love a standing monthly date night, but “regular” dates don’t exist in my marriage. They’re unpredictable, like crashing waves in the ocean. When our kids were toddlers, we lived in downtown San Diego, California. We’d check the hubby’s calendar in the morning in which we were drinking coffee and decided to rendezvous that night. With little kids and a tiny budget, we snuggled our sleeping babies in our double stroller, tiredly traveled down the elevator, walked on the city sidewalks, and ate some fish tacos with a mug of beer and a glass of sangria. It was blissful, and I waited anticipatorily all day as I shot looks in the mirror. My transformation from Mom to Wife stunned me. The ocean waves rise and fall with possibilities.
After 17 years of marriage and now living with two teenage daughters, the fluidness of our calendars sometimes aligns like waves colliding. We navigate our rising waves like captains of our ships. Our family calendar brims, and we tire out each day while other days our calendar conveniently leaves blank spaces. Heck, sitting on our back porch looking out to the forest with a glass of Veuve Clicquot is a date in itself when my hubby and I haven’t seen each other for more than 10 minutes a day this week.
We sit on the porch and listen to woodpeckers and foxes and dream up dates. One day we’ll rent a boat, go axe throwing, sign up for scuba diving trips, dress up for classic antique photoshoots, and vacation in an ice hotel. One of those we’ve already done, but is worth doing again because how often do I get to feel like a western vigilante holding a Tommy gun and bottle of whiskey? I’m the captain of my calendar in this ocean of life.
The Moments That We Spend Together
I like to date to live in the moment with my husband. We ride the waters whether the vessel we’re in is a dinghy boat on a lake or a yacht in the ocean. Dating reminds me of the reasons I married this guy. Sometimes we do the work of scoping out our next date together, sometimes separately. He let me know he was thinking of me when he planned a vacay to an oyster festival in Saint Michaels, Maryland. We focused on each other’s inside jokes, stood at the top of a lighthouse, kissed, and I was thankful we don’t live in a lighthouse.
Sometimes our dates are spontaneous, sometimes planned. We have far more irregular date nights than planned. Our oyster festival date was planned so far in advance though that I knew more about it then the next week’s menu for months. Once the oyster festival came around on the calendar, I enjoyed every moment of that weekend-long date. It acted as a reminder for me that whether dinghy or aircraft carrier sized, planned out dates are needed in marriage like the ocean needs the grace of big and small waves.
We Don’t Have A Definition For Regular Date Night
My husband and I certainly lack a definition for “regular date night.” We communicate what we mean to each other in our own ways, yet confirm the other feel appreciated. This is as simple as me playing his favorite video game for an hour, or he takes me to the tidal basin to paddle pedal boats. Even during a stressful situation, we try to communicate.
The most challenging part of marriage is communicating when stressed. We have to respect each other, and we’re learning we communicate in different ways. We support each other with carefree nights out dancing, (not grocery) shopping, and laughing at bad jokes. Midnight walks in our neighborhood leave us alone in the dark. I like to hold his hand. His hands are my favorite body part. He likes to grab my butt. Communicate expectations. Tell your spouse that you appreciate them. We need to be the waves that form beautifully together, not the unstable waves that cancel each other.
The article was first published in the first issue of Passionate Chic