It has been over 17 months since Liam was born. My wife and I joke all the time that we can’t remember what we use to do with all our free time. And that’s the double-edged sword of being a parent.
On the one hand, the excitement of a new baby keeps your constant attention on keeping your child alive and happy, but in doing so, you stop doing the things you loved to do because of the attention required to raise your child the “right way.”
Some of the fondest memories I have with my wife are at “date-night.” If there’s anything you need to know about my wife is that she LOVES food. She even dreams about it. No lie.
Our first date together we went out to sushi. Sushi is her favorite food on earth. However, she forgot to mention she had no clue how to use chopstix. Trying not to embarrass herself she attempted to use them anyways. At one point I caught her using both hands to scoop up the sushi with the chopstix. She finally admitted she didn’t know how to use them. We laughed. She then grabbed a fork and went to town on four sushi rolls.
Another great memory I have at date-night was at a fancy restaurant. We are not the elegant type, but we give it a try once in a while. As the waiter came up to our table, he asked in a very low voice if I wanted “soup or salad.” That’s not what I heard though. I thought he asked me if I wanted a SUPER-SALAD. To which I answered YES. He had to reiterate the question because he was confused. It was at that very moment that I put two-and-two together. She will never let me live that down.
Before Liam was even born, we had multiple conversations about how we could still do date night because we enjoyed it so much. The first few times we brought him with us. That didn’t work out so well. (You never know what you are going to get with a newborn.) We eventually decided we would need to get a babysitter if we were going to keep date night. It’s been one of the best things we did for our marriage.
At date night a few weeks ago, we were sitting outside when out of nowhere I started to cry. The tough guy in me, keep telling myself to “stop crying,” but I couldn’t. I was feeling overwhelmed. It caught my wife off guard. Shoot, it caught me off guard. What ensued was a great conversation about how I was feeling defeated and downright exhausted. She listened, offered some advice, and we went on with our dinner. In the days that followed, we came up with a plan of attack to better manage my responsibilities.
I got no shame that I cried in front of my wife that night. The point being is that that conversation would have never happened if we didn’t do date night. And that’s why we hold it so sacred to our relationship.
Date night provides an atmosphere that cannot be replicated when children are running around. It also forces us to go deep beyond questions like “how was your day?”, “how was Liam?” To me, those are maintenance questions. They help entertain conversations with your spouse, but they DO NOT grow the relationship.
Instead, we ask questions like How are you feeling? Is there anything I can help you with? Or “I noticed the other day you got annoyed when I said…I’m sorry”. These are the type of questions that we look forward to having during date night because we know it cuts through the superficial convos of everyday life.
I truly believe, and so does my wife, that if we didn’t do date night our marriage wouldn’t be as strong as it is. When we talk to our friends who don’t do date night we try to encourage them as much as we can to “put it on the calendar”. Otherwise, it’ll never happen. Those who have done it consistently thanks us for the idea.
P.S. My wife and I are not having marital issues. Don’t text me..”bro you alright? 🙂