On Dating

Talking with my niece and nephew earlier this summer, I caught their attention when I said that Hubbs and I still date.

I saw the look of disbelief in their eyes and they saw the twinkle in mine.

One is in a long-term relationship and the other is not.

Leaning closer,  I explained why we schedule weekly date nights and have since we first met more than 20 years ago. It doesn’t mean we go out or even spend any money, it just means we set aside that time – non negotiable time – for each other.

When we married, we became an instant family, (more here) so we’ve never had time that was just “ours.”  We’ve never been on a Honeymoon; we’ve always been parents and that’s OK – it’s the life we chose and neither of us would change it. Our way to navigate together has been to schedule it, as a way to reconnect and reaffirm what we already know.

I’m glad we have prioritized this because:

  • Date nights mean “I hear you.”
  • Date nights mean “I love you.”
  • Date nights mean “I’m here for you.”
  • Date nights mean wearing something other than “Mom & Dad” clothes, a whiff of cologne, cleavage, a buttoned-down shirt, a swirly skirt and lipstick.
  • Date nights mean “You are still it for me.”
  • Date nights mean singing our songs, telling our work stories, and being in the moment.
  • Date nights mean comfort, warmth, passion and love.
  • Date nights mean “In spite of everything around us – jobs – kids – family – I still choose time with you over everything – and everyone – else.”

I love that he schedules tee times early enough so that he can come home, shower, change and spend the night with me. What girl wouldn’t love that in her man?

He loves that I use my time to do what interests me and, when he returns, he’s greeted by a warm and happy companion who looks nice, feeds him and wants to spend her night with him. What guy wouldn’t love that in his girl?

For us, date nights have always been the buoy we swim to against the undertow of daily living.

How about you?  How do you nurture your relationship?

“Choose the guy who ruins your lipstick, not the one who ruins your mascara.” -Unknown. Me & Hubbs, an emjayandthem photo

Categories: Attitude, Family, Friendship, Fun, Joy, Men, Personal, Romance, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “On Dating

  1. How sweet – knowing there is date night helps to keep the rest of the week sane! And I love your quote about lipstick and mascara.

    • I loved that quote, too .. it inspired this post! Date nights are great fun; often we don’t go anywhere, just “hang” together in the comforts of home!

  2. Date nights are a great way to keep your relationship vibrant and spicy. It is exciting to know one evening a week is just for you two, to be together in every way, talking and sharing love. I love the idea, MJ.

    Victor (the ‘V-man’) and me are together for almost five years now, still living apart – but that makes being together all the more special. We spend our weekends together: one weekend at my place with my sons, the other at his place. My sons are with their dad then or stay home (they are 21 and 18 years old). Plus Victor comes over every Wednesday. And those are our date nights.
    The other evenings are for writing.

    This arrangement works perfect for us. I don’t know if we move in together when my sons have their own place, we shall see. But if we do, then I will make sure to plan date nights too! 😉

    • Your arrangement sounds like it works just fine for you and I think that’s the key — finding a way to navigate that makes sense to you both 🙂

      To be clear, many times we don’t go anywhere – in summer we bring our portable sound system to the patio and sit out under the stars, sipping a brew or a glass of wine and just talk, laugh and be together. Most of our best date nights have had no expense involved!


  3. MJ, your posts always leave me with a smile (and usually an “aw….”). This one was special. It’s so wonderful to see how you & Hubbs have those date nights that you cherish. No, Motor Man and I don’t really do that – maybe we should start….??? And I love the lipstick quote too! Happy weekend, MJ!

    • Maybe you don’t call them “date nights” but you and MM do lots of things together, and he is a very good sport about driving out to various places you want to visit and photograph. Personally, I think that counts as a date night, too, because it’s ‘yours’ and no one else’s. Many times we just spend the evening together, with the TV off, and no kids around and talk. 🙂 MJ

  4. I love that saying at the end! I’m on the lookout for a lipstick ruiner! 🙂

  5. Oh, I loved this post, MJ! So incredibly important to spend time with each other, otherwise, what’s the point of a relationship, y’know? We also try very hard to go out on a ‘date’ at least once a month. Should be more, but maybe once the kids are a bit more on their own….

    • When the kids were little, we’d get them to bed and take our portable cassette player out to the patio (and the baby monitor, too). We’d sit out under the stars, share some wine or a beer and sing along to our favorite songs on the radio or mixed tape; we’ve done that for years and still do, although now it’s an MP3 player & speaker :). Sometimes a game is on but usually it’s just us … and the very best date nights have happened right at home with no cost or baby sitter needed! 😉 MJ

  6. there have been times when Connie and I didn’t have the time to go on a date night, were arguing about stupid stuff, etc BUT still went out AND IT’S BEEN THE BEST THING FOR US. I don’t know why we don’t do it more often, as we normally go out once a month.

    • sometimes we go out with friends but we’ve found we’re just as happy here by ourselves, with some tunes, old dog and a fire going in winter or out under the stars in summertime. I know what you mean .. sometimes you’re not quite connecting but getting out and changing it up brings it all home again 🙂


  7. cooper

    we’ve been making an effort tot do this more and more…but still haven’t come to the point of a non-negotiable time. It’s awesome you two do this. Question, tho…how does hubby enhance his cleavage…any tips ???

    • We’ve had to create non-negotiable time otherwise the boys would take it all. They’re great guys and still want to talk with us a lot, but sometimes Mom & Dad need their OWN Time. 🙂 Hubbs is pretty slender so he’d have to gain about 30lbs to even have bleavage (bro cleavage)- ha!


      • cooper

        ok…new word…bleavage. Learn sumpthin’ new every day. :>)

      • For someone as adept at vocabulary as you are, I take that (teaching you a new word) as a compliment! 🙂 MJ

  8. Sounds sweet… What a great idea…

  9. It is so wonderful that you two still set aside special time for reconnecting. That will keep a spark in your eye to be sure.

    • I think it’s really easy to get complacent. Sometimes we don’t go anywhere but I make it a point to show up for the evening in something other than what I wore to the grocery store .. and so does he. 🙂 MJ

  10. Wonderful post. You inspire me. We don’t go out on nearly enough date nights. It’s tough with a young one and not a lot of babysitting options. But it’s something we need to do more of. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • When our boys were little we couldn’t go out easily, either so our solution was to go OUTSIDE :). After they went to bed we’d load up the baby monitor & the boombox and sit on the patio to solve all the world’s problems. The TV was off, the phone wasn’t answered .. it was just us. We still do more of than than we do going out somewhere b/c home is cozier … and inexpensive!! 🙂 MJ

  11. We need to re-introduce this into our relationship. We as a couple did pretty good all those years the kids were growing up..our romantic relationship survived all the diapers, job pressures, etc. Now that we’re empty nester’s I think I (we) have gotten a little lazy in the courting department. thanks for the gentle “nudge” DM

    • Court away, DM! Just know, you don’t have to go anywhere, in fact, we often prefer to stay home in our own world with our own tunes and such. We can have a fire going and enjoy that in winter or sit out under the stars in summer .. the point is that we show up as a couple not as Mom & Dad or Nana and Pops. 🙂 MJ

  12. Good for you that you’ve been able to maintain date night! I wish I could say we have done as well. Sometimes we do, and sometimes we just get lost in busy. Thanks for the great example, and the encouragement to invest in the right things! ~ Sheila

  13. Pingback: Under Merle’s direction | Emjayandthem's Blog

  14. Pingback: Cats & dogs | Emjayandthem's Blog

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