In Defense of Skipping Date Night
Date night is great. If you're a hardcore Date Nighter, high fives to you and your Tuesday trips to Macaroni Grill. (And now I want pasta.)
I would, instead, like to speak to those of you who observe the world constantly going out on a date night and feel badly because you just don't care. Should you care? Is your marriage in trouble if you don't care?
I once read an article that confirmed that fear, that if you and your spouse are not participating in a regular weekly date night, your relationship is most likely on the rocks.
Yes, every couple has challenges, and sometimes the last thing you want is to sit across from him at a strange table when there's so much conflict beneath the surface. But as a rule? Assuming that couples who would rather stay home are actually in an unhealthy relationship? Child, please.
If you're one of those people or have been in one of those couples, not doing date night is on par with hating Chris Pratt or admitting you've never seen Pretty Woman. How DARE you, they all say.
But I say something different.
You can skip date night.
You can stay home.
You can be content doing the same thing night after night with your person by your side.
I know it's not that you don't like dates. Not having to cook and getting a break from kids if you have them is a gift! I would luuuuv to have a meal with my husband where we're not always interrupted by spilled milk and fart noises. I'm not knocking the beauty of being intentionally alone with your person.
But I am releasing you from Date Night Guilt if you have it. Life is too short to feel guilty about things that don't matter.
If you've decided what matters to you, every subsequent decision makes sense.
- If you prioritize travel, you'd rather save your money for when you can have dinner and a movie in Paris.
- If you prioritize healthy whole eating, restaurants aren't always going to be a natural fit, so you might cook a special dinner together in your own kitchen with ingredients that matter to you.
- If you prioritize conversation, eating dinner in a noisy restaurant and then sitting in a dark theater will leave you wanting, so intentional conversation on the couch with no TV is your choice.
Dates don't have to be dinner and a movie. They don't have to look like everyone else's. If you can't remember the last time you and your person went out for a real date, ignore the guilt and think about why you've settled into that choice. Sure, you might actually be a little disconnected from each other because LIFE and now you need to be intentional about reconnecting, but it also might be that you just love sitting next to each other at the end of the day without saying a word.
That counts, too.
So if you're a skipper of Date Nights, be free. Stay home. Remember what matters to you, and do it without comparison or shame.
This week's podcast episode is The Lazy Genius Goes on a Date Night. It's full of ideas and freedom. I hope you enjoy listening.