Lisa Barr, Editor of GIRLilla Warfare: All right, Ladies. Cut out this blog and hand it over to your hubby NOW. Demand a read. Believe me when I say it’s in YOUR best interest. xoxo
By Evan Field
Being married with kids is a constantly rotating Rubik’s cube. The dynamic of a childless couple is a world apart from how it is when you share your house with smaller people who do not contribute to the mortgage or insurance bills. Before expanding our family from 2 to 2+2 there were so many freedoms we took for granted. Getting drunk at dinner, going to the movies any night of the week, frivolous spending, traveling, sex on the couch or stairs, ignorance to the existence of kids’ menus, enjoying a two-door sports car, the list is long and nostalgic.
Now … well, we dream of the day when our kids go to sleepover camp for the whole summer to get some of those nostalgic feelings of freedom and intimacy back.
Married couples with children have romance and private connection pushed to the bottom of the totem pole.
It’s just the way things work, especially with younger kids who demand constant attention until the REM stage hits at night. Then … we have either fallen asleep in our kids’ beds, or we are fighting the urge to fall asleep while catching up on a month’s worth of “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family” episodes on DVR.
Forgetting about “us” is so common. Too common, in fact, that without remembering the magic of “us” is what gets couples into trouble.
So, you have to keep it alive with the ever important, ever clichéd event of DATE NIGHT.
Yes, DATE NIGHT.
It is the most important preventative medicine for the health of your marriage. It is Old School and it can be fun if you plan and act positive toward the event. Seeing my wife dress up (sometimes pretty hot) for me and going to dinner is such a recharge.
We can easily fall into a rut and constant bickering over the household chores, kids’ activities, money, in-laws, and everything else that comes with the life.
Date Night can bring you back to the way you were while first falling in love and lust without the distractions that foster mutual feelings of strangling each other.
But, just as when you were single and dating … the man needs to be creative and understand how things can work in order for there to be success both during and after the date. Ooooooh yes, it is OUR job as men to plan, ask out, be “cute” about it, and execute properly.
Heed my words when I tell you the most important thing to understand about Date Night … ready?
Date Night begins THREE days before the actual Date Night.
I am not fucking with you. Women are mental and emotional creatures of recent events. They hold grudges that last for days. So if I do the dishes on Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night WITHOUT being reminded AND ask her what I can do to help with the kids on Saturday morning … then Saturday night, Date Night begins … my wife has noticed that I “have been amazing lately”. Dinner conversation is positive, laughter ensues, she bites her bottom lip while looking at me through her wine-infused goggles, and the chances of Stand-Up Sex against the mirror are easily above 75%.
If I wait until date night to treat her like a queen and I was a jerk or not helpful all week long … I am guaranteed to be the audience in a “discussion of shared responsibility” while watching my pasta get cold.
Unspoken thoughts are loud through her eyes of daggers, drinks make her numb and tired, and it’s tough to turn things around. So I have learned the hard way, more than once, that preliminary measures include my everyday actions well before my planned evening without the kids.
Date Night DOES NOT allow intimate connection when you go out with other couples. It is definitely fun to be in a group of people of enjoyable company … but practicing romance and connection is important enough to make an effort to be exclusive.
My wife and I make sure that we are alone on Date Night at least once a month because we barely say a word to each other at a table of 4 or 6 while spending time joking with friends and putting on The Happy Show.
When we go out alone I make sure to make eye contact with her throughout the meal. I never ever talk about weather, money, exercise, or anything else that might touch on a sore subject or just be plain boring for her. I love bringing up old fun memories that made her laugh back then, usually sparking laughter now, which is always the best aphrodisiac. I talk about the amazing things I notice about the kids, which always puts a smile on her face.
My purpose is to have fun. My intended effect is for her to talk to me like I am her Hot Boyfriend and NOT her annoying husband.
I reach for her hand to hold in the parking lot while walking back to the car. I open her door for her. The details mean a lot to our wives … the details that they would otherwise complain about if missed. If I didn’t eat garlic or drink beer, then I lean in for a make-out session after starting the engine … Old School and fun.
Yes, make out … it’s still fun to make out … not just for teens … Do It. Remind her that you are still hot for her. Hopefully, this will spark the fun sexual side of her and fooling around will be a wanted event rather than a required chore.
The doldrums of our every day, exhausting, responsibility-filled lives can turn us into pissed-off monsters. Reminding our significant others that we are partners and adults and will go out and act as such (as long as we have a Saturday night sitter) is a powerful thing.
A walk around the park trail, a late night ice cream cone, browsing around that new furniture store, renting a sail boat for an hour … all very low key things that are great for dates. Put it on your Outlook or Google calendar and prepare yourself accordingly for the details.
Be creative … and DO NOT FORGET to set a consistent positive tone DAYS before the event.
Your chances for “Girlfriend Sex” and avoiding any future couples’ therapy is higher when you make DATE NIGHT a recurring priority.