Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dating Is Not Dead

Who do you count on when things get tough?
Who binds your wounds, holds you, listens to your hopes,
your fears, and loves you when your sick and irritable?
If you're lucky, you have a critique partner that will do that,
but most of us rely on a spouse at two in the morning.

That's a ton to expect from the most important person in our life.
How much time do we put into that relationship?

The national average is twenty-seven minutes of one-on-one conversation per week.

Gasp and groan all you like, but that didn't count:
Chores (who is picking up dinner)
Watching TV in the same room
You writing as your spouse does something else in the same room
Both being home, but not talking.
Time spent with kids or others.

I'll give you a moment. I know you want to make your own tally.
Not so good is it?
What ever the number is for the week, does it feel like enough?

It might be a great time for you to jot down that number in your journal,
and how you currently feel about your mate,
and your marriage or relationship.

How can you tell if you're putting in enough face time?
Do you feel close to your spouse,
or do you share more with your writing group?
It should be your mate.
If not, there's work to do.

You need more bonding time.
Having fun, talking about your hopes, dreams, your plans for the future.
Remember when you did that on dates?
Time to revisit that experience.
First Rule:
No complaining allowed.

I know that for some couples given that stipulation,
they'd be reduce to slack-jawed stares over the kitchen table,
as they each tried to find something to say.
But not you. You write!
Never at a loss for words,
you engage in witty repartee at all hours.

For some reason, when face to face with the one person,
who has the power to devastate us,we become buffoons,
unable to string a coherent phrase together filled with honest emotion.

But if you want a loving, supportive relationship,
you must feed it with emotion and time.
We feed our plants, our pets, and the parking meter.
Put your relationship at the top of that list.

If you've been together for a very long time,
(Thirty-four years this month for me)
You may need a nudge to recall just what you did back when you dated.

Dress up.
Date each other
Make it special. (A walk can be special holding hands)
Get a haircut
Put on perfume or cologne
Do your nails
Give honest compliments
Hold hands
Look at each other

Do it all with anticipation for being together.
Those embers aren't dead,
just in need of some fanning to reignite.

Go out once a week and hold that date as sacred.

This is the most important relationship in your life.
Treat it that way.
Your relationship will only be,
as loving and supportive as the nurturing you give it.

No feeding = Starvation.

And we all know what happens when we're starving emotionally.
That ugly dumpster diver shows up resulting in destructive behavior, arguments, affairs, divorce.
Not pretty.

Feed your marriage and you nurture your self.
Smiles all around.
Jot down fun date ideas in your journal and schedule them.
Schedule making love if you need to.

After a few weeks, journal how this has changed your relationship and your feelings.

Please comment with your fun date ideas.
We can all use them.


  1. What a great post! My hubby and I go out once a week. It doesn't really matter what we do as long as it's together. Sometimes we see a movie, sometimes we go out to eat. Sometimes we sneak away after the kids are in bed and go longboarding in a parking lot. Sometimes we even go grocery shopping. But we always talk. He's my best friend and I can't wait for him to get home so I can tell him about my day and hear about his. And I always try to remember to tell him thanks for going out into battle every day for me and the kids. A knight in shining armor does like hearing a thank you for slaying dragons all day. ;)

  2. I don't talk much about my writing to my husband because he's not interested in it. Likewise, not being into sports, I will admit I don't listen with bated breath about the game he was watching this afternoon, but everything else is fair game. We probably don't spend a great deal of time at once just talking, but many times throughout the week, if he's telling me something, I try to stop what I'm doing and just listen. It helps that we actually have dinner together several times a week, too!

    Thanks for the reminder of who should be most important to us!

  3. Thirty-six years for me next weekend. Unfortunately, I think we're a dying breed. "Date Night" is essential, even if it's just to go for a ride and get an ice cream cone. Hubby and I still like to go "parking" once in a while, just to mix things up. There's a spare blanket in each of our car trunks. I could say its in case we get stranded in the winter, but I live in the desert! Thanks Sandy.

  4. Loved this post! So true. I'm knocking on 19 years of matrimony. We get a little grumpy when we haven't had time alone for the two of us to connect. We've also learned that we need times alone when family schedule, kids' activities, and finances are not discussed. It must be about engaging as two people in love. (By the way, my hubby doesn't "get" my love of writing, but he is a great support.)

  5. Such a great reminder! My adorable husband and I go out on dates all the time and put each other as top priority when it comes to spending time with each other. Love the post!

  6. You are so right. I make a point of stopping what I'm doing even if I'm in the middle of writing or at the best part of a book -- and give him my full attention when he wants to talk. I can always go back to it, but chances for real conversation don't come along that often.

  7. My husband and I haven't had a "date" since before our daughter was born 16 years ago. Since we live and work in the same space - his office occupied the first floor of our two-family home - we're together round the clock, working. When we go out for dinner with our daughter, we talk about the same things we'd talk about at home - work. I'd love to know how to break away from that stale topic and have fun, but the business always seems to take precedence.

    Great post, Sandy. It makes me WANT to plan some alone time - even if only to talk about the evening sky.

  8. Great Post Sandy! My husband is a great friend, but it does seem like we talk too much about things that don't matter i.e. complaints, work, schedules, etc. I'm inspired to change that. :D

  9. I guess it depends on whether you both enjoy a good complaint!! LOL

    Hey, that's what bonds my husband and I together--common annoyances. ")

    I agree that we need quality time as a couple, but I think it's different for everyone. My husband isn't going to sit and stare longingly into my eyes and talk about future hopes and dreams. But he will kiss me on the back of the neck while I'm writing, or work with me on a new clock project, or hold hands during Sanford and Son, or get up in the middle of the night with me when I'm ill.

    If that ain't love, what is?

  10. Great post. My favorite time is breakfast when my husband and I chat for a long time each day. We do the same at dinner, but breakfast gets the day started off right for me. If I have somewhere to go, I allow extra time for our time together. It's important to exchange ideas and simply talk. We also try to go out to lunch or dinner once each week.

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