It’s not hard to pick a date, make a dinner reservation and book a sitter. But it’s not easy either. And that’s why, my darling, it’s your turn.
You are perfectly capable of looking at our shared Google calendar and seeing when we don’t have plans. You can talk to the daycare teachers and get their numbers just like I do. Or you can ask me for their phone numbers! I’ve accumulated quite a few in planning 100 percent of our nights out since we had kids. You are adept at using the internet to find a restaurant we both would like. I’ll eat anywhere you’ll eat, in fact. You’re also able to tell me what you’re planning and get my sign-off, as I did the past dozen times.
I agree it’s sad that we’ve only gone out 12 or so times in five years. Having kids gives us little free time to get away—or to even plan to get away. But I bet we could go out more often if you’d take it upon yourself to book a date night instead of always relying on me to do it.
I know. The thinking through and organizing part isn’t fun. There’s a reason it’s called the mental load, not the mental party. That’s why I don’t just need a night out. I need you to plan it.
Are you afraid I won’t like what you plan? I promise to reserve judgment if you get me out of the house on a Friday or Saturday night. Do you think I’ll be annoyed about the sitter? If he or she is someone we know and like, I’ll be thrilled. If you’re not sure I like him or her, ask me. I’m that person a few inches away from you in our bed. Do you worry you won’t have time for all your other pressing duties? No need. I promise, Sweetie; your video games will still be there after you make an online reservation.
I get why you hate meal prep, cleaning, bathing our toddler and buying birthday and holiday gifts. I hate them too! They’re not fun, only essential. But what date nights lack in necessity they make up for in enjoyment. So your efforts pay off for you, Honey! Besides, date nights are semi-essential to staying connected to each other…and staying married.
“But how do I start?!” you wonder. How about with my birthday? It happens the same day every year. My shared calendar is up to date. Daycare teachers are throwing themselves at us to watch our kids at reasonable rates. Talk to them. You can do it. Believe in yourself. I believe in you.