Saturday, March 24, 2012

Date Nights and Whatnot

"That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying, 'As you wish,' what he meant was, 'I love you.' And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back."

No, not that kind of whatnot. This is a family show, people.

Last night Husband and I saw The Hunger Games together on our first night out kid-free since a few days before Christmas. We both loved the first book, and while I've read the whole trilogy, Husband and Spazz are looking forward to listening to the audio book on our way to Florida for vacation this summer.

I'm not going to post any spoilers here, so don't worry about having the film ruined for you. This is not a Hunger Games post, although I could totally do a Hunger Games post because I loved the movie and the books are so good and hey-if-anyone-wants-to-chat-about-THG-let-me-know.

No, this post is about the importance of the date night and, more specifically, what makes a date night work. I think that for a lot of couples (us included!), date night can become sort of rote, a dutiful (if infrequent), routine evening out that's supposed to count as "quality time" and "reconnecting". Husband and I have absolutely sat in total but comfortable silence over a meal at a restaurant, occasionally smiling at each other or chatting lightly about our kids or our work. Holla if you hear me.

*gives you a moment to "holla"*

With two kids now, there's even less time for connecting in any meaningful way, but Husband and I do make an effort, and one of the ways we do that is to try to choose activities that genuinely celebrate the things we have in common. I know it seems counter-intuitive to try to bond over a movie, what with the whole "no-talking" policy and all that. And it definitely can be.

However. THG is a movie we've both been looking forward to for months. We've read the first book. We've excitedly watched the trailers together. Our drive home from the theater was chock-full of lively conversation about everything from the casting to the tweaks and alterations (and our opinions about them) that were made to make this movie work. We talked about what we loved, what we would have liked to have seen more of, what worked, and what didn't. We chatted the whole way to pick up our kids, and it was really awesome.

I think the point is that real opportunities for connecting with your spouse are very difficult to force. The best moments happen organically, fertilized by the things that already connect you. Sometimes it's your kids, but other times it's whatever it is that makes you two adults who enjoy each other's company.

I'm not giving out marital advice here. Just expressing what works well for us, and what I want to continue to encourage in our marriage.

What do you think? How do you and your Extra Special reconnect?


  1. I gotta say: I love that Husband read the book. Coming from, well where I sit now, it's nice that he takes interests in your interests and vice versa. Not that I'm going to see you playing video games much at 3 am.

  2. He and Spazzy (and I) listened to it on CD on our way to and from Chicago at Thanksgiving. I read the trilogy when I was still pregnant with 'dactyl, and I loved it so much that I had to share it with them. Thankfully they were both willing. :)

  3. I will always chat THG with you - my son gave me the first book to read because he liked it so much, I gobbled that and the next two in a weekend. He and I will be seeing the movie on Monday, and then we can discuss the movie, as well.