Two of my fondest date memories happened just last year. (I’m not sure what that means: either we’re getting better at dating, or my memory isn’t what it used to be.)
Over the past few years, my husband and I have had a regular Friday night date night. We usually go out for dinner, although sometimes we stay in and snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. During summer months, when Big Guy asks me what I’d like to do for a date, I often say, “We could have a picnic.” I love eating outdoors. I have wonderful childhood memories of picnics at the park, and I’ve always loved camping. My husband, however, really, really dislikes picnics. It’s too hot. Or too muggy. Or too buggy. So I often suggest picnics, knowing that we won’t have one.
One Saturday, we were out running errands late in the morning; my husband suggested that we stop by the grocery store to pick up some things for lunch. When we were inside, he asked me to go get some paper plates because we were going on a picnic. What? Wow!
I was so touched. He hates picnics—yet that’s exactly what he gave me because he knows that I love them. We ended up downtown, sitting on a bench near the river walk, and eating our lunch together—outside. We spent some time reminiscing, wondering about our future, and laughing. This date cost little more than we would have spent on eating lunch at home—yet it spoke volumes to me about his love for me. He knew what I wanted to do and he made it happen—even though it was far outside his own preference. It was a date that was entirely for me.
When my husband was in the hospital last summer, we had date night right there in his hospital room—all with snuggling, a movie, and drink refills from his wonderful nurses. That date was about us just soaking in each other’s presence. We’d had a health scare, and we were so grateful to be with each other and know that he was likely to be okay. (I wrote about that date here.) It was memorable because the date was distilled down to one thing: being with each other.
What About You?
I recently asked readers to share fond memories of dates with their husbands as part of a contest.
As I was reading the comments, two kinds of dates really stood out for me:
- Many women wrote about dates which their husbands had planned—even to the point of taking care of the packing and childcare. The dates where women didn’t have to do anything and where their husbands had clearly been thinking ahead and putting effort into it meant a lot to women.
- Equally memorable were dates where couples were just spending time with each other—talking, dreaming, laughing, and hanging out.
We want our husbands to show that they care about us—that they see what we want and need and that we are worth their effort. And we want to simply be with our husbands without the distraction of other people (especially children), electronics, responsibilities, and schedules.
These are the same things that mattered so much to me with my memorable dates—and 75% of the comments fit into these two areas.
We want our husbands to show that they are thinking about us, and we want to simply be together.
What about Our Guys?
Valentine’s Day is in just a few days. Like many husbands, Big Guy is always in charge of our Valentine’s Day plans. In fact, he is in charge of most of our dates.
As I think about how loved we all seem to feel when our guys make the effort of planning something they know we would enjoy, it occurs to me that I need to step up to the plate a bit. Although I do get credit for having planned a few of our more memorable, um, post-date activities, I only remember ever planning one actual date (going to a movie he wanted to see).
So I’m going to challenge myself to plan one of our upcoming date nights. I’ll think about what Big Guy enjoys (which means it won’t be a picnic), I’ll make arrangements ahead of time, and I’ll make sure we have an opportunity to enjoy spending time with each other and laughing a lot. And I’ll still make sure we have a good post-date activity, too.
What about you? Is it time for you to take charge of date night? How can you show your husband that you’re thinking about what he would enjoy?
This post is part of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association Valentine’s Day 2015 Blog Challenge.
Shared with To Love, Honor, and Vacuum
Image credit | Christianpics.co