Yes. You read that right. Every. Single. Night.
Five star restaurant, expensive wine, seven course meal...
.....is exactly the kind of date I am NOT talking about. Don't get me wrong, those dates are great. But every night? That might get a bit out of control. Especially those of you who are also footing the bill for a babysitter, too. So reserve that for when it counts.
In fact, let me clarify. I use the word "date" quite often. I go on "dates" with my friends, my parents, my co-workers, my aunts, cousins...well, you get the point. All the time, people hear me say, "I've got a hot date with my mom to play Scrabble" or "We need a phone date soon."
Before the invention of my favorite app Voxer (which is a walkie-talkie/message-leaving wonderful invention) my best friend and I would schedule phone dates about every 6 months. She still lives in Ohio and I have been away from home for about 11 years now. So a few Saturdays out of the year, we would set aside time to just talk. Her husband (who I think is one of the greatest husbands I know) would occupy their 3 children so his wife and I could catch up. For real. Like usually five hours at a time. Hey, when you go for six months in between, you have a lot of life to catch up on.
And it's those phone dates that have allowed us to remain just as close now (at the age of 32) as we were in high school (at the age of 17).
Fast forward to 2016. In between all those years, I've also had quite a bit of opportunity to analyze romantic relationships as well. I've analyzed mine (which all but a few have usually crashed and burned) and my close friends and family (some of which have ended as well and some that are still going strong).
And I've come to the conclusion: If you want it to last, you should go on a date every single night.
I guess it wasn't until I started dating my current boyfriend that I realized this.
Yes, yes. I know, it's shocking to most everyone. Even myself. I am, in fact, dating someone. The girl who had sworn off boyfriends and taken a sabbatical from men actually found a really good one. And you'll love hearing that story. Stay tuned. I will give you a hint though: He makes his first appearance in Drunk On A Plane).
But a few months ago, we were having one of our nightly phone dates. Those usually consist of talking about anything and everything. As we're Facetiming, Mr. Fuzzybottoms or Hannah Baby will always take center stage at some point in our conversation and either stick their butts right into the iPad camera or sniff the screen with their cute little noses. But it was among all that tail swishing that we stumbled onto something profound.
While most long distance relationships kinda stink for obvious reasons, we talked about how lucky we were to be doing something so simple: just talking. Because unfortunately, we both know so many couples who don't. And it struck us that we both actually really looked forward to our nightly phone dates. And we made a promise that even if that day comes when we live in the same state or same town or same house, that we'd still have a date every single night. And just sit there and talk.
I think it's really easy to get caught up in how busy life gets, but I think it's vitally important to sit down with your sweetie (spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.) and just catch up. Again, you don't have to solve the world's problems. But you might. If nothing else, you can laugh together. Or vent. Or get something off your chest. Or just get things organized for the next day. Whatever it is, you'll be connected at that moment. And I think that's really important. But it's also easy to neglect.
Believe me, I'm not a certified relationship expert. But god knows I've been through enough of them to know what doesn't work. And collectively, with most that I've watched fall apart, I think people just stop talking.
Beyond just your romantic relationships, I think it's important to have dates with your kids, too. While I don't have any children of my own, I remember sitting around the kitchen table at night when my dad finally got home from work and just talking. Mostly I'm sure it was my mom and I talking about prom dresses or boys or something else that my dad probably couldn't have cared less about. But we were all there, having a nice little dinner date. And talking.
So do it. Go on a date tonight with your sweetheart. Don't wait until Valentine's Day. Do it tonight. Even if it's in your fuzzy pajamas after the kids go to bed. And do it tomorrow night, too. And the night after that.
If you're one of the 37% of people we talked about on the show this week that say that "romance is dead", maybe you'll just happen to spark it back up and want to talk and date each other again.
Because I think when you do, you'll look forward to your time together as much as we do. So start today. And go on dates every single night.
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