It’s amazing to me how much fun it can be to go on a date with my husband even 12 years after we started dating. A few nights ago we went out for a night on the town. It had been months since we’d been able to spend that much uninterrupted time together.
I’ve read countless blogs and articles stating that if a couple wants their marriage to thrive, then they will make weekly dates. That is quite a daunting task. From the August after we were married in 2006 Stephen was enrolled full-time in seminary and I began working full-time as well. While we didn’t go on dates, we certainly had some time for each other between our obligations. Yet as our family began to grow, those moments together without children have been harder to obtain. I admit that for a while now I have struggled with feelings of guilt thinking that we weren’t going to thrive since we couldn’t go out on a date every week.
Rubbish. We’re certainly no poster marriage, and we have had a myriad of ups and downs like every other couple on this planet, but our marriage is still thriving even without the weekly dates. In this phase of our life we just don’t have the opportunities to work something like that into our schedule, especially since my husband’s work schedule isn’t very traditional in the 9-5 sense. Instead, I think one of the main reasons that our marriage is thriving is because Stephen and I are working to be intentional about keeping Christ at the center of our marriage. He keeps us together when we feel like giving up. Notice I said we’re working, because even that is still a process and very difficult to do.
I’ll tell you what: when I was able to find a couple to come hang out with my kids on a Friday night, and mind you it’s one of the only nights they have together as a couple, I was thrilled. They watched our three boys for about five hours that night so that Stephen and I could go on a date. “Take your time,” she said. “Don’t hurry home,” she said. Haha! Seriously…how often have you been told that by your babysitter (and known that she actually meant it)? It was fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.
With some money Stephen had set aside, he chose a swanky restaurant in downtown Raleigh where we ate and drank fancy without interruptions.
It was glorious, I tell you! Absolutely glorious! I love that we didn’t have worry about kids trying to climb around or ask to go to the bathroom six times during dinner. The funniest part of dinner, and somehow the most charming, was that for a while we couldn’t think of anything to talk about. “Do you want to talk about the kids?” he asked. “No. No, I don’t,” I laughed. Then he remarked, “We talk all the time. We’ve been talking for ten years. I guess we’ve run out of things to talk about.” I love him. Haha!
After dinner we sat in the top section of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts to watch The Barber of Seville. Yes, it’s an opera. And yes, you can laugh during an opera. Stephen took me to my first opera on our first wedding anniversary, and I have enjoyed it with him since then. We haven’t been since we moved from Texas, and it was so nice to go again!
I’m so thankful that Stephen took the time to plan this evening. All I had to do was find a sitter (thanks RJ and Brittany…again!) and look pretty. This is only the first of many events this year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I’m so thankful for my hubs and for this special night with him. We had so much fun!!!