Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 14: One More Thing about Dating

Happy Valentines Day!
Yesterday I got so excited about my government coming through I didn't even put totals for the here they are:

Total spent: 0.00
Fun money: 1.03

In honor of the day most couples shoot to have a date, I have one more thing I've been itchin' to say on the topic. After I gave you my ideas, I realized several of us ladies rate our date, less on it's peripherals and more by the emotional connection we felt. And we think talking is the key. I've got a bad case of this since my favorite love language is "words of affirmation." As a newlywed, I felt we failed if date night wasn't a conversation-dominated love-fest. That was my "all or nothing" perfectionism tripping me up...which, you'll be glad to know, NEVER happens now. 

Most women can blame their spouses because they're out of words when they get home, but get this. I'm the problem! While I crave genuine sharing, I occasionally come to date night exhausted and grumpy. With two kids to keep me company, my word bank can be in the red before Brian walks through the door. I find myself thinking, "No, no-he just asked me a question, which means I have to respond. How few words can I use, or can I just grunt?" Dates got easier when I accepted this about myself (and Brian understood it meant I was tired and nothing more.) I encounter a similar catch-twenty-two when Brian comes back from trips. I miss him and dream of his return, only to eye him skeptically when he actually arrives. He feels a little like a stranger to me and while I want so much to pick up where we left off, I can't. 

You know what saves the day? Plan B. For us, that's watching TV or a movie or surfing the web side-by-side. The point is to be near each other, even if you're not at your best. When you find a plan B, you can stop scrapping date night because you aren't in the mood. After all, you still need time together - maybe even more than when you're in sync. It tells our person we'll stay when it's hard and when they return the favor, it's comforting. These days, I let myself warm up to Brian slowly after trips. And when you're all out of words, holding each other in the quiet communicates volumes. We call it "skin time," since our little nephew was born early and we learned how healing touch can be. 

But back to plan A, since we do want to connect more deeply on date nights whenever possible. It's hard to switch out of "Did you get the eggs?" and "How's sissy feeling?" Sometimes we're so bad at this, we have to mandate that work and kid topics are off the table. Then we stall out, racking our brains for something - anything elseI'd suggest using these not-lame conversation starters. Add to that our all-time favorite, "If you were a musician, who would you be?" While they're thinking, you're guessing or imagining who you think they'd be. Then you both share. If you're wondering what the point is, remember fun goes a long way. When you first dated, the long conversations where amazing because there was no bullet lists of necessary info. If you can turn your conversation from functional to recreational, you'll feel closer. Even challenges you need to discuss, look more manageable when you're laughing together about your closet-rock star. 

Total spent: 0.00
Fun money: 6.03

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