The Importance Of Date Night: Expectations vs. Reality During COVID-19 Pandemic
As if ‘date night’ isn’t difficult enough when you have no restrictions on where you can go, right? Men, we are creative. We’ve got this. Well, some of us do; some of us may not.
Date nights are important for all relationships. If you are in a new relationship, this seems more obvious. If you’re a newlywed, date nights tend to be a way to keep the flame ablaze. If you’ve been married a little while, maybe you’ve started a family together even, it can often become more difficult. If you’re a couple that has teenager’s, you may no longer need a sitter for them so that you can have a great date night out on the town--well, then again, maybe you need someone watching those teens more than you know! Often, when a couple experiences an empty nest, it seems much easier to find time to set aside for frequent date nights. Regardless of what stage your relationship is in, one thing is equally important: having frequent date nights. Seriously, it is critical.
As I write this article, we are in a global pandemic, COVID-19. There are many areas in the United States and around the world that have many restrictions surrounding dining, movie theaters, plays, bars, and much more. In some areas, indoor dining is completely off-limits. If you have children, it’s a tad unsettling to even consider hiring a sitter. During these times, it has become even more difficult to have a date night for some couples, regardless of the current stage of their relationship.
Often couples in a new relationship as well as those in a longstanding relationship, may not always have the money to go on an elaborate date night. That’s been a challenge for many couples forever and ever, and now during the current pandemic it’s become difficult for couples that have experienced job losses or other financial constraints. Finances, or lack thereof, can be a huge deterrent to date nights for many couples. Many couples find it impossible when finances are on the slim side.
So, should finances, restrictions on dining, theater closures, social distancing hindering your ability to have a sitter for children, etc. negatively impact your date nights? The answer is clear. No. These things should not stop you from having date night. Never.
How then do you do this? How do you have a ‘date night’ restricted finances, or simply the inability to go to your favorite restaurant for a romantic dinner, see the movie that you have been waiting to see with your significant other at the theater, etc.?
Date night does not have to be what we typically think of. It may require some out-of-the-box thinking when obstacles arise. Something simple can suffice. A nice walk in the park, candlelit wine and cheese, champagne and chocolate, maybe just some cheap chocolate chip cookies and cup of coffee, a walk around the lake one early morning as the sun rises, an evening drive though the quiet mountains or along a beach or even a creekbed, a walk around the block can even suffice. My point is often we overthink it, overdo it and forget the purpose. The purpose is to spend time together talking and enjoying each other's company. That can be done for free. That can be done before the kids get out of bed or after they go to bed one evening. It can be done with a little bit of money or no money at all. Now, of course, it is more intense and often more romantic if you have a few hours out on the town. I get it.
Our expectations of what ‘date night’ should be might be very different than what reality might allow. I could talk about this for hours, writing pages upon pages; however, this is a ‘mini-blog’ not a book. I think you get the point. If you missed it somehow, let me paraphrase: Don’t let some minor inconveniences be them long or short-term get in the way of having a regularly scheduled date night, or date morning, lunch, or whatever works for you and your significant other.
Men, we’ve got this, right?!? Yes, you do. I’m confident. Go for it. You can do this. I encourage you to make it a priority. Take the lead. Find a way, regardless of what obstacles or other challenges you may be faced. It can make or break the future of your relationship. It's ok to keep it super simple.