Confessions: I Killed The Date Night

I stand before you a humble, convicted date night killer. Nine times out of ten, if the date goes into sudden death, it was my fault.

I have no excuse. It is a simple two-count misdemeanor so deceptively innocent that it can snuff out a date faster than a baby can spit up on a silk blouse.

Misdemeanor #1 – a wrong attitude

I am on the date with my husband who, by the way, is totally focused on me, desiring only to wine, dine and romance his wife into his arms and, later, into the bedroom. Did I mention that he is totally focused on me? I emphasize because my misdemeanor is the antithesis – I am not focused on him. In fact, my attitude is one of duty, only. I am thinking of the homework that most likely is not getting done by one child, the medical condition of another child, and the bill I failed to pay that resulted in a finance charge.

The killing usually begins in the pause between ordering dinner and the serving of dinner. Once I have taken care of the business of food and handed over the menu, my never vacant (possibly ADD) mind fills with the business of children and without hesitation I launch into…

Misdemeanor #2 – a lack of verbal self-control

I intuitively (and cunningly) open with the item most near and dear to my husband’s heart – the ongoing medical progress and resulting decisions to be made about one child. He tenses as he listens. I, then, launch into the other child’s grades. He frowns as he listens. I finish with the business of bills and one regrettable finance charge.

“Dessert, anyone?” asks the waiter.

My poor, distracted husband looks up with a frown and says, “No, we better get home.”

Game over. It’s dead. I killed the date.

So, I am confessing and resolving, in the hopes that I might change my wicked ways with…

3 Rules To Save The Date: 

  1. Anticipate – I will look forward to being with my husband. I will instead rearrange my day so I have time to feel good about going.
  2. Attitude – I will be positive. I will thankfully dump every thought unrelated to my devoted man at the door and leave it there until tomorrow.
  3. Adore – I will hold captive all other thoughts during the date and fixate them with adoration on my loving, life-long boyfriend.

And then, maybe, just maybe, I will become the one in our marriage with only one thing in mind…

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  • Vicki

    Susan you described me to a T! What awesome advice you give. I too will try to follow the “rules” that will possibly save my datenight! I (and my husband) , thank you for your wonderful insight and honesty!

  • Jen

    Ouch! I just had to text an apology for a similar faux pas last night. I need to be prepared “to enjoy” time with my husband. He’s a sweetie and often gets what is leftover of me at the end of the day. (Usually my frustrations of what didn’t get done and the lack of time to finish up) Thanks, I need to post your rules in my office

  • Both my husband and I have been guilty of killing date night with mention of child issues and not by focusing on us. I wish I understood why those thoughts come only when it’s the 2 of us and not when we’re just sitting around the house. Perhaps it’s just satan trying to horn in on the date. Marriage is a day-by-day process and I’m getting better and better every day. Great article, Susan!

    • It’s just so easy to talk about when you are alone and of course, we all want to be efficient and take care of business AKA the children.

  • Melissaeloe

    Wow! And I thought I was the only one who couldn’t concentrate! We have been married for 24 years and try to go on a date 1 to 2 times a week. (even if it is lock the children out of the rec room to enjoy a movie together) However, after many times killing the date night, I have come to the point where I am able to try hard to be unselfish and let all of my concerns go until we have time to discuss them another time. Believe me, it has been hard. We get up early each morning before the children to have coffee and time together. After a good night’s rest,and love, things seem a little brighter to have that discussion. Your 3 rules will make this that much easier. Thank you, Melissa

    • That is a great idea to have morning time together – I am always in a better mood!

  • lsnw

    Guilty!! Married 24 years with a 22yo/boy and 16yodaughter. He’s a CPA and works at the office all day AND then brings it home. I get to listen about his staff’s personal life. Not sure how much he’s really interested in at home. Being a h/w, I have become a prisoner in my own home. I ask if I can get a ‘change of scenary’ at times instead of grilling every w/e. What else is there to talk about?? (oldest moved back home, ugh) I am guilty of AOTA. I hold onto my resentment to being the dominant parent and at times throw my hands up and say ‘I give up’. We used to consider ourselves the ultimate couple and communication was our strength. Now, we’re lucky to get 20 minutes with him for dinner. I really enjoy reading emails from you. Thank you..

    • Don’t give up! Except for the resentment that would probably be good to give up 🙂

  • Jessie

    I never really thought about that, but SO true! I’ll definitely make an effort not to “kill” our date nights from now on. My problem is actually GETTING that date night lol No babysitter and no family close by means date nights are very rare 🙁

    • That is so hard! Try swapping with a friend. Or somebody wrote about putting kids in wreck room for a movie or having a date in and a movie after the kids go to bed.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for this. My husband and I are having our ‘first date’ this weekend after his return from a military deployment. There is a lot to remember about this thing called dating! Thankfully, my friend pre-arranged to welcome our children into her home for a sleepover and I got the tickets well before his return to make sure that we would actually go.

  • Heidi

    Have a consistent date night once a month the past 2 years has been a blessing for us. Since we’re a one-income home, we found that it was fairly expensive to pay for a sitter & dinner (ie – so we weren’t having any dates). So, we created a childcare coop with 3 other couples in our small group from church. Thus, none of us 4 couples ever have to pay for a sitter. The kids have a ball playing together each month & look forward to it as much as the 3 other couples do (one couple obviously is responsible to feed & watch the kiddos). Only 1 couple has any family living locally, so the coop idea was a need for all of us. (: Needless to say, we look forward to the 3rd Saturday night of each month – yay, date night! And…our daughter calls it ‘party night’ because in her mind the eve is a ‘party’ with her friends. (:

  • Rebecca

    Love it! We will be splurging on a babysitter for date night here real soon. My super-human husband agrees & I’m excited. Hopefully we will stay focused on each other for the whole night. Thanks a bunch!

    • I hope you and super-man have a night to remember!

  • Lisa

    We learned that the evening goes better (if your situation allows) if you have sex first, then go out to eat. Not only are you not trying to be romantic on a full stomach, but you’ve worked up an appetite, and dinner is even more enjoyable!