How Labeling Date Night Makes it More Special | Enduring All Things

Friday, May 25, 2018

How Labeling Date Night Makes it More Special

I have spent this week working on one blog post and through procrastination, distraction, and some things out of my control, it didn't get done. And honesty, I'm not sure I love the idea anyway.

Does that ever happen to you? You're planning something and you're excited about it, but then as it comes closer and closer you're not too crazy about it and you fail to prepare and you're just not so sure anymore.

So here it is, Friday, and I haven't published a blog post all week. So I decided I'm just going to talk.
May is Date Your Mate month and I've let almost the whole month go by with only one blog post and two Instagram posts (here and here) about the subject. I've been sharing other people's content about dating your mate, and I've given some tips on IG stories about it, but that's it. I've not been motivated to blog much at all, let alone come up with multiple good quality posts about a similar topic.

And while I've been feeling pretty down on myself about this, I realized that I've been neglecting something more important. I haven't actually been dating my mate.

Oh sure, to some standards, Pearson and I go on plenty of "dates." Especially now. For the last two years he was working upwards of 80 hours per week and we never saw each other. But he graduated with his PhD in December, then we celebrated Christmas and got ready for our move. Then in January, we went to Orlando for #MaugerisMagicalAdventure after which we drove across the country for #MaugerisDoTheOregonTrail. So we spent most of December and all of January together. Like, 24/7. Plus, Pearson has been training every since we got here so he hasn't been working very many hours yet. And we have had a bunch of #MaugerisPNWAdventures.

And yet, in a way, I feel like we actually dated each other better when he was working a ton in grad school and we saw each other a lot less!

There are several reasons why this is the case and one of them is that the time we spend together isn't always quality time. I mean on our trips in January it sure was. Spending lots of time in the car together and working out logistics of moving and traveling together will do that. But most of the time we've spend together here, at least lately, has been spent on the couch in front of our latest Netflix binge. At lest when we're not exploring the PNW. And don't get me wrong, having time to veg together is not a bad thing!

But in my opinion, a "date" has to be planned ahead. It has to be intentional. And it has to be different from the norm. And yes our PNW adventures are technically all of those things, but for some reason they still don't always feel like "dates" to me. Maybe that's just because they don't look like what you typically think of when you think of a date. Or maybe it's because we just sort of nonchalantly say "Let's go hiking this weekend" and find a place without much planning or thought.

And there have also been times when we'll go out to dinner or see a movie or do something else out of the ordinary, but they still don't really feel that special.

What I have found is that a date doesn't feel like a date to me unless I actually call it that. I have to mentally label it as "Date Night" and think of it as such ahead of time for it to feel special. As I've already said, plenty of the things we've been doing here in Oregon could be considered "dates." Even by my definition above. But I didn't really consider that until after the fact.

So a date feels special when we call it a date. It's different from our typical evening of binging TV on the couch and it's different from the times when we're just hanging out as best friends and exploring together. A date has an added purpose of strengthening our marriage as we enjoy an activity together. Again, not that all activities we do together can't strengthen our marriage, it's just when I label something a date, I go into it with that intention at the front of my mind. Does that make sense? And it absolutely makes me melt when Pearson says "Lets go on a date tonight" more so than when he says "Let's go to such and such place tonight."

So here's to labeling dates. Here's to strengthening marriages through date night. Here's to making that quality time special and different.

I don't know, maybe I'm weird in this.

What do you think? Do you have to give date nights a label to make them feel special?

Thanks for reading my random Friday thoughts! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and find some time to go on a date together!

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