Last night, my boyfriend Matt and I went on a bit of a date. I call it a bit of a date, because I feel like I’ve never really been on a proper date. What I mean by a ‘proper date’, is something like a first date, going out to dinner or a movie with someone who you’re only just getting to know. The accepted protocol seems to be that people go on several dates before they become involved, and definitely before they are considered to be an official couple. This has never really happened to me, because I’ve only ever had two long-term boyfriends, and I knew them both pretty well before we decided to go out.
So back to my ‘bit of a date’, which was basically out for dinner and then sitting in a quiet bar for a couple of hours. We went to Pizza Express, which is (sadly) one of my all-time favourite restaurants, and then onto this bar which does the most amazing cocktails (yum!). I really really like doing stuff like this – like actually going out and doing something, rather than just spending time together. Me and Matt have been together for nearly 2 years, and he stays with me a lot and when he’s not here I tend to stay with him, so we might as well be living together (it’s just never in the same place, which means packing a bag every time I go anywhere – argh). This means that, although we spend an awful lot of time together (I don’t mind, and I don’t think Matt minds… 🙂 ), it’s often just hanging out, watching TV or movies, or just both of us doing our own thing. Which is absolutely fine, don’t get me wrong. I love snuggling up on the sofa and having a quiet night in. It’s just nice, every once in a while, to do something different. To get out of the routine, get dressed up, and actually go somewhere.
Which brings me back to the point of this post. I think it’s really important, whether you’ve been together for a couple of months, a few years, or even decades, to always have ‘date nights’. I know this is especially important once you have kids, but I think it’s still really important at every stage of the relationship. It’s an opportunity to really talk, to be in a total one on one situation, and it helps if you’re in a public place because then you have to talk to each other! I don’t know about you guys, but Matt and I end up talking about totally different things when we go out, as opposed to when we’re just hanging out at home. I don’t know what it is – although it could sometimes be attributed to alcohol – but it just makes for a really fun, different kind of evening.
It does cost money to go out, I know that. We’ve actually been able to do it more lately because Matt’s just started his new job, and I honestly think that going out and spending time together is a worthwhile thing to spend money on. If you don’t have the funds, allocate an official date night and just do something different! Cook something adventurous, rent a DVD, or even just switch the TV off and have a proper conversation. But always make time for each other, it’s what keeps couples together! And who doesn’t want an excuse to get dressed up, put on some make up, and get taken out to dinner?!