I didn’t really make New Year’s resolutions this year, but I did casually set some personal and lifestyle goals for 2016…
including spending more quality one-in-one time with Drew. Last year was such a busy, roller-coaster year, with my pregnancy (and some health issues related to it), Joanie’s birth, getting Jackson adjusted to big-kid school and his new sibling, and then the sudden death of Drew’s dad. As a result, Drew and I didn’t have as many dates together as we have had in years past (and, of course, since we became parents, the number of dates we go one was already pretty limited). This year, I hoped we could carve out time to get out together every three weeks or so, with an effort to switch things up from our usual dinner-and-drinks-in-the-neighborhood routine.
So far, two months into the year, we’re doing great with this goal. February, especially, has been a record month for both quantity of dates as well as variety. We’ve had, like, five or six dates, thanks, in part to our trip to Miami a couple weeks ago where we shared a condo with my parents who were nice enough to babysit a few nights while we were there. And I really enjoyed the date we had this past Saturday night because it started so early (the sitter came at 5 so we could grab dinner in Manhattan before the 7:30 start time) — which meant that not only did we get a break from the tedious bedtime routine, but we also had no problem scoring dinner reservations, and we were home early enough (9:45) that we could enjoy a little down time before passing out in sheer exhaustion.
We’ve experimented with different start times for our night-time dates, and I think, in general, that this 5 PM start time will be the way to go from now on — hit happy hour, then an early-ish dinner, and then maybe a walk through the neighborhood, window-shopping and people-watching (Jo, from CupOfJo also discussed this week the marvel of the early date, especially for parents of young kids). But I also want to start incorporating some daytime dates into our schedule. How great would it be to have a few hours “off” from parenting on a weekend morning and go to brunch and maybe a museum or a matinee movie instead of the playground? The bonus is you still have your “date #2” at night, after the kids are in bed. Order some take-out, fire up the Netflix… and chill. And be asleep early enough that, if you do have young kids, your 6 AM wake-up call is a little more bearable.
What’s your favorite time (and activity) for a date? How does being married (or living with your partner) vs. being single affect your dates? If you have kids, how do you prioritize one-on-one time with your spouse? Do you try to treat your evenings together after the kids are in bed as special time with your partner to connect after a long day? Or do you prefer more solo activities like reading or chatting on the phone? If you’re a single parent, how does that affect your availability for dates and when you prefer to schedule them?