What makes a date a date anyway?
Had a couple of pieces of feedback on my post last week where I stated that it’s not dates that make a marriage great. Mostly along the lines that it is important to focus on each other and your relationship. Totally agree!
So, it got me thinking on what makes a date, a date? The closest definition on dictionary.com defines it as “a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged beforehand with another person”.
Are these dates?
- Jeff and I go to a wedding.
- Jeff and I go to a movie on a Friday night.
- Jeff and I watch a movie at home on a Friday night.
- Jeff and I play a board game together on a Friday night.
- Jeff and I watch a TV show together on a Tuesday night.
Back before we were married, I considered all of these dates. We were intentionally spending time together. I had to physically leave my house to spend time with him.
In the very early days of our relationship, I kind of made Jeff define events as dates. When he asked me out for the first time, he asked “will you go on a date with me?” Crystal clear that it was a date. But a few days after that, he asked “Wanna get lunch together on Monday?” Because he didn’t call it a date, I wouldn’t let him pay. It wasn’t a date. Jeff, being the gentleman that he is, didn’t fight me on it. (I was quite insistent.) BUT…from then on, he also was very clear that we were on a date. So I don’t think I ever heard “Wanna get lunch together?” again. I always heard “Wanna go on a date with me for lunch?”. Major kudos to him for 1) being clear and 2) not rejoicing in the fact that he got to spend time with me without having to pay. As time went on, it wasn’t so fuzzy – we established who “we” were.
Anyway…now that we’re married, does the definition of date change? We tend to only call things dates that we plan way ahead of time.
I think time together as a couple is HUGE. Uber important. But I don’t think you must have a “date” to do that. We intentionally have lots of time together as a couple, without the “demands of daily life” because we’ve been blessed to have the ability to have simple lives. Our jobs don’t require more than 40 hours/week. Our social schedules intersect and when they don’t, we plan our individual activities for the same time (ie: I hang out with the girls on the same night he hang out with the guys).
I’ll freely admit that kids would definitely take away from simple lives. But I don’t know that they have to. A friend of mine puts her kids to bed by 7:30 p.m. – leaving her and her husband ample time together. At that point, they have a choice to drift apart or drift towards each other. I read in a marriage book that just about everything in your lives will be taking you away from each other and that you have to intentionally fight to keep on the same page. Dates can maybe help with that. But really, it’s time together that helps keep you together — whether that’s a date or not.