How to Bring Back Date Night by @LTintheCity

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We are excited to welcome new writers to the #BossBride community! L’Oreal Thompson Payton has been a supporter since we started and shares how she and her husband are keeping date night alive with busy careers.

The Boss: A media and marketing professional with a passion for people and a penchant for purple, L’Oreal is a Charm City Girl in the Windy City. When she’s not busy blogging at LTintheCity.com or freelancing for various girl-powered publications, she can be found mentoring young women, reading, dancing and eating her way through Chicago. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

The Bride: L’Oreal and Jeff said “I do” in November 2014 at the National Aquarium in Baltimore after three and a half years of dating, two which were long distance. They enjoy rooting for rival football teams, binge watching Netflix series and eating their way through Chicago.

Between demanding careers and jam-packed social calendars, my husband and I had recently found date night falling by the wayside. Interestingly enough, I felt as though we had gone on more dates when we lived in different cities before we got engaged than we do now as a married couple living together.

So what happened? Life happened. When we were dating long distance, we were essentially able to put our day-to-day lives on hold and prioritize quality time with each other. Now that we’re married and we see each other every day, we’ve grown comfortable (perhaps a little too much) and started taking each other for granted. That may be par for the course for a couple who’s been married for some time, but we’re technically still newlyweds and if we’re having trouble prioritizing #DateNight now, it’s only going to get worse, especially when you add kids to the mix.

I mean, if the leader of the free world can schedule a date night every once in a while, surely we can do the same.

In an effort to “get our groove back,” my husband and I agreed to more dating and less marriage. Of course, we’re still married. But rather than only doing the mundane things that come along with marriage (essentially binge watching Netflix and constantly meal planning), we’re proactively scheduling at least one date per week.

We started our self-imposed “52-week date night challenge” at the top of the year and so far, we’ve seen The Lion King on Broadway in Chicago, painted pottery, dined at a restaurant we’ve been meaning to try (Chicago Restaurant Week for the win!), taken a beginner’s salsa class (thank you, Groupon), watched a cabaret show and indulged in a Valentine’s Day staycation.

By making date night a priority, we’re putting each other first. Not our to-do lists or the household chores, but each other. It can be as simple as a picnic in the park or as special as a weekend getaway, as long as it’s intentional.

Earlier this year, there was a Humans of New York post featuring a high school couple who’d been together for 10 months and were trying to “keep the passion alive.” Sure, they may have been young, but they had the right idea. Love is an action, not a word. It requires work and commitment. It’s a choice. It’s waking up every day and choosing that person over everyone else. So here’s to keeping the passion alive and putting the dating back in marriage.

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