A Letter to Long Time Married People

Dear Long Time Married People,

You are just going to have to take my word for it . . . you still need to date.  I may not have a degree in psychology, but I do have a new vantage point in the world of dating.  I know you have heard it a million times and half, but it really is true.  

When you date, get married, have kids, and then raise kids, somewhere in that process, it becomes hard to go out on a date, especially a creative one.  Money or the hassle of finding a babysitter were always the biggest road blocks to throwing on a little brighter shade of lipstick and heading out for a night on the town (or at least a movie I was going to fight hard to stay awake through the entire time).  

Sidebar -I remember one Valentine's Day, Dave and I actually got a babysitter and we went to see Avatar.  Not 30 minutes in, a wave of 3-D induced queeziness swept over me in a big way.  I jogged out of the theatre and into the parking lot to get some fresh air. To Dave's credit, he looked for me in every theatre, but in the end he never checked the parking lot and went back in to watch the rest of the three hour movie.  I ended up bouncing around to "When in Rome," "Sherlock Holmes" and one other ending of a movie.  It was a bomb of Valentine's date for sure. Our dating life was not what it should have been.  We were pretty good at getting babysitters to go to parties or events or special occasion dates, but we were not good at going out on random dates with just the two of us.  I regret that.    

Anyway, dating, with a combined total of five kids between us, has given me a huge new prespective.  When you go from a romantic date one night, to spending the next day in the presence of five children, you can really feel the difference in no uncertain terms.  We connect in such a different way when it is just the two of us.  I think when you grow into a bigger family, you gradually drift further away from dating, but when one day, you only know each other and the next day, there are a bunch of kids around, you feel the stark difference.  It's just hard to have a conversation . . . Let me rephrase that . . . .It's just hard to complete a sentence with five kids around.  Inevitably, one or more is pouting for no good reason, one or more is sick, one or more is dissatisfied with others around him or her and "teaching moments" occur about every three minutes.  That just doesn't allow much time for connecting on any sort of intimate level.  

Should I get married again, I am vowing, now, to make dating a big giant priority! I even get to practice now, as I am planning a date for Tony's birthday tomorrow.  I hope it's a fun one!!!