By Linda Cohen
As anyone who is married knows, marriage isn’t always easy. Sharing your life with someone has its ups and downs. Sometimes you are completely in sync with your partner and others times there can be terrible discord. I have been married for more than 16 years. We certainly have had our moments and, thankfully, we always take the time to work out our disagreements.
Our weekly date night is a sacred ritual. We work diligently to make sure that it doesn’t get canceled. This has been a big secret to our survival with young children. Sometimes just the knowledge that we will get time away helps us get through a rough moment. It never fails that when we pull out of the driveway we collectively sigh. It’s a pleasure to share several uninterrupted hours together. Date night is usually a movie or dinner, but sometimes it’s just a trip to the bookstore, a walk on the Willamette River or playing a game at the local coffee shop. Our kids have grown to expect date night which means a babysitter for them. It’s part of their weekly ritual too. They are very disappointed when we don’t have our date.
It doesn’t hurt that a date night usually has a romantic element as well. How many couples have just tossed the romance out the window and never make time for it? I know in our marriage that wouldn’t fly. I am sure with many other marriages it doesn’t work either, but sometimes the result may come too late with partners either finding someone else to be intimate with or feeling disenchanted with their partner.
It astounds me that my daughter is almost at the age where she could be the babysitter. When I dropped our babysitter off this weekend, I pondered how our date night might change when my daughter begins this new stage herself. Will we want to stay home and have quiet dinners together while the kids are out at sleepovers and babysitting jobs? Will we just enjoy the fact that we can have a date night and not have to pay for a babysitter? No matter what the new ritual, one thing is certain: our date night will continue to be held sacred in whatever new fashion it manifests.