KEEPING THE SPARK ALIVE
Last week, a follower messaged me and asked if I had any good date night ideas. She asked if maybe I could do a blog post on cool spots or fun things to do with your spouse. I absolutely loved the idea - I mean, who doesn't want to be let in on a few quick and easy ideas on where to go or what to do to reignite that spark every once in awhile? - until I quickly realized, oh God... do I even have anything to say!? LOL. It feels like a good time to be talking about all of this because our fourth wedding anniversary is actually coming up on Thursday. So let me start off by saying Kev and I have a great marriage. It's far from perfect, but it's happy and healthy. But we're also in a stage of our lives where we're burning the candle from both ends. We're extremely busy business owners (plus several side projects we've taken on) and we're in the trenches of early parenthood. We do not do cool, trendy or adventurous things right now (although, as you'll see below, I'm am in fact a BIG believer in date nights. They just don't happen enough!)
We all know that keeping your marriage healthy actually requires work. Of course there's a ton of love and that obviously goes a long way. But you really have to actually work at it. It's not just about finding the time to go on date nights, or finding the energy to have sex (although, come on, that's a biggie) but it's work even just prioritizing staying connected with your spouse on any level. I imagine that even though we all have different jobs and different families, our lives look pretty similar. Pregnancies, young kids, sleepless nights, stressful work life, busy social lives - things are HECTIC! It can really start to feel like you're just going through the motions, day after day, with your spouse feeling more like a glorified roommate than anything. So here are my thoughts (and a couple of ground rules) when it comes to staying connected, and how we keep things, you know.... sparky.
1. Date nights. Like I said, they don't happen nearlyyyy as often as they should, but we definitely enjoy them when we get the chance. We love dinners out. It is literally the most standard, non-adventurous date night idea but we both love it (why fix something that isn't broken?). If you and hubby love going on hikes, or going to the movies, or whatever it may be- you can forsure choose to try and switch it up if you're feeling bored, but hey, if you're both content doing it, I say don't feel pressured to change it! If you're hellbent on trying something new, research some local events (like festivals or markets), or even try a little day date somewhere. Or, if you're feeling a little saucy, drop the kids off at Grandma & Grandpa's and spend the night in a hotel! Sometimes just switching up your surroundings is enough to get the wheels turning (especially for us because home and work are literally the same place).
2. No babies in the bed. Co-sleepers.... please don't get mad at me for this one. Remember that this is just what works for us. I fully respect parents' decisions on how their own households are going to run, and what works for us (and why) could be totally different for you. With that being said, we both decided early on that our bed and bedroom were off limits (minus some temporary cuddles during a thunderstorm, or post- scary dream, of course). But for the most part, saving that space for just us is something we both feel strongly about. If this isn't something that works for you, then at least get a lock for the door and then damn well use it!! LOL.
3. Thrive as individuals as well. Kev and I have opposite personalities (introvert vs extrovert... guess who's who??) which means that we both have different ways of rejuvenating. Kev needs alone time. I need to socialize. We prioritize each other by making sure that we're allowing the other's individual needs to be met as well. I really believe that if you're happy and healthy as individuals, you'll probably be much more likely to be happy and healthy as a couple as well. For us, some time apart (not too much!) actually helps us reconnect in the end.
4. Humour. Oh my gosh - the amount of times we've leaned on laughter to get us through some shit. It can be so hard at your weakest points to find the funny- but we're both super strong believers in trying to find the humour in all of this. I hope we always hang on to that, because I think laughing together can be such an amazing way to feel connected... and lucky for Kev, I'm hilarious (half kidding).
So there you have it. I'm not saying I have all the answers but those are a few ways we try and keep it lit (LOL plus a total let down in the date night idea department ... sorry guys, it is what it is).