Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Time For The Two of You

The photo above was taken by my husband a week ago today. We went out for dinner in London after work (I had been at the Fortnum & Mason Preview Evening and he had been working in the London offices). As you can see from the expression on my face, we were having a lovely time. The weather was balmy - especially for September - and the lights strung along Heddon Street above all its restaurants and cafés made the whole place look like a fairyland. It was time for the two of us - sharing a light meal and a glass of wine - and it was wonderful.

Every marriage needs to be nurtured, and one of the ways of doing this is to spend time together just the two of you. It does not matter what you do or where you go, it’s just about being together. If money is tight, a date night does not have to involve leaving the house. One or both of you can cook a meal to share together over a glass of wine after the children are tucked up in bed, or you can just watch a DVD together curled up with a nice cup of tea. It’s about earmarking time for the two of you, and enjoying being together.

Life is so chaotic these days, I wouldn’t blame you for a moment if you thought I was crazy to suggest this. Date night? During the week? Seriously?? But yes, my husband and I try to have a date night once a week. This is the aim, you understand, not the reality. It’s more like once or twice a month if we are lucky. And back in the day when our son was little, it was more like once every three months! I remember the first date night my husband and I had after our son was born. He was about three months old and my sister-in-law babysat for us. My husband and I went to a concert at Chartwell, the former home of Winston Churchill, now owned by the National Trust. We had a picnic, listened to the music, danced and walked through the rose gardens. All I could talk about was our baby, but then my husband gently reminded me that the whole reason our baby was here was because of our marriage - and for the rest of the evening we concentrated on us.

No matter how busy your life is or what is happening in it at the moment, your marriage (or partnership) is something you really need to nurture. There is so much pressure on marriages these days! My husband and I have been married for over eighteen years (we lived together for two years before that) and one of the things we are keenly aware of is how important it is to spend time together. Even if it isn’t a huge quantity of time, it’s the quality of it that is important.

So if you haven’t had any time together in ages, do try to organise a date night just as soon as you can. It doesn’t require a lot of money. If you need a babysitter, see if you can get a friend or relative to help out - even if you are just having a meal together at home it can be nice to have the house to yourselves. If you are going out, choose an activity you both enjoy but whatever you do, enjoy yourselves and each other. Spending time together is one of the nicest ways to nurture your relationship that there is.