If you've read my "Meet my Fam" post from July 2017, you'll have read a brief rundown of how my husband and I met. If not, find it here meet-my-fam.html
We recently just celebrated our 16-year wedding anniversary (however, we've been together almost 22 years) and just flew back from our anniversary weekend celebration in none other than Vegas!
BTW, I will be writing an entry on our trip in the travel section of this blog...be on the lookout! :-)
Every year, we try and do something new to keep things fresh between us (because, let's face it, PARENTING IS A FULL TIME JOB). Now there's plenty of advice to keep a union fresh and a whole book could be written about it but this is what we do...
Usually, we'd travel to places we've never been or revisit a place that we hold dear to our hearts. Last year, we took a very scenic road trip to Vancouver Island, staying the weekend at a remote villa; the year before, we stayed at a lodge east of Seattle, by the wineries; and so on. This is a tradition we started when we exchanged vows back in 2002.
There have been moments we weren't able to travel because of obligations, so we'd try and make it a point to carve out some time to go and have an intimate dinner at some fancy restaurant.
NOTE: Some of the photos below contain links so you're able to get redirected to the places we visited.
Whatever significant occasion you're both celebrating, we recommend NOT bringing your children (especially if they're too young to know better) to your romantic evening...
Our 1st year of marriage, my husband cooked us a steak and lobster dinner and set it up picnic-style in our apartment dining room (we didn't have a dining set yet) and our (then) baby son was crawling over everything! He was supposed to be napping but didn't because of all the commotion going on in the kitchen. It's funny thinking about it now but I could see back then that hubs was bummed because he put all this thought into it. So, yeah, definitely NOT what he envisioned the night to be. LOL!
There was even one year we had all our kids join us for a dinner out and, although we don't mind having them around, we wouldn't do it again (nor would we recommend it to anyone) especially on our date nights! All evening there was bickering and attitudes firing off from one kid to another. Not exactly how we wanted to spend our time.
Keeping things new and exciting for us by having that time alone has helped us to grow together as a couple and has allowed us to communicate better - we'd discuss our lives or what new things we'd like to experience....but, for some reason, a major part of our talks are centered around the kids! Being "on the go" often times than not, it was sometimes difficult to just talk to one another. Dinnertime was mostly centered on our kids' day at school.
Now when I say "time alone" I mean TIME ALONE. Refrain from inviting other couples to join in on your rendezvous and don't even consider staying at a family member/friend's place wherever you're visiting! You want to be alone together to truly connect. I've known other couples who've said that it's exciting when other people are around. I'm curious to know, what is so bad about spending quality time with the person you agreed to share your life with that you rely on the company of others to make your togetherness more interesting?
Don't get me wrong, group dates are fun but should be done on occasion. If done often, there is sometimes the need to put up a facade when you're around others. It's important to my husband and I that we especially set aside special life events for us alone as a couple.
I’ve run into those who have been married to someone 10+ years and say they're too old and going on dates no longer matters because it's frivolous or a waste of money. One person seriously told me "well, she married me so I must still be doing something right." Now they're divorced. Uh huh.
Or, even "what will people think?!" So? What is there to be afraid of? Because, really, there'll always be haters out there. These are the people who aren't happy with themselves that they feel the need to criticize others. So do YOU, boo.
If you have the means to do so...take a trip, eat a fancy dinner, go to a movie a couple times a month!
Of course there are plenty of other things that don't require much money or NO MONEY AT ALL. Eat in while the kids are at a sleepover, take a walk at a park (holding hands, of course), do something active like bicycling or hiking, etc.
The point is you NEVER STOP COURTING ONE ANOTHER. Do something special for your love, just because. Help your partner out when they need it. Be each others "plus one" at functions. Support one another's passions.
Aside from the cliche "don't go to bed mad at one another," which, rings especially true - it is imperative you don't stop dating your special person. Life is hard and it's harder when other factors are introduced into the mix i.e. a stressful job, a demanding career, raising kids, maintaining a home, bill payments etc. The list goes on!
Just remember to reserve the time occasionally for only the two of you. Not only will you rekindle that spark that initially brought you two together but you may get to find out something new about one another as well!