BRINGING YOU THE BEST IN ROMANCE FICTION
I read articles that insist women should keep the love alive with regular, special nights out. Talk shows and magazine covers blare: Don’t lose date night, insist on it every month! Schedule a babysitter so you get that Girl’s Night Out! Don’t forget to pamper yourself with a spa day!!
Okay, I get it. We need to love our romantic partners, friends, and ourselves, but adding more repeating appointments and mechanical obligations isn’t the answer. I try to do these things, but when they make sense. It isn’t difficult to remember I need a night out when I tie it to my interests. Garden shows, tea shops, and movie trailers all remind me to get out there with the people I enjoy.
For example, the recently released Game Night, with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams had great reviews. I grabbed my husband, who knew nothing about the movie–and that makes it all the better–and we ran out of the house for a nearby theater that brings drinks to your seat during the movie.
We started going to theaters where we could dine or drink while we watched movies because it meant less time away from the kids and babysitter. Now, I simply enjoy feeling a little pampered. Our kids are old enough that we don’t need to make a big production out of leaving for a few hours–seriously, it’s life changing to have freedom again. For me, romance is also partly about spontaneity and I’m happy to have it back in my life.
The movie Game Night was humorous, had nice twists to it, and showed being a married couple as fun. We need more of that. In tone, it sometimes reminded me of the Tina Fey, Steve Carell movie Date Night. We left the film holding hands.
The movies I see with my husband for a romantic night are actually rarer than the ones I go to with my girlfriends. We regularly leave house, husband, and kids for a happy hour and movie. Sometimes it’s for The Big Sick (love that movie!), something targeted at the woman demographic, or perhaps a big Marvel production. Occasionally the kids and/or husbands come along. We try for variety.
Rather than listen to the voices screaming at us to take more on, I suggest we take a deep breath and simply watch for opportunities. Look for them. If you’re planning to take a yoga class, consider inviting a girlfriend along. Signed up for a Japanese cooking class with your child? Thing about other kids and parents who might like the same opportunity (I’m signed up for one next month. Fun!).
Game Night, and Date Night and every chick flick or rom-com out there can try to tell you what having fun looks like, but just like Marvel movies and summer tent-pole films, they’re the Hollywood versions, amped up and over-hyped.
And if you don’t have the energy, especially if you have little ones, and scheduling works for you–then do that. Just don’t be afraid to look your husband in the eye on date night and explain that you’d rather it were nap night. Or clean the house in peace night. Or sit by the fire and not go out night. Because our special nights can be anything we want them to be, and not what we’ve been told they should be.