The first time my husband and I went on a date, it was to the local coffee shop. He was playing it safe. If the date was a flop, at least it wouldn’t cost him a fortune and the night didn’t have to run long. I was having a problem with my hearing. I could barely hear a word he said over the background hum of the shop. So, I smiled and nodded. Apparently, it worked because he asked me out the following week for dinner.
Eventually, we got engaged.
One night as we were on our weekly date, we were talking about our upcoming wedding. Dan told me that he intended to keep dating me. “Every week from now on, we are going to have a date night,” he said with a grin. That sounded good to me.
There was a practical side of me that hesitated, though. I thought about the expense of a weekly date night. “We wouldn’t have to go out every week,” I said. “That can get expensive.”
“Oh yes, we do. A divorce is more expensive than a weekly date night.” He made a good point. “Besides, you should have at least one night a week that you don’t need to cook.” That was an equally good point!
Since then, we have had a date at least once a week, often more. We’ve found plenty of ways to preserve our pocketbook, as well.
Some of the ways we’ve saved money on our weekly date night:
- The Entertainment Book Coupons or Groupon
- Free museum passes from the library
- Sharing a meal
- Going to a local park and grabbing ice cream after
- An in-home game night with steaks on the grill
- Romantic evening walks
- Reading a book together
- Watching a movie on Netflix with some popcorn
How does a weekly date night help you avoid burnout?
A weekly date night is a time for you and your spouse to connect in a relaxed environment outside of the stressful situation you’re in. When Dan was diagnosed the first thing we did was to go to the same coffee shop where we had our first date and talk about what this would mean for us. How would we tell our children, what was our plan? For a month, our weekly date night involved talking about the immediate situation. It gave us a chance to speak openly, away from our children. It also allowed us to go somewhere other than the clinic when we left the house.
A weekly date night helps rekindle the romance
When young couples ask our marriage advice, having a weekly date night is the one thing we offer. It allows you to see your mate in a romantic way. You’re reminded that marriage involves passion as well as work. This is just as important (if not more) when your life is flipped upside down by cancer.
I remember the first time after the diagnosis that we went on a date without talking only about cancer. We were exhausted from yet another long day of cancer-related appointments and plans. We were both craving a steak salad and knew just where to get the best steak salad.
It was at a restaurant called Girvan Grill, one of those places that overlook a golf course. The setting was lovely and the waiter attentive, but not overbearing. I don’t know if it was the candlelight or the quiet setting, but I looked across the table and saw only Dan, not cancer, or an uncertain future. I saw the man I loved, the man I married, and it was wonderful.
A Solo Date
What if you don’t have a “significant other?” You still need to get away from it all and take an hour or two for yourself. Take in a film, Walk through a nature center. Nurture yourself. Often these breaks from the stress allow you to process what’s happening and gain a new perspective on the situation. Many times I have formulated a new plan during time spent processing this way.
Date Night doesn’t have to be weekly
For some people, the thought of going out once a week seems overwhelming. That’s understandable. You could begin by going on a monthly date night. That’s a good start. I believe you will enjoy it enough to make it a regular part of your life. What you choose to do on your date is up to you. You might be adventurous and prefer active dates, or you might like the arts and take in a play or a concert. It’s up to you!
Once again I will be doing double duty in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I will be sharing ways to avoid burnout, here at Facing Cancer with Grace. At Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways of thinking creatively, using Brainsparker’s Kickstart Course of A to Z prompts. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites.
How often do you have a date night?
What Are Your Thoughts?
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In 2012 doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer. Since then, our family has been learning what it means to face cancer. I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.
My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, is available on Amazon.com
Also, put your memories into words with The Memory Maker’s Journal.
I also blog at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker