6 years ago, Hubby and I first started dating. We had met on April Fool’s Day earlier in the year but hadn’t spoken again until his birthday. We had met at a University party and a mutual friend had introduced us. Now not to sound cliché and cheesy, but when I saw him, my heart literally did race like it had never raced before. I knew that he was going to be mine. Hubby isn’t much of a talker, like at all, but over the course of the night, he went from sitting on the other side of the room and slowly made his way to me over the span of a couple of hours. We hung out the remainder of the weekend and then it was time for him to go back home. We never did exchange numbers and I ended up spending the rest of the summer thinking I had blown it.
Come October, that mutual friend and I were living in a town house going to school and it was Hubby’s birthday. She had woken up early and came to my room and woke me up.
“It’s his birthday, wish him a happy birthday,” she said as she handed me the phone. I took it and left my birthday message.
Within three days I had received a text thanking me for my message and that he thought about me all summer too. We spoke everyday all day and he came up a month later. We had gone out and then came back to my place. Everyone else had gone to bed and we sat there talking. I decided that it was time to ask. Now I’ve never been one to beat around the bushes and this wasn’t about to be another one of those times.
“So what are we?” I asked bluntly.
“You’re my girlfriend and I’m your boyfriend,” he said matter-of-factly. Thank goodness he is as blunt as I am. The rest is history.
So it has been 6 years from that short but to the point conversation and I’ve never been happier. People always say that there is someone for everyone and thankfully I found mine. While we have a lot of differences, we also have a lot in common and both have a determination to stick it out, thick or thin. We’ve had some happy times, some sad times, bad times and good, but no matter what, we always come out on the other side together. I couldn’t have asked for a better man!
We always hear how couples divorce or split up after their children have left the proverbial nest and everyone is left wondering what happened. How after 25 years could they not make it work? Why did they wait until the kids left home? Many of these divorced couples will say that after the kids are gone, they felt like they were living with strangers.
When I was about 6 months pregnant, I have to say I wondered how we would adjust to being parents after having a wonderful dating life. We dated long distance for 2 years before we moved in together and our daughter was born 2 months after that. We had 60 days to adjust to being a live-in couple. I thought for sure that we would struggle to give up all that we had to be parents. After all, we led rather carefree lives. We did what we wanted, when we wanted, how we wanted and with whom. How would a baby fit into the mix. Clearly these thoughts at 6 months came a little late as there was no way of turning back but the anxiety was mounting. Call it pre-baby jitters. I told Hubby that I thought that we would struggle with being a couple with a child. However, when the Princess arrived, the complete opposite happened. We adjusted fantastically to being parents, but we also began to disconnect as a couple. He worked full-time bringing home the bacon and I was up all day and night with a newborn. Neither of us had the energy for each other. We spent whatever free time, money and energy on Princess and doing “family” things, but never “couple” things. There were the typical arguments “Do you know what happened in this house today?!?” and “I have been working for the last 5 days, I’m too tired for this.” Hey, arguments happen, we’ve all been frustrated, tired and at our very wits end, but we didn’t like what was happening between us.
We came up with a weekly “date night.” We arranged that every Thursday, after Princess was snuggled into bed, we would do something nice for each other and alternate each we. So one week I would do something nice for him and the next week, he’d do something for me. It didn’t have to involve money. We didn’t even have to go out. But to take the time, to show some appreciation, care, and intimacy to one another helped lessen the tensions. For example, he would run me a bubble bath and light a million candles. The next week, if there was a hockey game on, I would make munchie foods like bruschetta, nachos and buy some beer and we would watch the game together and I even wore his favourite team’s hockey jersey. He knows I love romance and I know he loves hockey. We took what we knew of each other and used that to make each other feel special. Eventually, these once a week date nights turned into more than once a week. We both love to cook, so we would find recipes we liked and made them. We still found time to be a family and a couple and it has spared the tension.
Now that our daughter is older and we feel more comfortable leaving her with friends a family, we have decided to go out once a month, alternating each month like each week to get more out of date night. Last Saturday it was my turn to do something nice, so I took Hubby for an authentic seafood dinner. I’m not partial to it myself, but he loves it. I took him to Diana’s Oyster Bar & Grill. I was even blown away by the freshness and deliciousness of the food. It was so good that Hubby wants to go back. I know that I am young and have only been in a relationship for 6 years, but I take it very seriously. I truly want to us to grow old together and that requires work everyday. While there is a lot more to being in a relationship than dates, but I think setting time for one another and keeping that connection will help more than hinder.