Is there anything more wonderful than date-night with the one you love? Jan and I went out last night. It was a cold, rainy May evening, and we drove down the dark highway in my truck. The bench seat is wonderful, because she can sit right next to me, where she has been for nearly 26 years now.
We were in jackets, and asked to sit next to the fire at the Copper River Restaurant. Exhausted from a crazy weekend, we exhaled and ordered chips and cheese-dip, then dined on soup. When we finished, we sat a while longer, our drinks refilled by our attentive waiter. And we reflected, planned, laughed and told stories. We discussed the year past and the year to come. We basked in one another as we basked in the warmth.
If you do not take date-nights, you are making a mistake. Marriage is a thing that must be nourished. Just as we cannot say to our children, ‘I told you I loved you a few years ago, it hasn’t changed,’ we cannot say to our wives or husbands, ‘we used to go out, what do you want?’
Our lives are so busy, so unnecessarily hectic, it’s easy to put partners at the end of the list. ‘They’ll understand!’ But even if they do, we stop understanding. When we don’t take the time to look in their eyes, to listen to their fatigue, to encourage their dreams and comfort their fears, and to do it without the distractions of children (or text messages, phone-calls, e-mails or Facebook), then we cease to comprehend them fully. And in increments, like a slow-growing disease, marriages can become infected with disinterest and ignorance, then finally die.
Take a date-night! Doctor, lawyer, teacher, construction-worker, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. Take the one you love away for a few hours and listen.
It’s a prescription that is highly effective and which, taken liberally, will save you from the terrible side-effects of neglect.