7 Reasons Why Date Nights Are Not Worth The Effort

705428_78602247WHEN you have children, regular date nights with your partner are key to maintaining a happy, healthy relationship…(according to a magazine I read in the doctor’s surgery).

Forget communication, respect and not being a dick to each other; apparently the secret to a successful relationship is to go on a date. At NIGHT.

But according to me this is rubbish. Here is why:

1. A ‘date’ suggests wearing something other than pyjamas.  ‘Night’ suggests leaving the house post 7pm. With a baby keeping me awake every night I struggle not to pass out by dinner time.  Therefore, the suggestion of a ‘date night’ fills me with dread even before I have left the house.

2. If you have children the chances are money is tight.  Many of us just haven’t the disposable income to go on regular nights out – unless your idea of a hot date is to go all freegan around the back of Sainsbury’s.

3. Can you even have a ‘date’ when you are in a long-term relationship?  Isn’t the point of dating about getting to know someone – a chance to find out that you have the same fourth favourite film or both once went to the same BP garage on the A45? Isn’t it an opportunity to say things like ‘We are like, so soul mates,’ when you notice you are both wearing shoes.  Surely, once you are married or living together, it’s not a date. It’s just eating out.

4.  You will eventually give in and go on the date and regret it.  All the parenting articles in your Facebook newsfeed finally manage to brainwash you into thinking the only way to avoid a break up is to go on a date. So you bite the bullet and book the table. You are so tired you can barely get your shoes on, but you go out anyway.  And… you are home by 8.30pm, £50 worse off and feeling more tired than ever.

5) The actual date night.  You have exactly four hours to be romantic, laugh, have fun, eat, drink some wine (but not too much as you still have to go home and tend to babies all night), have some sparkling conversation and, if you really, really care about your marriage, try to fit in a quickie on the way home. You must NOT discuss how tired you are and, under no circumstances, are you permitted to talk about the children, think about the children or look at pictures of the children on your phone. This is NOT what people on dates do.

6) The pressure is on. For some reason the pressure of knowing ‘this is our one and only chance to enjoy a romantic date and save our relationship from impending doom’ leaves you unable to think of anything interesting or funny to say.

Chances are you will end up with a conversation like this:

HER: So how was work?

HIM: Oh you know busy. That new project…bla bla spreadsheets…bla bla meeting…bla bla…network… bla bla…pricing.

HER: Oh sounds great.

HIM: How was your day?

HER:  Errrr… well, I lost my phone today. But I found it. It was actually in my pocket the whole time.

HIM: Oh no. Ha ha.  How were the kids?

HER: I thought we weren’t talking about the kids? We are on bloody date night. Tell me more about that spreadsheet thingy?

HIM: You want to talk about spreadsheets on a date?

HER: Fair point.

Silence while we both struggle to think of some date-worthy conversation

HER: Sod it…do you want to see a funny film of the toddler singing about cheese?

HIM: I thought you would never ask.

7) The date might go well. In which case, you could end up with a hangover – or,  another baby on the way.

Do you have ‘date nights’ with your partner? Or are you simply too tired? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below or on my Facebook thingy..

29 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Date Nights Are Not Worth The Effort

  1. Absolutely hilarious and so true! We have just got our nights back (scared to say it, it’s only been a week of both kids sleeping all night) after three years of sleep deprivation. Pressure from outsiders to go on “dates” but we just want to stay in and relax!! So glad I read this!

    • Ha yes at the moment an uninterrupted night on the sofa is pure bliss!! Too tired for anything else anyway.

      Only one week- oh i really hope it lasts for you!!

  2. You are the funniest journalist around! You pretty much summed up my last date night! Can’t wait to read more xx

  3. Oh if only this wasn’t all so true! Last time my hubby and I had a ‘date night’ (read: nice home cooked meal with a bottle of prosecco while the kids actually slept) we ended up with a third baby 😉 nowadays I’m lucky if I’m not asleep on the sofa by 8:30!

  4. I’ve never got used to the word “date”. I don’t think I’ve ever been on anything anybody’s called a date in my entire life. Does that answer your question?

    It is good to set aside some protected time to finish a conversation, though, and screw the consequences! Our early, uh, “protected nights to ourselves” were a glass of wine and all the electronics turned off. Then we found out we needed a conversation starter to avoid talking about cheese-singing toddlers, so it helped to come prepared with an interesting TV series on DVD or newspaper clipping or something. We now sometimes go out for coffee at the local hawker centre which means we can get out of it for under $10 with beer, or under $3 without.

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