I’ve had some great date nights with Debra. Fun nights. Romantic nights. Humorous nights. But one of my favorite date nights probably doesn’t meet the criteria to even be a date night.
I had been working non-stop for nearly a month and a half—quite literally without a single day’s break in that time—and was getting a bit worn down. As my long-anticipated free Friday night loomed, I began to think…Deb and I haven’t gone out in a while, so I should plan something. But honestly, I was just so worn down that the romance wasn’t flowing. So I didn’t do anything.
When Friday afternoon came around, I walked in the front door of my house to find my favorite movie ready on the TV—Mad Max—and a delicious homemade meal waiting for me on the coffee table, just begging me to kick up my feet and chill.
As I took off my shoes and shuffled tiredly to the couch, Deb and our son put on their shoes.
“You need some down time,” Deb said to me. “Watch your show. Eat a hot meal. Have the house to yourself for a while. Happy date night.” And then she and our son left to go see a movie and crash at her mom’s for the night.
Honestly, it was exactly what I needed to decompress. Just some time to myself in the house alone, something I rarely get. I watched the show and ate, fell asleep on the couch for a couple hours, then got up and wandered around the house. I found she’d bought a case of my favorite beer and some snacks, so I planted myself in front of the TV again and watched Road Warrior. Then I fell asleep again, woke up at 1 am, and watched Beyond Thunderdome.
What a great time I had.
By the time Deb and our son returned sometime the next day, I was so full of love and appreciation that I almost couldn’t stand it.
So take my word for it. If your spouse doesn’t get a lot of time to himself or herself in the house alone, and especially if they need to decompress, try to make that happen for them. You can stock the house with a few of their favorite treats to eat and drink, or just clear out and leave them to their own devices. Trust me, this is definitely a case where a little absence makes the heart grow a lot fonder.
• Written by special contributor and relationship author Don Macleod