If you had cornered me a couple of years ago and interrogated me about my favourite types of movies, I would have wondered who the hell you were and tried to run away.
No, just jokes, I’d have answered you because I’m not a chop. The answer would have been that it was definitely, with out a doubt, action movies. The superhero kind or even the ones with lots of blood and guts. Maybe even comedy. But you would NEVER have gotten me to say that I enjoyed romance movies.
All those average girls who find some kind of prince charming to sweep them off their feet. Which he obviously proceeds to do (without any real effort except being really ridiculously good looking), until some terrible thing happens and they break up. Then they run after each other at an airport or some such thing and are reunited for all eternity.
Excuse me while I vom in my mouth.
That was until, uh, about a year ago. Now, while I may still choose to go to an action movie over anything else, I am sucked into love stories in TV series like the hopeless romantic I never thought I’d be. Case in point? Nick and Jess in New Girl. Guys. I’m hooked. It’s easily the best TV romance of them all. I am not joking when I tell you that I have watched the episodes of their first kiss and the few after that at least 5 times. (In the last couple of years, I don’t like, watch it on repeat every night or anything – I’m not completely nuts OK?!)
In fact I watched it all again a couple of weeks ago. But this time was a little different for me. I started trying to figure out why I enjoyed those episodes so much and I think it’s because they do those perfect, heart fluttery moments so damn well. You get all wrapped up in those first romance feelings – the allure, the excitement and the rush.
Now, for perspective, Seth and I are about to celebrate 10 years of marriage in March and we’ve just celebrated being together for thirteen whole years this past September. That’s a long ass time. It would be a big fat lie to tell you that I still felt those heart fluttery feelings of a new romance. I don’t. I’m not even sure that’s even possible unless you’re in a really tumultuous relationship where you don’t feel secure.
I realised that it’s so easy to get sucked up into pursuing that feeling. That rush of the new. And how freaking unhealthy relying on that feeling is.
I totally get the allure and excitement of a new romance, but there is something deeply satisfying about growing old with someone you love.
— Snap: cindyalfino (@CindyAlfino) September 27, 2016
As you’re together longer and longer, those butterflies get replaced with something more substantial. Like um, a house or something. You love the freaking crap out of that same person, but it’s not whimsical and fleeting. It’s deep and rooted in so much more than appearances and electricity.
Does that even make sense? I hope so, because I want to take it a bit further. You know that feeling of looking at others doing things and wanting your relationship to be that? To have that same “romance” to it. I feel like that may extend to more than just those first butterflies.
Does your eye twitch every time you see your friends going on a date night? It’s probably especially twitchy when your husband hasn’t even looked at you all day except to ask when supper will be ready? I bet you’re picturing your friends sitting in a cosy restaurant – candle lit of course – staring into each others eyes, holding hands and talking about each others most endearing qualities. They laugh, they cuddle, the romance is so evident that other people around them feel queasy.
And while a few other couples may get that right, date nights are probably never actually like this in real life. In reality they’ve been called home with a sick toddler or found a hair in their food. The romance of these nights isn’t as amplified as if you were doing the very same thing for the first time with your spouse (which is how we tend to picture it). Especially when you’ve been together for a while. For us it’s more like…
In my head date night is filled with romantic meals, laughter and lots of time doing what we want to do. In reality it’s traffic and a movie
— Snap: cindyalfino (@CindyAlfino) September 2, 2016
Granted, that’s still better than nothing. But I think we’ve built up date night into something so much more than just connecting with your spouse. Now it has to fill a further role of being as romantic as possible and should ignite those once upon a time fluttery feelings. The perception has also become that said date night has to be held out of the house at a relatively expensive restaurant or it doesn’t really count as a date night. The more Instagramable the better. (Yas, I’m guilty of this even though I don’t want to admit it).
Anyways, it’s obvs that this is not going to happen every time guys. Isn’t it?
What I’m really trying to say is that I’ve noticed many women on my various timelines that would kill for a romantic date night. Because that’s the impression we (as people who regularly go on date nights) give about how those nights go, when in reality it’s not so much romantic as it is just about strengthening your connection. Seeing each other, hearing each other and taking an interest in their every day life apart from you.
So I need to stress that this DOESN’T have to be something that you do outside the house.
It also doesn’t need a label.
You can totally have this kind of time in the comfort of your own home once the kids are asleep. Yeah, it may not exactly sound like much, but when you’ve moved the emphasis from romantic gestures to just being with each other without distraction, working on your real connection, you’ll probably realise that it’s OK. Maybe?
This might all be coming out of left field, but I know that even though we have the luxury of regular date nights, I always want them to be more than what they are. So I know that working on this is what I’m going to try and do this month.
Do you have any issues with date night?