Date night. I love the concept. When you're with the right person, as I would like to think I am right now, you look forward to it. But I've got a confession: sometimes, date night makes me feel guilty. Not because I have some side piece I have yet to tell my man about. But because date night tends to get expensive.
Here, come along on an average DN with me, will ya? First, we walk into a restaurant that I've likely chosen from the bazillion on my "to-do list." We get there and our table's not yet ready, so we spend $25 at the bar grab a few drinks. After a delicious dinner, we debate dessert and decide to find some elsewhere. A banana bread pudding and a glass of bubbly later in another dimly lit venue, we're tired but feel lame going home. So we make ourselves feel better by grabbing a movie rental and a bottle of wine.
By the end of it? We're give-or-take $100 poorer, but at least I had some bomb bread pudding. And a buzz.
Sure, this isn't something that we're doing seven nights a week. But still, that doesn't mean it's necessary to empty our pockets to have a good time. And it was over a glass of wine a few weeks ago that we finally had a conversation about it. A conversation that I was admittedly scared to have, which makes me feel like a bad person. Listen, I'm all for being budget-savvy, but I guess I was afraid that saying that we didn't have to go out would mean we'd NEVER go out.
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We agreed that there was a good way to compromise: by bringing date night back to basics. How so? Well, I love cooking. A lot. And now instead of spending $100 to go out to eat every week, we'll spend half that on groceries for the week and I'll whip us up something special. And you know what? We have just as much fun. AND he does the dishes. (Winning.)
Sure, we still have those nights that we go out on the town. But now when those special nights come around, they feel more like a treat and less like a to-do. Date night isn't about eating expensive food, seeing crazy shows, or being at the hottest new spot. It's about taking the time to pause and enjoy one another. And I'll tell you somethin': any man who is willing to have that conversation with you about switching things up is a man worth keeping around.
How do you and your partner spend date night? Have you ever had to talk about kicking things down a notch?
Image via Emily Abbate