Shortly after the number of children in our house exceeded the number of adults Joanne and I started going out on “date nights” – a few hours every couple of weeks to reconnect and remember why we married. This has been a huge help in maintaining the health of our relationship – and a lot of fun too.
There’s no set format. Usually it’s just dinner and a couple of drinks – occasionally a movie if there is something we are both interest in.
Once settled in at the bar / theater we start looking for other couples, and that is when the fun starts. By watching their body language we try to figure out how long they have been together and how things are going. Occasionally we see a couple that are obviously into each other but neither one is making the move. One of these days I will walk over and say “For God’s sake kiss each other and get it over with!”
It’s a lot of fun to observe as things either progress or head rapidly downhill, and this often acts as a great source of conversation about our own lives.
During a recent date I commented about one couple saying “It doesn’t look as though he will be getting any action tonight.” Joanne looked at me and said “Is that all it is for men – is dating just about sex?”
Like any sensible man confronted with a question that starts “It that all it is…” I immediately said “Nooo….” – I’m no fool. Answering that one incorrectly would have left me in the same boat as the person I was commenting on.
But then I thought about it and, honestly, there is much more to our dates than that.
I put it this way.
There are plenty of studies proving that money is not the #1 motivator for employees. Despite that, giving someone a big raise or bonus is still the main way that companies reward employees for a job well done.
The same thing exists in relationships. If you put in some effort (wear some nice clothes, pick a good restaurant and keep the conversation flowing) then the date is fun, but sex is the bonus that acknowledges that you did a good job. Not to mention – that’s a lot of fun too!
And it doesn’t have to be sex either. Remember when you first started dating? A kiss on the stoop would leave you with a bounce in your stride, and an ear–to-ear grin that had people wondering what you had been up to.
So it’s really not just about sex. It’s much more about showing appreciation for the other person. And, when you think about it, isn’t that why we were out on a date anyway?