Saturday, August 24, 2013

Date Night Defined

When we were teenagers, Elder Dallin H. Oaks described what a date is in a CES fireside.
"A date must pass the test of the three p's:
(1) planned ahead,
(2) paid for, and
(3) paired off."
Casey and I talked about it. Nowhere in his definition does it say, "This is only for the single adults." or "This counsel only applies before marriage." No. It is the definition of a date. Period. It doesn't matter the age or marital relationship. A date is planned ahead, paid for, and paired off.

So we took a look at what our date night evolved into when our family became a trio. Date night was always paid for. Check! Seeing how we only have one income and we share the budget, it had to be paid for. Sweet! We still had one part of a date down.

But we failed on the other two parts of the test. Planned ahead and paired off.

Date night quickly became a "let's just go out to eat on Friday night so at least I don't have to make dinner" event and "let's just grab a movie from Redbox after we are done eating." And this was our typical 'date night' conversation: "Where do you want to go eat?" "I don't know. Where do you want to eat?" "I decided last week; it's your turn." "Well, I don't know. What are you in the mood for?" "I don't know." We would then drive all over the city trying to find a restaurant that looked good. It was not successful to say the least. And no where in the definition of a date does it mention food. We don't have to go out to eat for it to be a date!

And then we come to paired off. Super easy when we were a family of two! Every night was date night. But then we added a Baby Bunny. And it was just easier to take him with. Arranging a babysitter would have required planning ahead to figure out schedules and the added expense of the service. Nope. Date night required no effort and no extra cost as a trio.

Something had to change though. I was beginning to hate Friday nights. It would have just been easier to make something at home then driving all over and playing the IDK game. Plus bringing our tag-a-long in the car seat and getting in the high chair and spending all my time trying to feed him and cleaning him up and etc. Yeah date night was not something I looked forward to or enjoyed.

We made a goal and changed the budget to include the cost of babysitting. We were going to go on a real date, passing all three parts of the test, 4 Friday nights in a row. And we made a plan. One person was going to be in charge each week. That person would be responsible to plan a date in our budget, ask the other person out by Tuesday and arrange a babysitter. We also agreed that odd calendar dates are Casey's and even ones are mine.

We are still in the middle of this experiment. Three weeks and three dates later, I can already see positive changes in our relationship. And I once again look forward to Fridays rather than dreading them. And... this is not going to stop after week four. Nope. Date night has changed for the rest of our lives!

Picture was taken at our "Bookstore Scavenger Hunt" date.
We copied the idea from one of our best friends.
And used the clues she already made! :)

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