My husband and I like to spend our date nights alone instead of together

M. Brown

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**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

Being in a committed relationship takes an avalanche of effort and dedication from two people.

When you’re single, you may think that those who are part of a couple have it made but, in reality, it’s a completely different show altogether.

After the initial flush of dating and a relationship becomes serious, there are big decisions to be made. This could include decisions about moving in together, whether or not to get married and have children, or if you or your partner already have children, how to merge those elements together cohesively.

After several years, a relationship can change from something that used to be just about you and your partner into stresses about money, kids, chores, work schedules, and why it is neither of you can ever get just one minute to yourselves.

One can certainly begin to covet the years spent without having to worry about caring for, supporting, or checking in with anyone else. This is why on many nights when my husband and I have an opportunity to have a conventional date night out together, we often don’t take it.

Instead of getting all dressed up and making reservations somewhere expensive, we allow each other segments of time within the same home together where we do the enjoyable things we used to do when we were single. Alone.

I’m talking about the lazy, sloth-like things people do when they’re all alone and no one’s watching — like pigging out on food, watching TV, or wearing pajamas all day. Every once in a while my husband and I gift each other with the luxury of doing these things when we have a break from the kids rather than doing the fancy 'date night' stuff.

For me, a night like this looks like watching whatever I want on TV alone with a glass of wine. For my husband, this could mean staying up late, playing video games, eating junk food, or just zoning out in whichever way he so wishes.

If we want to go out with friends, that’s an option, but that would take actual effort and planning. The concept of 'doing nothing' really does become a luxury after a while being in a long-term relationship, working, having kids, or just the reality of being pulled in several different directions by life and responsibilities.

This alone time together is something we do that helps us to come back to our relationship and responsibilities with a fresh perspective after having some much-needed downtime for ourselves.

Spending time with your partner is definitely essential for maintaining a healthy relationship, but spending time alone, turning off your brain, and not worrying about pleasing anyone but yourself is something I believe every couple needs to allow each other to do peacefully and without guilt.

Just because a couple ends up with a free evening doesn’t necessarily mean they have to do something together like go to dinner, the movies — or even be intimate.

What it can mean is some serious individual time to relax. Oftentimes, I think couples feel pressured or forced to do planned, fancy date nights but, honestly, if you and your partner get the opportunity for a date night but both of you are grumpy or exhausted — skip going out together and just stay in. Practice the art of being alone while together.

I think every couple should try spending individual time alone instead of a date night out on the town every once in a while. Get in touch with your single inner person and just do you. You’ll be much happier, less grouchy, and much more likely to enjoy a proper date night out the next time it comes around.

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