After I had my second child almost five years ago, the intimacy between my partner and I wore out a little bit. When I shared this with people, a lot of people replied by saying: “Just plan a date night!” Well, these people probably don’t have kids, because it is way harder than that.
Before I had my second child, my partner and I used to go on a date least twice a month. Back then, my oldest child was around 12 and was able to stay home by herself or spend the night at a friend’s home. However, after giving birth, it was harder to find an arrangement. The romance has faded a bit and it was hard to leave the baby home. Dating has become hard for us, and loving one another just wasn’t enough anymore.
Everywhere we went, something seemed to go wrong. Once, I forgot my breast pump and tried to pretend like I wasn’t in pain the entire evening (to be honest, it happened way more than once). Another time, we fought over the way we should take to the restaurant. It was hard, but instead of focusing on the bad and let it get to us, my partner and I decided to use every moment as a learning opportunity.
From the argue about the way to the restaurant, for example, we learned to take things more lightly. We learned that these date nights are our time to loosen up a little bit, to have fun, to enjoy our time together. We look forward to these nights, so we should enjoy them. Not fight and end up disappointed.
From a different date in which we were rushing to get on time to a restaurant, we learned to not make reservations. It takes forever to leave the house when you have a baby, not to mention the babysitter that isn’t always on time. It is pretty much impossible to have a schedule with a baby. So, go somewhere in which you won’t need a reservation. It doesn’t spoil anything.
Another time, we learned that any touch subjects such as finance, schedules, educational outlooks, etc., are off the table. Some subjects are just a fight guarantee. Prevent it, don’t fall for that. Focus on each other, on bridging the gaps that were accumulated during the week. Share with each other your highs, lows, and conflicts.
It is hard to get back to dating if you are a bit rusty, even if you have your forever person with you. It takes time to get back in the game, to adjust to a new reality. Don’t stress over it. Take this time. Use it as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to strengthen your connection. Use my lessons, consider them. I hope this doesn’t make you scared about going back out there, as it is the opposite of what I’m trying to say. Don’t worry, you and your partner will find the right path.