Life, Parenting

Flirting Between the Lanes

I can’t remember the last time I spent an hour primping for a date with my guy. Slipping into a little black dress and four inch heels because gravity was on my side. That, and I didn’t have to deal with chronic back pain from carrying a child for nine months. No curfew, no babysitter, just me and my man separated by an assorted plate of sushi.

Now, most of our dates nights are spent having a glass of wine curled up on the couch. Nothing says ‘sexy’ like a pair of Hello Kitty pajamas. I know that date nights are essential. But, when you have kids it becomes increasingly difficult to find time alone. If, however, my husband and I do get the opportunity to sneak out of the house, it’s certainly not about spending big money. Shoot, at this point, I’d settle for a milkshake and some fries. As long as we shut out the noise from our busy lives and reconnect.

Well, this past weekend, Renaissance Man and I didn’t get the opportunity to drown the noise from crying kids. Nor, did we get an exclusive evening alone. What we did get was an opportunity to flirt between the lanes. We went bowling.

Photo credit: redbookmag.com

Yes, the bowling alley was rundown. And yes, we waited thirty minutes to reserve a lane. But those small annoyances disappeared when Renaissance Man put his fingers in the 9 o’clock position and released the ball. Watching my husband earn strike after strike was oddly attractive. He didn’t realize that I was studying his form so intently. It reminded me of the reason I married him in the first place. His good assets.

Towards the end of game, it was evident that I was going to finish last. AGAIN. I am a terrible bowler, so having the lowest points on the score board was not a shocker. My seven year old daughter has more control over the ball than me. The important thing was that my husband and I connected through a series of high fives and gutter balls.

Today, I feel reinvigorated. I feel fortunate to see my guy with the same lens as when we first met. I feel happy about fending off the negativity that can build over years of sharing responsibility, space, and time. I want to shout “DON’T FORGET TO DATE YOUR MAN” from the rooftops!

Planning a date night is not easy. Half the battle is showing up. While I’m still fine tuning our dating schedule, I’m optimistic that we’ll find creative ways to spend time together. Even if it means just flirting with our feet.

When was your LAST date night?

About Anka

Spent forty grand on a journalism degree just to learn that truth is stranger than fiction. Now I spend my days changing diapers and eating bon bons. If you're looking for a place to commiserate, then come join me at keepingitrealmom.com. It's kind of like a playdate, but for grown ups.

Discussion

78 Responses to “Flirting Between the Lanes”

  1. loved this one Anka!So true! One on one time is crucial for not letting the flame go out…We manage to leave the kids behind once or twice a year just to have a weekend away!xxx

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 6:29 am
    • Tatu, I’m envious! I wish we could have a weekend away just the two of us. We are limited on babysitting so we usually end up having most date nights at home. Lucky lucky you!

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:14 am
  2. You’re so cute!!!

    I agree a thousand percent! Couples NEED to date. That being said, our last date night was definitely before Bob Marley was born. We need one DESPERATELY, but we’re broke and I’m nursing so it has become a low priority. We do, however, take FULL ADVANTAGE of naptimes and the couple of hours after baby bedtimes for some much-needed grown up time…

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 6:38 am
    • Naptimes are a perfect opportunity to sneak in some quality time. We don’t even have a newborn and we still don’t leave the house for a date. Just have to get creative!

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:17 am
  3. That was amazing! It’s great that you can still see him that way. We got to have a date night last Friday. I was completely amazed that all 3 of my kids were gone and it was on a Friday. We only left the house long enough to pick up take out from a local restaurant and then we came home and enjoyed the peace and quiet….together. We do sneak away to run errands together sometimes. ;)

    Posted by Gardengirl | January 21, 2013, 6:52 am
    • Good for you two! At least you squeezed in some alone time picking up dinner. As for running errands alone, I think that would be fun too. Our errands basically consist of us trying lock down my three year old son in the cart. Gotta love the toddler years! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:23 am
  4. My partner is always reluctant to do out of house date night because he says the things we really need to do when we’re alone together we’re cannot do in public. :)

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 7:12 am
    • Ha! I think your man and my man would get along wonderfully. Great minds think alike! By the way, I mailed your goodie package last week. You should be receiving shortly so be on the lookout! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:25 am
  5. We went out about three weeks ago for our 16th anniversary. It was fun – I was in a funk because I’d planned this romantic night out since last year – on our 15th – he’d only been out of the hospital for 3 days and couldn’t stay awake for 3 hours. But he had to work so the romantic city get away was cancelled and we went out in town and had a good time. We just sat and talked and chatted and enjoyed each other’s company.

    Gave me the idea to take my four kids bowling today – off school and the windchill is -40!!! Thanks!!!
    Joy

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 7:16 am
    • Hope you had fun bowling with the kids yesterday! Kudos for leaving the house in such cold temps. As for your 16th anniversary, I’m sorry it didn’t go as planned. But it sounds like you made the most of your time together. An intimate conversation is often times more satisfying than an elaborate night out on the town.

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:38 am
  6. This was so good! I guess not being able to remember the last time is a bad sign hey? :)
    My husband is better at reaching out than I am! He will meet after work or suggest a movie… but hmmm… I have to remember the last time I actually got ready for a real date besides church… that probably doesn’t count does it? lol.

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 7:52 am
    • Getting ready for church is nice, but if the opportunity strikes, find another reason to rock a pair of heels. Especially since your hubby wants to take you out on dates. As for us, it’s unfortunate that we don’t have access to babysitters. Otherwise, I’d love to go out every Friday night. We’ll get there some day, Diane! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:48 am
  7. Yes, kids can be hard on a marriage. I’m lucky to be married to another grown-up. That being said, we had our last “rendezvous evening” interrupted by a 3 year old with the flu. We’ll get there….

    Posted by greenandclean | January 21, 2013, 7:54 am
    • Oh no! Nothing gets you out of the mood quicker than a child with the flu. Sorry to hear that your rendezvous was interrupted and your baby was sick. Hopefully, next time the coast is clear!

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 9:06 am
  8. We went to an Irish pub last night and met family. Does that count? I love you calling him Renaissance Man. :)

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 8:33 am
    • An Irish pub counts, Colleen! You were sans kids, right? I like calling my hubby Renaissance Man too. Unlike me, he doesn’t think anonymity is overrated so I have to honor his wishes and create an alias for him. :)

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:53 am
      • I totally agree with your husband. I wish now I had been more anonymous about some things. Me, I don’t fret it. But other things. Oh well.

        And does “sans our own kids” count? ;)

        Posted by | January 22, 2013, 10:27 am
  9. You are so right. But as a single mom, maybe I shouldn’t be read this. Makes me hanker for the good times.

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 8:50 am
    • Your opportunity will come again soon. You are a beauty and finding true love won’t escape you. Timing is everything in life! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 8:50 am
  10. What an incredibly well-written story. Kudos to you and your “date” night!

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 9:24 am
    • Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad we had a “date” within a date too. Even if every other ball I rolled was a gutter ball!

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 9:42 am
      • (Hint: when you swing the ball back then forward to release it, pretend you are shaking hands with someone, i.e., the back of your had is perpendicular to the lane’s surface). It will be a natural delivery with a natural and much desired small hook at the end. ;)

        Posted by | January 22, 2013, 9:44 am
      • Great advice! I’ll definitely remember this tip next time around. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even earn a strike! :)

        Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 9:47 am
  11. My lovely wife and I have been happily married for 30 years and we still have “date night” even though we really don’t have to escape for the kids anymore! We just enjoy each being with each other. Now that we don’t have to worry about babysitters we have date night on Thursdays (we call Friday and Saturday nights “Amateur Night” — that’s when all the younger people are trying to impress the love of their life).

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 9:57 am
    • Congratulations on thirty years! I think it’s wonderful that you two still date each other. As for bowling on Friday and Saturday nights, you’re right. It is absolutely “Amateur Night.” Or, as I like to call it, “embarrass yourself at the bowling alley night!” I’m a terrible bowler!

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:06 am
  12. awesome – way to have some great couple time! Bowling is such a classic date choice too…. My husband & I try to get out together at least once a month, though we tend to have great conversations when driving somewhere when the kiddos fall asleep.

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 10:55 am
  13. LOL! I went bowling this past week as a GNO – will have to try it out as a date night too!
    xo reversecommuter

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 11:14 am
    • Ohhh! Now, you’re really making me envious. I haven’t had a GNO out in ages. Maybe next time you’re out with the girls, you can roll a ball for me? :)

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:12 am
      • Well, I will definitely have a glass of champs for you, as for the bowling I might wait awhile for a repeat! :)

        Posted by | January 23, 2013, 2:15 pm
  14. flirting, flirting…. I love flirting :)

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 11:47 am
  15. Oh gosh, I can’t even remember our last date night. We live 12 hours from family so finding the funds for a babysitter AND a night on the town is tough. We do have family coming to visit this weekend, though, so I’m looking forward to a dinner out that doesn’t involve crayons and highchairs.

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 12:03 pm
    • Liz, I hear your pain. We don’t have family that lives close to us either. Hoping you get some much needed adult time this weekend. Imagine a dinner without whining and kids’ menus? You are going to be in heaven! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:18 am
  16. Adorable post! (Is that what I have to look forward to with kids???) My Chéri and I already deal with busy schedules and lack of time… :(

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 1:37 pm
    • Melissa, get in ALL the dating and flirting with your man now! I’m telling you, life changes when you have kids. It’s busy multiplied by a 100 percent. Take advantage of being in Paris and continue to inhale its beauty. Don’t forget to have a few sips of that lovely champagne as well! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:22 am
  17. Half the battle is showing up–best line in here :) And you’re RIGHT! Sometimes when we’re together, the hubs and I are mentally somewhere else. I’ll be more aware of that next time we’re on a date…whenever that shall be… :)

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 2:59 pm
    • Half the battle is showing up, right? Between colds and busy work schedules, the opportunity to date your man seems slim to nonexistent. But we can do it mama! I’m starting to think that being curled up on the couch with a bottle of wine and good movie isn’t such a bad idea! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:26 am
      • As soon as this stomach bug goes away, that’s exactly the date night I want!!!! (I’d like to throw in some chocolate, but for the most part, yeah!)

        Posted by | January 23, 2013, 11:39 am
  18. You are so right! I can feel myself getting cranky when we don’t get out. Unfortunately, we don’t get out as much as I would like!

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 6:26 pm
    • Cranky is the BEST way to describe my mood too! When I don’t get alone time with my man, I start complaining about the smallest things. My frustrations are completely misplaced.

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:29 am
  19. love this post! i just realized I haven’t gone bowling in years! i agree, married couples should definitely find ways to schedule date nights.

    Posted by | January 21, 2013, 7:37 pm
    • If you haven’t gone bowling in years, you NEED to go! You will have a great time. I’m sure you and your sweetheart will share lots of giggles and high fives!

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:31 am
  20. That’s so great Anka! My husband and I rarely get to go out together either. And when we’re with the kids I admit that my mind is usually more on the kids. A great reminder to cease those little opportunities!

    Posted by | January 22, 2013, 3:54 am
    • Melissa, you are so fortunate to have your mom living close by. If she’s willing to babysit the kids, you and your man should try to go out at least once a month. I wish we had the luxury of having family close by! I’m a little reluctant to have anyone besides family watch my children.

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:35 am
  21. I’m sitting here trying to remember when our last date was…..which means its time to plan one!!

    Posted by | January 22, 2013, 4:46 am
    • You and I are in the SAME boat! I think the last time my hubby and I went out sans kids was for our anniversary last year. Sounds like we are both in need of alone time with our men. Happy planning!

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:38 am
  22. Hi Anka,
    Sounds like a great time. Sometime the simpler the better. My hubby and I often go out with other couples, but lately I’ve been craving a romantic date night. Nothing fancy, just romantic. We get our evenings since the kids are in bed by 7:30 pm. However, a date night has intention attached to it and that’s what I crave.
    It is on, date night in the book ;)
    xoxo

    Posted by Cynthia Matos-Medina | January 22, 2013, 8:59 am
    • Good morning Cynthia,
      I’m impressed! Your children are asleep by 7:30p.m. How is that possible? My kids don’t go to bed till 9:00 p.m. We are such late birds. In any case, I hope you and your man have a romantic date soon. Like you said, it doesn’t have to be fancy just intimate. Mommies need to be reminded that they are special too! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 22, 2013, 9:08 am
  23. fabulous. beautiful. good for you guys.

    Posted by | January 22, 2013, 9:13 am
  24. What a cheerful post :) It indeed made me feel optimistic for my (now Tuesday).

    The husband and I got away for the weekend. I guess I should be grateful for these remaining days (or years) before kids.

    Posted by | January 22, 2013, 1:01 pm
    • Yay, Jill! You should definitely be grateful for a weekend getaway. Please, please, please, don’t forget to squeeze in ALL the fun and wild romance you can before having kids. Time is of the essence. Am I making you want to have a baby yet? :)

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:47 am
  25. LOOOOVED this.

    Hubbs and I have been married 21 years and yes we still ‘date’ … back in “the day” when the kids were little, date mights meant we tidied up and took the cassette player out the patio (and the baby monitor), enjoyed a glass of wine or a beer and some chats without 8 million interruptions. As the boys have grown up, we can get out… but we are just as apt to stay in.

    I’ve written often about Date nights and how important they are, more here

    Have fun between the lanes :)
    MJ

    Posted by | January 22, 2013, 4:58 pm
    • MJ, thank you for the beautiful illustration of dating your spouse. My husband and I might have to steal your idea of sitting underneath the stars together with a glass of wine. Sounds like you are the poster girl for date night advocacy! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:51 am
  26. Love to hear you went bowling, you lucky couple :-) You are so right Anka! :-) glad you are writing this “DON’T FORGET TO DATE YOUR MAN”, I should always remember this but I don’t, with a 20 month old it’s very difficult to even think about when we will spend some time alone :-) Most parents get to spend the rest of the evenings together, we don’t; our routine is ; daddy takes baby to bed, makes sure he’s asleep and then hubby falls asleep :-) (not kidding, he’s too exhausted of coming back downstairs), meanwhile, I clean the living room and kitchen, clean the dishes left) Im exhausted as I’m writing this. See in 15 min our routine will start again.

    Posted by | January 22, 2013, 5:29 pm
    • Your little guy is still very young. The toddlers years can suck the sexy right out of a relationship. I used to do what your husband did, fall asleep with my daughter when I put her down at night. Maybe you and your man can schedule one night a week to hang out. The weekends might be a good option for staying up later and reconnecting! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:43 am
  27. I need to shout that from the rooftops, too, Anka! Lately I’ve been dating myself. (No but seriously. That”s part of those Artist’s Way exercises, ha!)

    Peppermeister and I really need to lace up some bowling shoes and take our marriage to the next level, though. Thanks for the reminder!

    Posted by | January 23, 2013, 8:11 am
    • Yes! You NEED to step away from your Artist’s Way, even though it’s easy to spend countless hours with your adorable self. It may be time to do an about face towards your man. Just think how Peppermeister would feel? He’d probably think the motherboard on your laptop got fried from all the attention he’s receiving!

      Posted by Anka | January 23, 2013, 8:59 am
  28. So glad you had a great time with hubby, Anka! Can’t remember when I had the last date night with my husband, but you are so right, we all need to shout from the rooftops. Thanks for the reminder!

    Posted by | January 23, 2013, 4:55 pm
    • It’s hard to find time to date your man, isn’t it? But, we have to give it a good faith effort. I’m sure our men are just pining for our attention. Have a lovely weekend, Jiawei. Hope you squeeze in some cuddle time with your hubby!

      Posted by Anka | January 25, 2013, 9:14 am
  29. Oh, so true. I went out of my way tonight to make one of my husband’s favorite dinners. I feel like even the smallest of gestures help remind us why we’re together (and not because we want someone to share diaper laundry with).

    Posted by | January 23, 2013, 7:01 pm
    • Making your man’s favorite meal is such a sweet gesture. I’ve heard the best way to get to man’s heart is through his belly. So, I’m sure your husband was a happy guy after eating that dinner. Thanks for stopping by, Jillian!

      Posted by Anka | January 25, 2013, 9:16 am
  30. That’s beautiful

    Posted by | January 25, 2013, 8:10 pm
    • I suppose it is a beautiful concept to date your spouse. It’s not always easy to get alone time together, but it is necessary. Hope you and your family are doing well! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 26, 2013, 12:24 pm
  31. Aww. So happy for you. Sounds like you had an amazing time at the bowling alley. A good friend of mine had the same problem actually. Plus her family lives too far away to help with the kids. But then recently found an amazing sitter – one of the teachers from her child’s school.

    Posted by | January 27, 2013, 6:31 am
    • I’m happy that your friend found a reliable babysitter. She is SUPER lucky to have access to quality childcare. We are still trying to fine tune our dating schedule. So good to hear from you by the way. It’s been a while girl! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 27, 2013, 2:08 pm
  32. it’s not easy to get alone time like this but it’s essential…good for you!

    Posted by | January 27, 2013, 12:08 pm
    • Thanks, Barbara! Last weekend we had a wonderful opportunity to reconnect. This weekend was a bit busier so it was difficult to find time alone. As long as there is good intention, right?

      Posted by Anka | January 27, 2013, 2:05 pm
  33. this gives me more incentive to follow through on planning date nights!

    Posted by | January 30, 2013, 7:08 pm
  34. You know what? I can’t remember my last date night!

    Posted by | February 24, 2013, 2:17 pm
    • If you can’t remember your last date night, Hook, then you definitely have to get busy planning one. Even if it’s just a creative at-home date for you and the wifey!

      Posted by Anka | February 25, 2013, 6:02 pm

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