couple sitting on boat dock
Try as I might, Mr. Quimby and I don’t have a regular date night.  At best, we have a date once a month!  I’m super lucky to be a member of a babysitting co-op, so money isn’t the issue here.  It’s just lack of planning and time (Mr. Q travels quite a bit for work) and also a love of sitting on the couch on a Friday night and watching “Whale Wars” together.  Over the past few months, we both thought we were doing okay and connecting fairly regularly, especially given the rough spot that we’d been through earlier this year.

But then … we had the occasion to spend five whole days and nights together at a foreign destination without kids!  With the babysitting provided by my parents and almost all the travel arrangements courtesy of Mr. Quimby’s miles/points/loyalty memberships, it was a seriously stress-free vacation.  It was like a whole. new. world. to not only have a date night with my beloved husband of almost 16 years, but practically a DATE WEEK!

Towards the end of our trip, I tried to figure out what the big difference was that made us feel relaxed and enjoy each other’s company so much more than our regular date night activities of going out to dinner or running errands.  I worried that it was being away from the children, and that made me feel guilty as if I was blaming them for the busy-ness of every day life.  The fact is, it is partially kids but also work, volunteer activities, family, friends, taking care of the house, grocery shopping, etc.  It is all of those things that turn our focus away from each other.  With nobody and nothing to focus on for five days, we were able to pay more attention to each other, and it was wonderful.

We do not plan to go away for a week every year, and there will certainly be long stretches again where we can’t even manage a date night, but I hope I will always be inspired to remember the great outcome that resulted from really tuning in to my spouse.  I would like to be able to tune in to each other more regularly on a smaller scale, maybe even during our at-home date nights watching Whale Wars.

Different things work for different people.  What do you do to stay connected with your spouse?  Or do you think it shouldn’t be necessary to have to make a special effort?

When she isn’t gazing into the eyes of her beloved Mr. Quimby (during commercial breaks on “Whale Wars”), Ellen blogs semi-anonymously in Gorgeous Prince George’s County at Thrift Store Mama.

Photo credits:  Free image courtesy of