May - Date Your Mate Month
So May is National Date Your Mate month.
Did you know that? Me neither.
Sometimes I look around the web for special holidays, national days, days in history and such for funny, obscure or interesting ideas for date posts.
Well in doing this recently I learned that May is National Date Your Mate month.
So, this month my weekly bliog will be about dating, sex and getting (back) out there – whether you are in a relationship or not.
Most couples realize the importance of date nights in their marriage; unfortunately, life (& illness) get in the way and couples push date nights to the side.
Most couples want more from their coupleship – more connection, more closeness, and deeper conversations. They want to feel special, desired, and in love with each other instead of just being parents, partners and so often in our circumstance’s; caregivers. I know for me, my partner became my nurse, my therapist, my caregiver, my taxi-driver to hospital appointments, and there was little time or energy for much else. All our conversation focussed on how we were feeling, what a certain Dr said, how much a medication costs and so on.
Research has proven time and time again that intimate relationships contribute to our mental and physical health. Intimacy can buffer us from life’s stressors, such as losing a job, having a child, or suffering from illness. In the same way, a lack of intimacy leads to more conflict, more emotional distress, and chronic health conditions.
Creating and scheduling date nights into your relationship can help protect the intimacy in your coupleship. Below are suggestions for you to begin practicing this May.
Look at your calendars and schedule date nights. It’s crucial to make dates a priority and put them on your calendar. At least one date night a month should be going out. The others can be done at home but plan them for times when you won’t be distracted by children, work, or devices.
Take turns planning date nights and make sure they are affordable. Date night should never cause financial stress. Something as simple as watching shows you’ve taped or making dinner at home with music and dancing in the living room is a great date. A moonlit picnic is romantic, inexpensive, and easy to create.
Put your best foot forward on date night. No matter where you go on date night, you should look your best, smell your best, and use the time to escape with your partner. Date nights should not be a time to vent, complain, or half-heartedly engage. Have fun with them; use them as a time to play, to be free with each other, and to restore conversation.
Cell phones are banned from date nights. There are two exceptions to this rule: (A) you want to take a photo of the two of you on your date night, or (B) you’re a caregiver to a child or elderly parent.
Date nights are about restoring conversation. It’s so easy to slip in to talking about everyday things like illness, work or the kids. Having conversation starters in mind really helps. You may have difficulty thinking of things you’d like to talk about, so why not try writing a few down during the week as you think about them? Here are a few suggestions to get you started about my favorite date night conversations.
In your opinion what was the best date we ever went on?
What do you remember about our first date?
What was your first impression of me?
What’s your favorite memory of the past year?
Do you remember a time you were really afraid? What was so scary about it?
Where do you see our family in five years?
What movie title best describes our marriage?
Relationships suffer if you don’t prioritize and nurture them, making communication more intense and increasing disconnect and isolation. Couples who experience chronic illness frequently get so wrapped up in the illness that they forget to laugh, play or be intimate. Date nights are a deliberate way of telling your partner, “I see you. I love you. I want to spend time with you.” In a fast paced, busy world, feeling special and loved by your partner is the greatest gift we can give to one another.
Next week I will talk about how to date if you are a single ostomate – but in the meantime – if you are a single ostomate – can you plan a date with your bestie? Dating can be just as much fun with a friend. Be good to yourself – take a risk and enjoy some you time.
Thank you for being a part of my journey and for letting me be a part of yours.