Stop trying to make date night happen
Enforced romance-rekindling failing to launch? Keep it, shrugs Miranda Collinge
There’s nothing like socially prescribed romance to make you want to kick over your chair, empty your bank account and head on down to the nearest bordello, as anyone who has been to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day will know. Being told when, where and how to feel love for a significant other is the exact opposite of the spontaneity, surprise and excitement that led to them becoming significant in the first place. And now, thanks to the increasingly popular phenomenon of “date night”, it’s not even just an annual 14th-of-February kind of threat, but a monthly one. (For some poor fiends, even weekly.)
The idea of date night is innocent enough: an evening for a couple for whom those first flames of infatuation have dimmed — perhaps they’ve been together a long time, perhaps they’ve even reproduced — to rekindle some of their spark: to gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes; to whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears; to slip off their shoes under the table and root around each other’s crotches with their be-socked toes. It could even lead to, you know, actual sex.
The reality, particularly if you have children, is that a date night is more like an AGM, or a monthly GM, or a (shudder) weekly GM, at which you plough through all the detritus of daily life that you don’t get around to discussing when you’re on your hands and knees under a high chair picking individual grains off rice off the floor, or working your way, silently, through your sixth box set.
You know, the important stuff, like who’s going to take the car in for its MOT test? Is someone’s mother owed a visit? And should we lay a green roof on the shed?
Even if you do find yourselves doing a bit of gazing into each other’s peepers, it’s guaranteed that at least one of you — probably both — will be silently calculating just how much you’ll have to pay the babysitter when you get back, and whether or not this prolonged eye contact is tipping you into the next hour. And as for sparkreignition? The naughtiest thing you’ll have the energy for by the end of it all is splitting the tiramisu.