Harris and I resolved to be more intentional about setting up and planning date nights for each other this year. We each pick a night of the month to plan something unique for us to do as a couple with the intention of focusing on spending that time, undistracted, with each other.
We're super poor because of student loans, living off of one income (well, Harris works a few hours a week, so we'll say 1 and a half incomes!), and that's just the nature of the season we're in. All of that being said, THIS (picture below) was my first attempt at a creative date night.
I set up our air mattress in the living room and covered it with layers and layers of blankets and pillows, and created a fun atmosphere for us to enjoy a 'sleepover'/movie night in the living room!
I posted the above picture on Instagram, and instantly got a lot of "likes" and comments. Everyone thought it was the cutest idea. One very sweet teenaged cousin saw it and texted me, "Your date night looked perfect.. I can't wait to be married!"This made me smile at first, and then when I reflected on the actual events of the night, I thought... If only they all knew the reality of the night..
[One thing I hate about movies and media is how much they fake us into believing that dates/marriage/relationships are so dreamy and perfect all the time. Sex is glamorous. Kisses happen in the most romantic location imaginable and there is magical music playing in the background while the wind gently blows the woman's perfectly curled locks. He says the perfect thing all the time and his love for her is intense and dramatic.]Don't get me wrong, I LOVE love. Ask anyone, I'm a sucker for it. I married the best man ever and he is as close to perfect as you can get! With all of that being said, I want to paint a picture of our date night as it truly happened: (it's long, but stick with me, it's funny)
- Harris came down to see my 'creation' (which he actually knew I was downstairs preparing because I had to get out the air pump which makes an annoying loud noise.. and our townhouse is small, so there wasn't much secrecy there).
- He had been watching some YouTube videos about the Tsunami of 2004 upstairs and showed me the first part of this documentary. (Side note: he's an inquisitve man; always looking up facts about anything and everything - basically your #1 trivia partner - so this was not totally random.)
- We wanted to watch the rest of the video because it was amazing how crazy the stories were. Well, we ended up putting our movie selection on HOLD because we were captivated by YouTube. I cried and cried at the sad stories of those who passed away at the hands of the storm. Puffy eyes.
- When we finished, it was time to find a movie. We looked through the selections and could not decide on one. Frustrating. As we searched, I laid my head down because I was so exhausted by the story we had just watched.
- I fell asleep prematurely.
- The christmas lights above were still plugged in, so they were making the room really bright, so one of us had to get up to unplug them from behind the couch.
- Downstairs was extra cold (heat rises), and despite my efforts to provide many blankets, we were chilly - which caused me to wake up many times throughout the night.
- Something happened in the middle of the night, maybe the plug got loose, but we sank slowly but surely down to the ground as the air snuck out of the mattress...
- Early the next morning the sun shone brightly in the living room windows because of our sheer curtains downstairs.. GOOD MORNING!
All of that to say, YES, we had a nice time enjoying each others company, YES I created a fun "new" environment in our living room, and YES we enjoyed it. Was it as "picture perfect" as it may have looked in the picture.. not exactly. I love real life. It cracks me up that we trick ourselves into believing what pictures and movies present as reality sometimes.
One of my favorite quotes:
"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel." - Steve FurtickI just didn't want my "highlight reel" to fool anyone into thinking that our behind-the-scenes were anything but real life lovin' and livin'. Being vulnerable is one of my least favorite and favorite things. It's hard, but it is SO good.