Absence can make the heart grow fonder – but it can also drive lovers crazy when busy lives and careers keep making partners absent again and again. A text message or phone call might help a bit, but it doesn’t soothe the ache of missing your lover’s smile or seeing him/her at the dinner table each evening.
So what can lovers do when they have busy lives that constantly pull them apart, challenging the relationship at every turn? Many couples in these types of relationships are learning that having an official date night, no matter what night of the week it needs to fall on, can make a world of difference. Instead of a few minute phone call, men and women get a whole evening full of connection, romance and time “alone,” so to speak.
The Story of Rob and Julie
Regular readers Rob and Julie from Chicago emailed me to tell me of the long distance date nights they have down to a science. Rob is a pilot and is frequently away from home, calling Chicago’s O’hare Airport his second home. They have a unique challenge because not only are they apart often, they are frequently in different time zones and date nights cannot be one specific day of the week.
Julie states the first rule she learned is that they both had to be flexible, never knowing exactly which night Rob would have time in a hotel to relax. They decided to have the date night ritual figured out in advance, able to be implemented at any time. When Rob knows he is going to have time that isn’t at 3am Central Time for Julie, he sends a romantic text giving Julie a heads up stating “how about a date tonight?”
Rob and Julie decided a date night in house is the easiest – and they like it because they both have quiet and privacy, without interruption. I asked Julie to write out what their date night consisted of, and she was happy to oblige. She explained that the entire evening is done through Skype, so they can talk openly and see each others faces throughout the entire evening:
The evening begins with both Rob and Julie eating together with their laptops set up facing each other. Julie stated the meal doesn’t matter, but when possible they try to eat the same thing. They look at each other while eating and talk openly like they do at home, about anything happening in their lives.
Bottle Of Wine And Music
Julie has access to the stereo, so as they usually do at home, Julie puts on their favorite music softly, they both have a bottle of wine and they relax on the couch or bed. To create more ambiance, Julie explained they adapted this ritual by lighting candles and dimming the lights a bit, even though their image gets a little fuzzier on the computer. Julie said it felt too sterile and forced with all of the lights on in the home.
Depending on time constraints and mood, sometimes they both watch the same movie simultaneously, sometimes they read a book to one another – but most of the time, they just like to relax and talk.
Finally, when they are both getting droopy, they get ready for bed and continue talking, eventually turning out the lights – until they are both ready to go to sleep.
Rob and Julie certainly have a difficult long distance challenge, with the inconsistency of being a pilot. However, since date night was created, they both state that it helps ease the pain of separation and adds a huge, romantic spark to their relationship – unable to wait until they are together again!