The other night I was out to dinner with my kids at a “semi-adult” restaurant. By “semi-adult” I’m talking about no crayons or paper kids’ menus. There were families eating as well as just couples. Some of the couples were middle-aged, the others a bit older. The common denominator was that they didn’t have any kids with them. It was just the two of them. Just a couple enjoying a nice dinner…alone.
Besides having no kids, they had something else in common…no conversation. It wasn’t because they were distracted by something else. They were just not talking…at all. Perhaps they said a few words here and there about the veal or the salad. But, that was it. You could tell there was no vital conversation going on.
Before you start calling me judgmental, this was not the first time I’ve seen couples like that out at a restaurant. I know you’ve seen them too. I know we all don’t know the circumstances surrounding their relationships. Perhaps they have engaging conversations at home and go out to enjoy silence. Who knows? You may be saying, well maybe they just had a long day or maybe they were just really hungry. I honestly hope one of those scenarios is to blame. If it’s not, then I truly feel sorry for them. I can also say I don’t want to be “that” couple.
It seems “that couple” is often the pair that has grown old together, raised their children and are now left with their partner. Just the two of them. Everyday. 24/7. There are no more “how was your day at school?” conversations or “should we let Cindy go to that concert?” or “who’s taking Billy to practice?” questions to answer. There are no little ones interrupting your conversation. You’re no longer talking in code with your partner so the kids can’t figure out what you’re saying when in reality they already have.
That chapter is over. In fact, the whole book has been read…a thousand and one times.
Now it’s time to move on to another chapter…start another book in your relationship. The book that just involves two main characters. Hopefully it’s not a book filled with dinners in silence and no conversation because the kids are gone. Who wants to be “that” couple?
Not me. I feel so sad when I see couples just sitting an entire meal without talking to one another. Is that what there is to look forward to once the kids are gone?
We all know kids take up a lot of time and most of the conversation at home. That’s why it’s important to just have couple time every now and again. Some people laugh at me when I say my husband and I have “date night”. It may sound silly to have a date with someone you are married to and live with. But, sometimes you need to make an effort and make a “date” to make that happen. Sometimes that means finding a babysitter or shipping the kids off to grandma’s house for the night so you can just be a couple. You don’t have to spend the meal cutting up food or playing rock, paper, scissors. You can enjoy your meal while it’s hot, have a couple of glasses of wine, and actually talk without being interrupted. You can have time together now so that you don’t become “that” couple later.
Carving out that alone time isn’t easy. With crazy work hours, multiple jobs, and toting the kids around to every activity from A-Z, life is hectic. Life is crazy.
What’s even crazier is spending a lifetime together only to end up as “that” couple. After “x” amount of years married you might not have a lot to say to your spouse, but I really hope I’m never sitting in silence during a dinner. I hope that I’m never riding in the car and find that I don’t have one thing to talk about that doesn’t involve the kids. If that’s the case, I know we’re becoming “that” couple. That’s an ending I certainly don’t want to read.