Bruce Cadle, 1-26-11 § Soon after my wife Valerie and I got married I noticed something that was not good. We stopped dating. We dated every weekend prior to getting married. But once we got married—maybe since we saw each other daily—we stopped. I don’t think it was intentional. It just happened.
The reason I noticed wasn’t because my calendar was clear on weekend nights. I noticed because it seemed like our romance was different … dwindling. Things weren’t bad, rather, they seemed slightly strained, dry, forced.
Valerie still remembers the day I came to her and said I want a date night—a time for us to focus special romantic attention on each other. We didn’t have much money, so going out to dinner once a week was out of the question. We decided to have a nice romantic dinner by candlelight at home.
It was great! We relaxed, talked, laughed, just like we did while dating before marriage. That simple decision to start having a consistent date night made a huge difference in our relationship. As our communications deepened, our hearts connected and our romance revved up.
We’ve been married 35 years now, and date night is still our favorite night of the week. Years ago I decided I should cook on date nights to give Valerie a night off. I started developing my own recipes and gradually increased my cooking skills. I started taking elegant dishes and simplifying them so I could prepare a multi-course dinner without stressing out.
Even though our kids are grown and our finances have improved over the years, we still prefer having date night at home. We can take our time and relax. Sometimes we talk for hours over a leisurely meal.
We make date night a priority in our schedules and say no to anything else that arises on Friday nights. We look forward to date night all week long just like we did before we got married.
A couple of years ago I started posting our date night menus on Facebook every Friday afternoon. I got lots of requests for recipes and began sharing them so that other couples could learn how to have fun, fancy, and easy date nights at home. Someone who enjoyed my recipes suggested that I should do a date night TV show. Their suggestion led to me being a finalist in the 2010 Food Network/Youtube Next Food Network Star competition.
Second only to the enjoyment that I get from our weekly date night’s is the enjoyment I get from helping other couples establish a weekly date night too!
Bruce Cadle is the author of Party For Two – Fun, Fancy & Easy Romantic Recipes from The Date Night Chef. Available on Amazon.com.