A parents’ guide to date night and Valentine’s
Although a very different experience, date night and Valentine’s can still be great, here’s now
Whether you celebrated Valentine’s Day before, you may now feel “NO WAY!!!” It’s no longer for us – we’re too tired, too stressed and busy…and we’re parents! Well, parents get to be romantic and sexy too and in fact now, more than ever, you need to set aside a special time to focus on your romantic partner and your relationship.
Start thinking that aspect of your life is over and you’re on the road to sadness. So, what could you effortlessly do to keep the love alive?
Accept Valentine’s day
Perhaps you’d prefer to declare your love and pay attention to your lover on any other day of the year. But there’s something about a designated day that focuses the mind. Embrace it.
You’ve never pulled of a satisfactory Valentine’s Day by frantically buying up something, anything, at the last moment. This year go all out ahead of time. If you’re going out, book the place and the babysitters early. If staying in, get out your recipes and plan a favourite meal. Source a card you know they’ll like and put together a lovey-dovey playlist. And tell your partner you’ve got ideas on the boil, so they have the time and incentive to respond in kind. It doesn’t have to cost much – use your imagination to spoil each other on a tight budget. That romantic weekend in Paris can wait until much later!
Set out the candles and massage oil
Treating your lover means making them feel special and loved, and that might well mean taking the opportunity and the time you’ve set aside to make love. But keep your expectations realistic. Both of you may feel under so much pressure from the changes in your life in becoming parents that swinging from chandeliers in wild abandon may not be on the cards. Romantic dimmed lights and massage oil may be what you need to simply relax against each other and help you feel cherished. You may leave the sex till another time and for now, just feel accepted and acknowledged.
Talk it through
Take the time to tell your partner what it is they do, or did, that really made you feel good and ask them to do the same. “You never bring me flowers anymore!” is bound to end in tears. But “I loved it when we had the energy and time for you to bring me flowers…” could have the desired result. And sometimes when we have these conversations we realise – and hear – what seemingly inconsequential and simple things light up your lives. “It really makes my day when you…make my favourite meal/pour me a cup of tea/hug me as you walk by…”
Choose food to help get you in the mood
Start the day in decadent fashion with a special breakfast in bed or tantalise your taste buds with some special seafood or a tantalising fish dish for supper. Perhaps kick things off with a classy cocktail to show how much you care. Either way dining in is definitely better than eating out on Valentine’s night. Be sure that the food will be overpriced, the service rushed as the restaurant really needs to turn those tables! And let’s not forget the staff who don’t want to work on valentine’s Day either. So, save deluxe dinning out for your anniversary – an go book that baby sitter now.
Bounty “Sex & Relationship” articles are written by expert Suzie Hayman. Suzie is agony aunt for Woman magazine, a Relate trained counsellor, and an accredited TripleP (Positive Parenting Programme) parenting educator. She makes frequent appearances on TV and radio and as well as writing 31 books, Suzie writes features on parenting, relationships, sex and couples counselling, for a wide range of national magazines and newspapers