My sophomore year of college, second semester, days after turning 20–I walked in late to art class and grabbed the first available stool. It happened to be next to a boy in a hat, so I didn’t get a good look (without being weird and such), but I was pretty sure he was a cutie.
Our class met twice a week for a few hours. This is basically how we dated. Do you remember that feeling? The butterflies and nerves? We both clearly liked each other, neither one of us brave enough to do anything about it. We discovered our apartments were by each other and would even walk home together, both of us awkwardly waiting for the other if we were running behind.
One day we decided to get ice cream later in the day, but it wasn’t a date! Every time my roommates referred to it as a date I would correct them–eventually they started calling it an ice cream social. I was so set on this not being a date and we were still in that awkward stage. We knew each other well from class, but had never done anything out of class. We clearly liked each other, but neither of us did anything to solidify a relationship status.
It wasn’t a date.
His place was on the way so I walked that way and we met up to grab some ice cream. As he came out to meet me, his roommates were all screaming out the window, “Those two are going on a date! Those two right there!”
And still–this is not a date. And if this isn’t a date, that means my stubborn butt will be buying my own ice cream.
Well it turns out the ice cream shop doesn’t take debit cards. No worries–I will use this ATM. Out of Service. We will just try another. Card doesn’t work.
Ross kept insisting he could pay, but it wasn’t a date—so….
After parading us all around campus trying to get money to buy my ice cream for our ice cream social, I finally gave in and Ross bought my ice cream and we never looked back.
Our relationship has changed in so many ways over the 10+ years. What we have built and how we work together is one of the things I am most proud of in life. Sometimes I miss those butterflies and nerves and the thrill of young love. We’ve been working on date nights and making time for us.
Sometimes that is ordering in after the kids are in bed and eating over candlelight and having a conversation. Sometimes that means getting a babysitter and going out. Part of keeping that spark alive is focusing a little more on me–and finding that girl he married, who sometimes gets lost being mom. The extra weight, the lack of showers, the messy pony—please tell me I’m not the only one?
And sometimes keeping that spark has absolutely nothing to do with each other—it is about doing the things that help us burn a little brighter. Taking time away from each other for our own thing ultimately makes us more interesting people and gives us something to talk about besides the kids. Reinvesting in ourselves has included meeting friends out, enjoying a book, buying a cute outfit, golfing– to name a few.
How do you keep the spark alive?
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