Date Day Friday | Why and how you can do it too!
I was recently reading Gretchen Rubin's book Better than Before and one of the most simply profound things she said was 'you're more likely to do something that you do every day rather than once in a while'. For her, it takes away the decision you have to make 'is today the day I'm going to do x, y, or z?'
In considering that, I approached Brandon with a proposal. Every Friday would be a date day. That way, we never had to be like 'are we hanging out today, or doing our own thing? What do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do?'
We laid out some ground rules:
1. We would alternate Fridays for who go to plan the date. I'd get the first and third Friday of the month and he'd get the second and fourth.
2. The date would remain a surprise. That way, the person who planned got to choose a date that THEY liked, an activity they want to share with the other person, and the other person can't show excitement or disappointment cause they don't even realize what they're doing until they're there. The only clue we give is to tell the other person what to wear.
3. We were allowed to spend max $50 on the date. (Not including gas if you're driving a long way)
Other than that, it could be indoor/outdoor, a quick hour or an entire day. It just was going to happen every Friday.
Typical Seattle, it was pouring rain when we woke up, and the weather sites predicted no end in sight. I decided for our first date, we'd go to one of my favorite bookstores Third Place Books near Seward Park, we'd read and write in the coffee shop attached, and then hope the rain let up enough for us to walk around the park.
Well, things don't always go according to plan.
We were at the coffee shop, enjoying ourselves, Brandon sipping on a cappuccino and me on an americano (with cream and one packet of sugar), when I started to feel really tired. My first thought was that I'd stayed up late, not gotten enough sleep etc. I pushed onward, opening a discussion up with Brandon which turned into an argument within five minutes (mostly because I was SOOO tired and irritable).
Now, for those of you not super close to us, Brandon and I rarely fight. We don't enjoy arguing, we're both types to get silent when angry, and overall we've learned to quickly set aside our pride and diffuse a situation before it turns into a fight. But, for some reason, our conversation went there quickly.
I excused myself to go look around the bookstore, and when I came back, we packed up our stuff and left in a silent huff. It was pouring rain harder than before so we skipped the park and headed straight home.
My Friday Date Day idea was a disaster.
As I was careening up Rainier Ave towards the freeway, I realized my exhaustion was getting worse, my eyes were drooping, my head felt woozy, and my reaction time was slowing down. Despite the fact that I'd resolved not to speak to Brandon the entire drive home, I asked him where I could pull over cause I needed him to drive.
We changed spots and I almost immediately fell asleep. Upon reaching our apartment, I looked at the box of medicine I'd taken that morning for my residual cold and realized I'd taken a night time version of the pill instead of day time. Whoops!
After apologizing to Brandon, talking through the rest of the discussion we'd started in the coffee shop, we decided to continue our date day. I took him to one of our favorite places in the world: the movie theater.
We watched Darkest Hour. I teared up. We loved it. We went home happy. Successful first Date Day.
Honestly, the day was so good for us. We got to have quality time with each other without the false starts of 'what should we do today?' which can go around in circles till one of you dies.
There was excitement for me in doing something I loved and sharing it with him, and there was excitement for him because it was a surprise. We had no guilt about not working because we'd made the decision that every Friday is a Date Day so there was no other option.
So, for you and your significant other, try it out! If four times a month is too much, too expensive or just not your style, try two. Every other Saturday. Or maybe, you'd like to just trade off dinner dates. Every Thursday night, one of you picks a new restaurant to try. Maybe you prefer to stay in together, so on Sunday mornings you make breakfast for one another or pick a movie to watch together.
I only took one photo the whole day, and I had to make it black and white because the light was bad. But, that's how life is sometimes. And it's beautiful.