Date Your Partner

Dating is tricky and hard and fun and exciting and anxiety-inducing.  The last time I brought you dating tips, they were geared toward first dates.  If the first date goes well and things continue to progress, eventually you find yourself in a long-term relationship.  Honey, that is not where the work and the dating ends.  That is where it changes, but becomes even more important.

We hear it said all the time that relationships are hard work.  Sure, in a way…. but that work should be fun most of the time.  Dating your partner is part of the “work” we need to put into relationships.  This becomes more complicated when you have children, limited budgets, or heavy work schedules.  That’s why I’m here, friends… to give you some inspiration on dating the person with whom you share life.

Concerts. Going to see live music may not be the best choice for a first date, because you can’t get to know each other over booming speakers with drunk people bumping into you.  In an established relationship though, it can be so freeing to just let the music flow through you, to have a few drinks and just…vibe.  Thinking about the venue and seat choices can really make or break the experience.  Locally, we have a large venue that has cheaper lawn tickets.  Those allow for you to spread out a blanket and really relax or stand up and dance in your spot.  We also like to take advantage of a venue that has (pricey) suite seats, where the seats are in pairs and have plenty of space around them.  This fits every budget, because you can do anything from a hole in the wall bar with a jazz trio to a suite at an arena.  Choose a music act you both love, find seats that allow you to breathe, grab your partner’s hand, and let the music fill your heart.

Staycations.  When life has been busy and you haven’t had quality time with your partner in awhile, you can find yourself itching for a getaway.  There isn’t always time or money to hop on a plane and take a week (or even a weekend) trip.  Staycations are a great way to have a mini-getaway to reconnect. Drinks by the pool, dinner in the hotel restaurant, breakfast in bed….and let’s face it, hotel sex is just hot.  Choosing a walkable downtown area can provide lots of entertainment and dining options.  Going with a more resort-like location can mean the ultimate in relaxation.  Again, there’s something for every budget and also something for every timeframe.  Whether you can get away for one night or three, booking a nearby hotel is a great way to get the ultimate date night.

Brewery or winery visits.  If tasting and enjoying adult beverages is a part of your relationship like ours is, it is a natural choice to make a date of a brewery visit.  There are so many options these days for places where adult beverages are made.  Local craft breweries often have lawn games, trivia nights, live music, and more.  Some of them even partner with local restaurants and food trucks to bring culinary experiences to the brewery.  Wineries and even distilleries do similar things.  For a great date experience, you’ll want to first choose a place that has your favorite beverages, then look online for reviews so that you ensure you’re choosing a place with a fun vibe.  This is absolutely a low-cost date and if you are short on time, an hour or two is enough time to drink a beer flight and play a gigantic game of Jenga.

Getting out of the house is great, but sometimes, budget and child care concerns just don’t allow for it.  No worries, because some of our best date nights are right here in the house… sometimes with the kids home and sometimes without.

Romantic Night In.  Grill a nice steak, roast some asparagus, and pour a glass of wine.  Settling in for the evening can be done on any night of the week and if you have children, after they go to bed.  After dinner, flip off the lights and flip on the TV for some Netflix and chill (any definition of it you choose) with a bottle of wine.  Wrap up the night with a nice massage and some sexy time.  It really makes for the perfect night, even if it seems a bit cliché.

Backyard paradise.  Sure, it would be amazing to head off to a tropical paradise and sip cocktails in your private infinity pool.  That may not be an option for you on any given Friday evening, but there is another option.  Fill your inflatable kiddie pool with air and water early in the afternoon.  Turn on some string lights and bluetooth speakers.  By night, any kids are in bed and the water is warm.  With or without swimwear, you can now take a cocktail to the kiddie pool and enjoy the evening in your personal oasis.

No matter what you choose to do, having some time alone with your person is essential to maintaining and deepening your relationship.  Make it a priority and it will pay off.

Are any of these date ideas things you have done?  Did you get inspired to date your partner?

 

Parents Need Sex Too

I hear it all the time from parents and I am willing to bet that either you or one of your friends has said it.

“We don’t have time to have sex. We have small kids.”

Get the fuck out of here with that. That is a bullshit excuse.

Yeah, I hear you.  You are sooo busy.  Guess what?  Everyone is busy, but you make time for things that are important to you.  I’m too busy to feed my kids, but I know they need to eat, so I do it anyway.

Your kids don’t go to bed until 9, which is also about the time your husband falls asleep watching ESPN?  Cool.  It’s time to have a conversation with him.  Have you tried that yet?

Maybe it’s the one hour of the day that you’re going to see your husband, because your schedules just don’t align.  Girl, hand those kids some tablets and lock yourselves in the closet if you have to.  It probably won’t take long.

A friend of mine, at the ripe old age of 24 and parent of one child, told me, “My wife and I have sex about once a month.  There just isn’t time and we are tired.”  No, no, no.  Just no.

Sex is so damn important in a long-term relationship and I am here to tell you this – your marriage will not survive without some nurturing.  I am a firm believer that a marriage or partnership should be prioritized over what the children want.  Note that I said WANT.  I am not advocating starving your kids or skipping diaper changes so you can bang your spouse or cuddle in your bedroom.  What I am saying is you have to be honest with yourselves and realize you just aren’t making the time for one another….and when that happens, things go downhill.

Look, I homeschool 4 kids and work from home.  My fiance works 14-hour days.  Guess who is having sex a lot?  That would be us.

How?

  1. We lock the damn door.
  2. We put our phones away when we get in bed.
  3. We don’t limit ourselves to bedtime.  A Saturday afternoon during an obnoxious YouTube video works great, especially when you’ve had mimosas all morning.
  4. We just GO for it.  Sometimes one of us is super sleepy and clearly not in the mood, but we strip off our clothes and go for a good kiss.
  5. We stay intimate in every way.  Once that is lost, it’s hard to get back..not impossible, but hard. So we tell each other our dreams and secrets and we hug a lot and hold hands in the store.  We laugh a lot and goodness, we drink so well together.  Drinks never hurt.
  6. I take care of myself.  For some women, this isn’t as important.  For me, I feel so much sexier and in the mood when I have on a gorgeous red lip and a satin robe or a dress.  If I am constantly in leggings and a ponytail when he comes home from work, I will never feel hot.

Tonight, put on something pretty, lock the damn door and go for it.

Improving Intimacy With a Single Action

I am fortunate enough to have found the one whom my soul loves.  While I fully believe that you can live a happy and fulfilled life without finding “the one,” I feel like I actually have that now and it’s just a different kind of happiness.  To be with the person who understands you best and accepts all your flaws is a rare but beautiful thing.  I never want to lose this and so I have really been intentional in this relationship.  I am here to tell you, it has made all the difference.

Anyone can have a hot, passionate, and connected relationship when your time together is devoid of children and responsibility.  That is how it was in the early days of our relationship, when we lived in different states.  Then I moved here, with four kids in tow.  Kids, bills, work, and living with each other’s annoying habits daily started to take their natural toll.  Things were still amazing and we were getting stronger daily, but I started getting frustrated earlier this year.

I couldn’t understand how we were having less sex, something that was glaringly obvious to me because I have a period and sex tracker in my bullet journal.  I use a pink heart to indicate sex and the page was getting a lot less pink.  I knew it wasn’t a matter of physical attraction.  That has never been a problem here.  After thinking for a few days, I was lying in bed one night, texting my BFF Nicole.  As I laughed at our inside jokes, I realized Stuart was drifting off to sleep.  I suddenly realized – FUCK, it’s me.  It’s all me.

I had been obliviously texting and browsing Facebook every night while Stuart quickly fell asleep.  Damn.  What a slap in the face.  I have never been good at taking responsibility for relationship problems.  I knew I had to make a conscious decision to be present in my bedroom.  Every.  Night.

So I did.  I started plugging my phone into the charger (it’s short and I can’t reach it when it’s plugged) when we went to bed.  It worked.  We would watch TV together, with my head on his chest.  Our magic was back.  I won’t get into the extra spicy details, but it was a raving success.  Sometimes I would fall asleep before or with him.  On the nights he would fall asleep first, I would go ahead and check in on my phone.

It absolutely transformed everything and not only in the bedroom.  Everything got better.  We were both happier and more connected.  I speak in the past tense, because when I sat down to write this, I realized that I have been bringing my phone to bed again, mostly to keep up with Poshmark (<- links to my shop, cause I’m a hustla baby) notifications.  I had been doing it with the justification that it was work and I needed to be able to respond to my customers.  However, I have to prioritize and realize our relationship is far more important than immediately letting a customer know that a dress runs true to size.  It can wait.  And now, it will have to.  I will be “clocking out”….. I have a relationship to nourish.

 

Week in Review: Rhonda

What a week!  I actually switched stuff up a little, which was nice.  I am a lover of routine, but it’s nice to have change sometimes too.

Unfortunately, I woke up Monday with an ear infection.  Claudia helped me ship some orders at the post office and I went on a laundry adventure in which I washed a Queen comforter in a tiny washer.  Other than that, all I did was some makeup stuff.  And of course, we sat on the patio to watch Stuart arrive to great fanfare.

I woke up on Tuesday still sick and Claudia passed out in my bed while I was still having coffee.  She woke up wanting me to put numerous ponytails in her hair.  I wanted to spend the day in bed, but needed to do some meal prep and film a makeup review.  When the kids laid down for their afternoon quiet time, I had a beer and filmed the review.

At 2:30 am Wednesday morning, I heard Claudia crying hysterically and went to see what the problem was.  The party chick was frantically trying to hold up a painting as tall as she is, because she was playing all over the living room and knocked it over.  I had a hard time sleeping after that, which was unfortunately since I had to get up and out the door early Wednesday so I could get some stuff done with the kids before their weekend trip to their dad’s house.  I ran errands and helped the kids make their Valentine bags for our homeschool party.  The boys enjoyed the announcement I made that we were taking the entire week off school and that the next week would only be Wednesday and Thursday.  They celebrated with XBox.

Thursday, we got up to head down to meet the kids’ dad.  It was an uneventful drive down and I was super excited to jam in the car solo on the way back.  I then took the coveted-by-all-moms solo Target trip.  I wandered down every aisle before going home to get ready for date night with my guy.  We finally cashed in the gift card we got for Christmas and had a lovely seafood dinner.

Stuart surprised me Friday morning by taking the day off work so we could spend more time together and so that he could go with me to get my license.  I’m so glad he did, because I ended up being there for several hours.  After some wine shopping, we came home to binge watch Sense8.  What a mind fuck that show is!

Childfree weekend continued Saturday morning with our usual breakfast and mimosa routine.  It was a lovely day out, so we decided to go for a bike ride.  After a ride through small-town Texas, we were starving and thought another dinner out would be a lovely idea.

Sunday morning, Stuart woke me all the way up by asking the ridiculous question, “Do you want to go to Bolsa?”  You’ll soon find out, dear readers, that Bolsa is our slice of heaven.  It’s OUR brunch place, where we fell in love, and where the staff became our family.  I ALWAYS want to go to Bolsa.  After a leisurely brunch, we came home and rearranged our bedroom and I love it so much now!

It was truly such a lovely weekend.  As much as I love my kids, I cherish the time I get to focus on my relationship and get things done without literally tripping over my little shadow.

I hope you also take time for yourself and your relationship if you’re in one.  It’s so important!