date night?

Does taking a walk count as a "date night," or does it count only if you're holding hands?

If there’s one thing that confuses me about the whole discourse of modern marrieds, it’s “date night.”  Particularly in churches, it seems couples are encouraged to have a regular date night, to continue dating their spouse.  And the more I think about it, the more confused I get.

Like, what counts as a date? If we regularly go out to eat, does that count as a date every time? Or only if we plan it in advance? Or only if it’s the kind of place with real table cloths? What about cooking a meal together? Does that count as a date?  Do you have to go to a movie, or would renting a movie count as a date? I would have considered renting a movie a date back when Jon and I were dating, but is it no longer a date if we live together?  Or taking a walk– we liked to take walks when we were dating, so is it a date when we walk the dogs together? Is it only a date if we’re holding hands while we walk?

Come to think of it, pondering what a married date night looks like makes me think of nothing so much as a brochure my friends and I received and mocked in college: 101 Ways to Make Love Without Doing It. If those things count as dates, Jon and I have had 31 dates (at least, this doesn’t include repeats of the same activity) in the past month.  Really, though, I’m not clear on what delineates a “date night” from “sharing life together” and couldn’t tell ya the last “date” we had. Because really, we’re married. We’re not dating anymore. Thank God.

Though I must say, sipping spiked Russian Tea while snuggling on the couch wearing PJs and listening to music in the glow of the Christmas tree, which we did last night, is a darn good date, though I’m not sure it would count towards the mysterious but apparently all important “date night.”