Date night has changed for us due to the pandemic.

Fancy dinners? Not happening.

We loved going to dinner and a movie before March of 2020.

Sometimes we would go have a drink and listen to live music.

So many things we all took for granted.

What I have learned since this pandemic started is that more important than the place is the company.

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Once the pandemic started, we naively thought it would be over in a couple of months.

Then months turned into more months.

The days began to bleed into one another between distance learning and the unknown of the virus.

Our date nights had to change.

What began to matter was the time spent together.

Time after the distance learning was over.

Time when I was at my wit’s end with everything and just needed him to make me laugh or hear me cry.

The price of the meal was irrelevant.

Could we have this meal in peace after our kids went to bed? Check!

That was all we wanted.

It was through the grueling grind that we learned what we valued in one another.

And it wasn’t my sexy date night boots.

It was laughter.

It was support.

Having a simple meal together and making memories.

Laughing during a movie while cuddling on the couch.

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Playing old school board games.

Leaning on his shoulder as we watched a favorite TV show.

Teaching ourselves how to make and pronounce charcuterie board.

Taking walks and riding bikes together while an immediate family member watched the kids for an hour.

Our typical date night plans went out the window, but we made the most of it.

Isn’t that what life and marriage are all about?

As the saying goes, “You plan, God, laughs.”

Marriage is often all about making the most of what you’ve got for the season you are in.

Sometimes you will be in a season where you can go out for a fancy dinner.

Sometimes you will be in a season where homemade mac and cheese will have to do.

There will be times you will be blissfully happy, but those won’t last forever because seasons change.

Times when you are exhausted will happen.

Times when you are stressed to the max are inevitable.

Times when your plates are overflowing with life’s messes, and you do not know what to do.

So go ahead and make plans.

Get all dolled up if you can.

Or don’t.

Order in from a fancy restaurant.

Or hit the Chick-fil-A drive-through.

Wear heels and dance in your living room after the kids go to bed.

Or wear cozy socks.

Do whatever you want, but be ready for plans to change.

This pandemic has taught us not to hang our expectations on where we are going for date night.

Leave those expectations on the shelf and focus on your partner instead.

When you focus on that,

When you focus on your love story,

Date night is lovely anywhere, even during a pandemic.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Aliette Silva

Aliette Silva is a mom and a writer that lives for a good Cuban sandwich. Her work has been featured in Today Parents, Her View from Home, Filter Free Parents, and Scary Mommy. She writes posts, shares stories, and snaps pictures of the daily mama grind. When she is not writing, you can find her chasing sleep or her two girls all over Disney World.