Why my partner and I gave up going out on dates

My girlfriend and I were lazing around and going through our receipts (#adulting) when we realized that, somewhere, things had changed. The more we went through the crumpled up pieces of paper documenting how we spent our money, the more we noticed that they were also documenting how we spent our time—especially how we spent time together. There were loads documenting trips and experiences, movie dates and concerts and spoken word. But there was no way for us to know how much time we’d been spending together, as in really together: talking and hanging out and getting to know each other better.

We decided to make a decision that would bring us even closer. We would stop going out so often, and start spending more time at home.

We were surprised to realize that this even meant we had to shift the way we hung out together at home. We’d taken Netflix and chill to an entirely new level. We watched a show with nearly every meal. Without commercials to force us to chat, we’d let characters and their dialogue replace our own. There was no other option. We had to cut back.

So we canceled two of our online television subscriptions and actively created spaces where we could talk. Instead of going to the movies, we’d go to a part. Instead of going to yet another noisy bar with way too many people, we’d go for a walk. I found it interesting that the more time we spent outside, the more time we spent getting a glimpse at what was going on in the other’s head.

We slowly slipped back into the version of us that we were back in our honeymoon period, version where laying and chatting with no background noise was the norm. We started asking each other questions again, those weird, nosy questions you ask someone when you first fall in love: what were you like in second grade? What was the highlight of your college career? When do you feel happiest? 

There was a softness to it. At first, I was almost nervous. Getting to know each other is something that never really ends, no matter how long you’re a couple, because you’re always changing. This girl I’d known—and been dating!— for years was making me feel all fluttery and strange and lovely. And it was, lovely. And it is.

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