We spent the rest of the evening eating fish and chips - this was a more successful endeavour for him that it was for me - watching Stranger Things on the big screen in the games room and laughing when each of us jumped or had to look away from the screen. It was an easy kind of date night where everything just falls into place and you don't feel the need to be romantic because you're out in public as a couple - we can do romance but the lovey dovey stuff just isn't us.
It was also the type of evening we used to love when we had a better space to spend it in. Over the last couple of years, we really did outgrow our old house and there wasn't really space for us both to relax comfortable side by side. Last night made me realise how much happier we have been over the last few weeks and how much easier it is to spend time together in our house without stepping on each others toes. It also took me back to date nights in our first year together, when we were able to have fun without loads of pressure from other areas of our lives getting in the way.
When we first got together, I was a student and he had lost his job so we didn't have the option to go out much. He also lived in one room - granted it was a big room but still just the one - so when I stayed with him, we had no choice but to be in the same space. I think this is why we can be so comfortable doing totally different things in one room - I'm usually reading or writing and he's usually playing a game or watching Netflix. But it's also why we are both happy to have space that we can call ours, although he's been trying to make sure I know the games room is mine too (I've told him the library is not his).
When we both started working and could afford 'real' date nights, we started going out a lot more, but in the process, I think we got a bit too caught up in the idea of dinner and a movie meaning a date. This meant that we stopped thinking of date night being anything but that so didn't treat evenings at home together in the same way. Not only was this a bit of a daft way to look at a night spent together, but it also meant we missed out a bit.
Recently, because we have more space and can lie on the sofa together or both sit upstairs to watch something on the big screen, we've started to make a point of watching films, playing games and just having fun together. That's not say we don't still like our own space - he went out on Friday night and I enjoyed an evening with wine, a book and Game of Thrones - but being in the same room together doing something we enjoy is much easier and we feel less cramped.
We've had a lot more evenings that are like they were back in the first year and it has been so lovely. Last night reminded me that we don't need to take turns 'spoiling' each other (she says after he bought her a car yesterday), as spending a tenner on takeaway and watching something we both enjoy is just as great. It was easy, free of any pressure or time restraints, no one could interrupt us and we both had fun. As far as I'm concerned, that's a mark of a good date night whether you leave the house or not.
Both of us realised how great it was too and we have already made some plans to watch specific films together (we're watching movies on the projector that we both missed in the cinema or were too young to see) and go on little trips on joint days off now that I can drive us places. He's even agreed to go to Aldi with me to do food shopping on Monday, which is a very rare thing as he hates going to the supermarket.
It may not seem like much to right a blog about, but I woke up this morning happy, content and already looking forward to him getting home from work so we can spend more time together, which after almost eight years of being partners, seems like a pretty good place to be in.