All posts by Ryan

Enjoy a Spring Date in your Chicago Parks

Spring is in bloom! Shake off those winter blues and hop on over to your neighborhood park. The Chicago Park District hosts a variety of events to celebrate this season. From the Annual Spring Flower Shows at Garfield & Lincoln Park Conservatories, featuring vibrant spring colors all season long, to our Stewardship Workdays and cultural events. There is something for everyone in the parks.

Enjoy spring in the parks!

Date Night Chicago tip: sort by cost and look for those freebies in the park, such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Civic Concert in Gage Park.

Chicago Park District Events Calendar: April, 2010

Date Night Planning Tug-of-War?

“What do you want to do tonight?”
“I don’t know, what ever you want to do.”
“I want to do what you want.”
“I don’t want to make a decision.”

The Churning of the Ocean of Milk
The Churning of the Ocean of Milk, photo by Mark Alexander
Sometimes making a decision can be a passive-aggressive tug-of-war for a married couple who are trying to balance the needs of the other, themselves, and even just fighting the doldrums of doing the same thing because it’s “what we always do.”

Date Nights can be planned as a couple, or at least discussed as a couple, but they don’t have to be that way. Many of us find that the best way to get some variety is to take turns planning (and even paying for) your date nights.

This gives an opportunity to inflect more of “you” into your choice of entertainment or meal (or no meal). Let your date learn and more deeply understand what you like, not just revisit what works for you as a couple. Sharing your interests and even finding new interests together is the ultimate goal here.

Taking turns makes it fair and spreads out the responsibility. You never want date night to be avoided, feared, or a hassle. Plan in advance, get reservations and know that you’re free to enjoy your spouse without worry of managing the next date.

Fear giving up some control? Don’t worry, your week is next.

The Rules of Date Night

Okay, enough aimlessly wandering around the internet trying to figure out what to do to re-kindle your married relationships. A Date Night, or regular married couple’s commitment to spend quality time with each other, doesn’t have to be complicated or obtrusive and should absolutely, positively be fun every time.

How do you make sure this happens? Follow the Date Night Chicago rules:

  1. Keep it simple. You’re not trying to set the record for most amazing date ever (there is no “most shocking rose ceremony ever” afterward). Your plans should work to only enhance the natural chemistry you and your spouse already have. If you’re planning an extravagant and elaborate itinerary you’re more likely to be caught up in the idea of the date and not tuning in to your spouse.
  2. Commit to a schedule. Date Night needs to be consistent. Your variety will be in the meals, entertainment and events that you choose; not the days or dates. It will be far easier for those with busy social lives or a history of double-booking to not have to check a calendar when scheduling other activities. Pick a night of the week, once a month, every other week, and so forth, and stick to the commitment.
  3. No distractions. Your focus should be each other and along with keeping things simple you’ll want to turn off that television, put the crackberry on silent, leave the children with a sitter and forget about your jobs and housework for the night.
  4. Enjoy each other. It sounds obvious, but as you’re salivating over the best meal ever, cheerfully red-cheeked and pouring just one more glass of wine, do not forget that you should be filling yourself on the love of your spouse and drinking in all the wonderful things that made you say “I do” in the first place.