The world has been abuzz with the scandal of the Obamas’ fantastic, expensive date nights – from a Broadway show in New York to dinner by the Eiffel Tower in Paris the next, the President and First Lady are setting an amazing example to couples everywhere.
Politicians, the media and dating ‘experts’ are all weighing in on the issue, making me wonder when the subject of a husband and wife’s date night became a political vote-grabbing tool.
From The New York Times, June 5 2009:
THEIRS is a seasoned marriage, 16 years and counting. They are middle-aged. Life is that modern-crazy haze: two girls in the windstorm of year-end school activities, the puppy that must be walked twice daily, the live-in mother-in-law. They both work long hours. Standard recipe for a drive-by relationship.
At the gala celebrating the crowning achievement of his career, he showed her off to cheering throngs: “How good-looking is my wife?”
In his lock-step schedule, he sets aside daily “Michelle time.”
And last weekend, he fulfilled a promise to her. They got all gussied up and flew to New York, took a limo to dinner and a Broadway show, then flew home. Date night, just the two of them. Michelle and Barack. And their security detail.
From longtime marrieds-with-kids, the sounds of romance envy: Groan. Growl. Whimper. Sigh.
“I’m jealous,” said Emily Giffin, the Atlanta-based writer of “Love the One You’re With” and other chick-lit novels. Home stats: married seven years to a corporate executive, three children under 6.
Last date with husband? She’s thinking, she mutters. “We don’t have a date night, I have to say,” Ms. Giffin said. A lame excuse? Her husband’s beloved Pittsburgh Penguins are in the Stanley Cup finals. “But I flew to New York alone and went out with my friends while he stayed home with the kids,” she said. “Does that count?”
While some commentators were grousing about the presidential date’s undisclosed cost to the taxpayers, news of the romantic evening prompted many wives to glare across the breakfast table, trying to remember the last time their husbands made a fuss over them.
Relationship experts are applauding the first couple for giving life to the modern fantasy that longtime spouses can still be passionate about each other. Intentionally or not, the Obamas have become ambassadors for date night, a term that is a creature of these times. A generation ago, when Saturday night rolled around, parents simply went out. Now parents need to be prodded to date each other, as if they’re singles: take a break from the children, already!
Everyone should be following their lead. Our fast-paced modern lives are doing us no favours. A slew of problems, ranging from depression to exhaustion to divorce have all been attributed to our lifestyles. We are working harder and longer than ever before, connected 24-hours a day to technology and suffering for it.
I think that the health of The Obamas’ relationship should be of paramount concern to the country. The Obamas are going through one of the most important phases of their lives, and it is vital that the stresses of running a country (and indeed leading the rest of the world in the process) don’t take their toll on the relationship and leave everyone far more stressed than need be. If you don’t have a healthy personal life, you can’t be effective at work.
So we have big love for The Obamas, regardless of the amount of money they are spending on themselves. I say they deserve it! What do you think?
Of course, we at $30 Date Night have long known that you don’t need to fly your sweetie across the country to make date night special…. date night can be just as effective if you spend only $30. The key to doing date night right is not the amount of money you spend, it’s doing new things together that keeps your relationship healthy. Maybe we can convince The Obamas to try ten pin bowling or ice skating next time?
Now go! Get inspired and book a date night with your lovebird this week! Hundreds of fun ideas are waiting for you…