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Tell Me I’ll Never Have To Be Out There Again

Watching people on a date. It can be like flame licking along wax. You know they’re just going through the motions, because they’ve already set the table on fire.

You fantasize about those dates, right? Even when you’re long married.

Because you remember what it was like to be on the other kind of date.

The one where you pretend to care about the prattles of your table mate. You wish they’d go to the bathroom so you could sop up the last dregs of wine and gobble your remaining dessert in peace, because you haven’t said anything substantial about yourself in three hours.

I observed one of those dates tonight, on the eve of the eve of my tenth anniversary. Have you ever had an impossible time enjoying a collision with food nirvana because you can relate to the dynamics at the next table? Maybe you remember what it was like to be IT in hide-and-seek, only you never found anybody? Or you hid and were never found?

That’s what dating felt like to me.

I looked at MTM and muttered the words of Carrie FisherWhen Harry Met Sally

“Tell me I’ll never have to be out there again.”

I worry about being out there again. A lot. Because I don’t think I live up to the mate I’ve been given. Marriage is a perpetual game of changing things up. Of accepting what is. And what is not. Of making what could be reality.

MTM and I spent some time today talking about how to improve our marriage in the coming year. If you could do one new thing in your marriage, what would you do? Maybe your suggestions will add things to our list, or cause you to start a list of your own. Either way, that’s a win.

38 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m weird in that way. I’ve never “dated.” So thankfully I don’t know that particularly feeling and likely never will. But I’ve definitely met people here and there at gatherings where the 30 – 120 seconds I stood in their general vicinity in which the intention was to pay attention to one another was quite awkward/painful/annoying that I do get a sense for how much it would suck drawn out over the course of an entire evening.

    June 12, 2014
  2. yeseventhistoowillpass #

    As the guy said to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, “Plastics” I say, “Communication”

    June 12, 2014
  3. I got out of that scene by dropping out.

    June 12, 2014
  4. Ugh. Communication. Communication. Communifuckingcation. I communicate too much. He communicates too little. We’re a kickass awesome couple, but we have GOT to work on this.

    June 12, 2014
  5. Since I have, for lo these many years, not had a marriage to worry about, I cannot comment, except to say kudos to both of you that you care enough to occasionally step back to consider whether you are doing all you need to do to keep yours on the rails.

    As for your dinner, I would have had difficulty concentrating on what was transpiring nearby (or at my own table for that matter) if that “interesting” artwork were looming over my dinner plate!!

    June 12, 2014
  6. Those dates where you just want to look at him/her and say STFU! One way I would improve my marriage is to make sure I kiss my husband every day when we see each other in the evenings, after work/school. Also on his list (of course) would be to have more sex but isn’t that what every man would want??? Like you, I worry about what I would do without Dan. Even though I consider myself an independent woman, I realize how much I depend on him and how empty my world would be without him. Happy Anniversary!!

    June 12, 2014
  7. Those dates where you just want to look at him/her and say STFU! One way I would improve my marriage is to make sure I kiss my husband every day when we see each other in the evenings, after work/school. Also on his list (of course) would be to have more sex but isn’t that what every man would want??? Like you, I worry about what I would do without Dan. Even though I consider myself an independent woman, I realize how much I depend on him and how empty my world would be without him. Happy Anniversary!!

    June 12, 2014
  8. Nancy Glenn #

    After almost 45 years of marriage, my best advice would be to talk…keep the communication line open. Happy Anniversary, Andra. Hope you enjoy your day!

    June 12, 2014
  9. Love the art, not sure I’d want it over my dinner table. Yes I’ve had those moments where I’m glad I’m not doing the drama next door. On the other hand I’m debating getting back into the “dating scene” expect it looks a little different at my age, but still as dreadful. Happy Anniversary to you and MTM!

    June 12, 2014
  10. My parents took up ballroom and Latin dancing together.

    June 12, 2014
  11. Communication and respect of each other. Definitely. Happy anniversary to you both!

    June 12, 2014
  12. We’ve been married for 38 years. It hasn’t always been sweetness and light, but the fundamental that keeps us walking the same path together is that, first and foremost, we’re friends. Really deep, close, objective friends. Yeah, we’re monogamous lovers too, and parents, and all that stuff, but right there at the bottom line we’re pals and never worry about losing that.

    June 12, 2014
  13. Well, since I’m not married…oh, hell, I’ll give you my advice anyways: Respect for each other, respectful communication, and give-and-take (you can’t always be the prince or princess) were things that were sorely lacking my marriage. Those are the important points if I would ever marry again. Andra, I see a respectful, loving partnership with you and MTM. I suppose you have ways of annoying one another, but outwardly it appears you two have a soul mate relationship and I think that’s awesome. Keep going because the alternative is the dating life which I am finding to not be the most pleasant of activities. I’ve had the one-sided conversation with dates – it’s awkward and annoying and time passes very slowly. Very slowly.

    June 12, 2014
  14. Emily #

    Dating life bites…..that is all. Keep it together by whatever means possible.

    June 12, 2014
  15. tarakianwarrior #

    I stood back and looked at the drawing in your picture and immediately I liked it, then I looked closer – is that a woman bending over? Seriously? At an eating establishment? Haha. If anything happened to Michael – I wouldn’t go out there again. I mean, why? I’ve already had the one person that allows me to be me without trying to change me or judging me which is extremely rare. I’ve had the best (for me). 😀 How should I spruce up our marriage? I’ll ask Mike about that. 😉

    June 12, 2014
  16. i am not a good one to offer advice on this, for i am ‘out there’ as we speak )

    June 12, 2014
  17. Were they dating at THAT table? The one with the buttocks shining over them?

    June 12, 2014
  18. One of the good ways of having a great marriage is to find things you both like doing, and do them as a team. Tennis is a good one with mixed doubles. In our case it was yacht racing. We had some really great times, and were pretty successful.

    June 12, 2014
  19. After 41 years, I’m afraid that my only thing new would be something that wouldn’t help you; that being I would insist we travel more than we have.
    Good for you and MTM to have that talk now and again. As others have said, communication is the key.
    Happy Anniversary!

    June 12, 2014
  20. Andy #

    Work on my communication skills! I really am poor at it. Also not take everything too seriously. Constructive criticism is what is meant most times but I take most things as a put down. I also need to constantly remember that a marriage is a two way street and a constant work in progress..

    June 12, 2014
  21. Jen #

    We need to go on dates. Seriously. We’ve totally sucked at this for the past three years. (And I loooooooove When Harry Met Sally … still)

    June 12, 2014
  22. Glad to be back Andra – life’s been hectic recently so blogging has been on a back burner.
    I’d most definitely get out of the habit of interrupting half way through each other’s question with an answer, because we’ve already guessed what the other is going to say.
    That picture is wild – I have a sneaking suspicion it is designed to reassure female diners that they CAN eat that dessert without remorse. Happy anniversary!

    June 12, 2014
  23. Hey, good question. I couldn’t give you any tips since this July will be my and Mme. Ross’ fifth anniversary, but maybe I should start thinking about these things.

    June 12, 2014
  24. Sigh, When Harry Met Sally is such a classic. As for my imaginary husband… lol!

    June 12, 2014
  25. I know you both. You are perfect for each other – yin and yang. I can’t imagine the two of you, either of you, without each other. Would be like a pen without ink – a writer’s pen or an architect’s pen. Different tools of a similar purpose.

    June 12, 2014
  26. My simple advice — laughter. Make each other smile. You will be rich, you will be poor. You will lose jobs and find jobs. You will spin all around this great big world, and not always be able to change it. So learn to laugh at things together. It makes everything so much easier.

    June 12, 2014
  27. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    I-I-I’VE SAID THAT….!

    June 12, 2014
  28. Lance #

    I was married once to someone I had no communication with, It nearly killed me, literally,. Now, I;’m with someone I communicate all the time and it’s amazing.

    I was terrible at dating and definitely meant to be in relationship.

    June 12, 2014
  29. vastlycurious.com #

    Currently a touchy subject. So many angles to consider and dating is awful. I always called it an “interview”. I congratulate you on 10 years and wonder why you sell yourself short? From a distance I think he is a lucky man…..I also love the photo : )

    June 13, 2014
  30. Congratulations again on your 10 years. I think it’s fantastic that you two talk about how to improve your marriage. That right there is key!! 🙂

    I had a blast dating. I loved the game and the chase and the flirting. I was 26 when I got married and it took me a while to adjust to not being out there! If I had to do it again today, I would feel some sense of excitement at first but then I am sure I would hate it!

    I am a very happily married chica. I think sacrificing for the other and swallowing your pride when needed, goes a long way. Apologizing and admitting when you are wrong, is another. Humor is right up there in my list. I can’t imagine NOT finding the humor in any situation particularly in the trials of marriage. One thing Mr. Brickhouse and I do is schedule a time to talk about serious things OUTSIDE of our home. If we have to talk finances, kid’s issues, etc., and we know it’s going to be tense, we go to a local cafe and sit for hours discussing the topic. Something about NOT being home during this serious talk makes it so much better. 🙂

    June 13, 2014
  31. Happy Anniversary, Andra! I love your statement to MTM. I’m not married, so I don’t have my own advice. But I have my sister-in-law’s: learn how to fight with each other. I’ve heard them argue. They argue like people who still really love each other. And they’ve been married almost 30 years.

    June 13, 2014
  32. Having just celebrated 27 years I can tell you that there is no silver bullet. No magical piece of advice that will make things great. Marriage is work. Unfortunately it seems there are a lot of couples who aren’t willing to put that work in.

    June 13, 2014
  33. It is a scary thought!

    June 13, 2014
  34. Andra, I see you have few suggestions here! I have been married for 35 years, and cannot imagine I would ever want to fool with dating again. My only advice would be to love yourself, to work on yourself without judging.

    June 13, 2014
  35. What’s a “date”?

    June 14, 2014
  36. My ‘suggestion’ is: Insider humor, running jokes, your very own culture. Has worked for me (us) ever since. It is not really advice of course as you cannot force or plan it.

    June 14, 2014
  37. I think you two have a deep respect for each other that fills in any perceived gaps. I think it’s wonderful that you have taken some anniversary time to reflect on the past and look ahead to a future, even with improvements. I don’t know what I’d suggest in my marriage at this point. If I could I would go back and make some major changes along the way. I wouldn’t get married at 19 years of age, that’s a fact. 🙂 I had to grow up within a marriage and that’s hard. But at this point in time, I’m grateful we have stayed the course and we have certainly learned the secrets of compromise and endurance. You are undoubtedly learning the same. ox

    June 15, 2014
  38. Katy said that I need to quit picking on her so much. She does not like being the object of my entertainment. Examples would be stealing her pillows at night when she is trying to go to sleep and threatening to get rid of any of her pets. Well then….. 🙂

    June 15, 2014

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