Everyone knows that if you want to feel like a couple you should schedule in ‘date night’. We get told that if we just find time to spend as a couple and get intimate, it will all be fine and we’ll feel like we’re in love again.
Sometimes though, it’s not so easy.
The assumption that all you need is ‘date night’ is fine – IF you have a solid, strong and problem free relationship as a foundation.
After a baby though, maintaining or achieving that foundation can be challenging. That can mean that the idea of ‘date night’, whether that’s just spending time together or thinking about having sex, is a little off putting.
And that’s OK. It’s fine if the thought of date night brings you out in a cold sweat. Or if the thought of having sex with your partner isn’t as appealing as it once was.
There are lots of reasons why date night might be something that you dread. There are lots of things that can get in the way of being a couple again after you’ve had a baby. So here are the top 5 reasons date night might worry you and what you can do about it.
You have feel insecure about your body after having a baby
Unless you are one of the lucky few whose body just snapped back into shape after a baby there’s a good chance you’re looking a little different nowadays. You might have been left with stretch marks or an overhang (affectionately known as the ‘mothers apron’). You might still be carrying a bit of extra baby weight. Or find that your boobs aren’t quite where they were. Whatever it is, worrying about how your partner feels about the changes is perfectly understandable.
The changes to your body might leave you feeling uncomfortable with the idea of having sex again. Which can make date night seem unappealing since that’s usually the goal! You might find that it’s difficult to relax around your partner if they are feeling in the mood. You might find the idea of stripping off and jumping into bed terrifying rather than exciting. Or perhaps you feel that you would prefer to totally take sex of the table altogether for a while. Whatever it is, if you are feeling insecure about your body, it’s not surprising that you might feel a little reluctant about date night (you can read about 5 ways to love your post baby body just as it is).
You feel angry or resentful towards your partner
Whilst it might not seem fair, it’s very common for mums to end up doing a lot more of the baby duties and night feeds than dad’s. If your partner doesn’t help out as much as he could then this is going to leave you feeling a tad pissed off with him. You might also be feeling resentful that he gets to have a break when he goes to work. Or just plain angry that you are the one constantly getting up in the night whilst he snores away next to you.
Resentment or repressed anger is definitely going to stop you wanting to spend time with him or get intimate. Someone once told me that data night is just scheduling a row! This is very true though if there are issues between you that are not getting resolved. Any negative feelings you have towards your partner will come out somehow and if date night is the only time the two of you sit down and talk, it’s almost inevitable that your underlying feelings will stop the two of you enjoying yourselves!
You don’t feel like you anymore
When you become a mum, for a little while anyway, you tend to stop being anything else. You might have given up or taken a break from your career to be on maternity leave. You might be less of a party girl or miss being able to do your hobbies. And it’s really hard to keep an identity as someone’s wife or lover when you are mostly covered in baby sick, wearing 5 day old sweat pants and probably have a small infant attached to you in some way, shape or form.
Feeling like you’ve lost your identity and don’t know who you are anymore can really impact on date night. You might feel like you don’t have much to say. Or feel like you are a totally different person to the one your partner knows and loves. Feeling unsure about your identity outside of being mum can make date night feel a little uncomfortable. After all, baby isn’t there so it’s just you and that might be a little scary if you don’t feel that you have much else to offer at the moment.
This one is fairly self explanatory. When we’re tired we often take it out on those closest to us so you might find that you are bickering more than usual with your partner or getting annoyed at the smallest thing. As you might imagine, this isn’t necessarily helpful when it comes feeling like you actually want date night. Plus, if we’re being totally honest, if you have a few spare hours then you’d probably rather sleep than go out.
And if you do manage to make the effort to do date night then being exhausted could mean you are irritable, grumpy and not in the mood to make polite conversation with your partner. All in all being tired is not exactly conducive to a romantic night for just the two of you!
You’re feeling disconnected to your partner
It’s very common after a baby to suddenly look up and realise that you haven’t really connected with your partner in a long time. Life is a whirlwind of nappies, feeding, bathing, nap time, cooking, cleaning and washing so it’s easy to forget to make the time to check in with each other daily.
If we don’t connect daily though we can start to drift apart. We stop being interested in each other and just have conversations around the essential stuff. What to have for dinner, who needs to do what round the house or who is going where at the weekend. This means that you start to feel like flat mates rather than lovers and who’d want to do date night with a flat mate!
Luckily the solution for all of these things is the same – talk to your partner!!!! If you’re worried about whether he finds you attractive, tell him you need reassurance. If you are feeling angry or resentful sit down and talk about it together. Feeling exhausted – ask if you can do date lunch instead. Not sure who you are anymore? Confide in him. Tell him how you are feeling and let yourself be vulnerable. If you feel like flat mates then just talking about the fact that you feel disconnected will help to start reconnecting.
Leaving any of these issues unresolved will increase the distance between you and can make date night something you dread. Aim to work with your partner to deal with any worries or problems that you have. Be a team and let him support you (and you him).
Once you start talking to your partner about any of these things you’ll start to feel like he understands. He’ll also be able to reassure you about any worries you have. Or to make you feel like you are still the most attractive and interesting woman he knows. You’ll know that he is there for you and you’ll feel a little lighter for getting things off your chest.
Suddenly date night will start to seem much more appealing!
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