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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Couples Therapy: The Grass Isn't Always Greener on the Other Side

As parents, it is important to take time out and go on dates.   

I remember the pediatrician telling my husband and me when we had our first daughter that we should go out on a date at least once a month. Over the past nine years, it has been hard to find the time with two young kids and busy schedules. It is also expensive when you have to pay for a babysitter and the date.

But we have managed to get out every once in a while, and for one of our recent outings, we went out to dinner. After dinner, we decided we would check out a local restaurant/pub that we had never been to before and have a drink. It’s not too often we get to just sit, relax and talk without being interrupted by our kids.

We sat at a high-top table in the bar area and started people watching. We noticed a lot of the people at the restaurant were wearing white nametags and asking each other, “What’s your number?” Some of them even came up to our table and asked us if we were POF’ers.

We had no idea what they were talking about until we asked our waitress. Somehow we landed in the middle of a Plenty of Fish social. Plenty of Fish, we learned, is an organization to help single people meet other single people.

My husband and I continued to observe the people and noticed that it was a crowd of all different ages, ranging from 30s to about 70. It was interesting to say the least to watch these people trying to get to know one another.

While we were there, we noticed two guys in their early 40s sitting in a booth. They didn’t have nametags on, but they were checking out the scene. We asked them if they were part of the social. They said they came to see what it was like, but didn’t want name tags just in case they didn’t wanted to be a part of it.

We started talking to them about why there were there. One of them said he was there to help his friend find a date, but he personally didn’t need help with dating. He told us several times that night that he was 6 feet 7 inches tall and 300 pounds and that he had plenty of dates. Maybe size does matter. Anyway, his friend’s wife had died recently, and he wanted to take him out.

What was interesting was they told us they had each been married three times. They were both nice-looking and very nice guys, as far as we could tell. They said their marriage track record wasn’t something they would bring up with in conversation though with the ladies.

My husband and I started talking about what it must be like these days to be single and looking for companionship. It wasn’t what we had remembered from dating when we were younger in the “good ol’ times.” This was different. We actually were clinging to each other as we watched, commenting that this was good couples’ therapy. Even the people who were a part of the social told us: “Be glad you have each other.”

I know in my own life, it’s hard to be a wife and mom and with all the demands there are every day. I know marriage takes work, but it is such a blessing. I thank God for my husband and kids. I saw that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. What we may think is fun just may not be what it’s cracked up to be.

By the way, we found out the “What’s your number?” question was part of a game where everyone got a number when they registered, and they won a prize if they found the person who had their matching number.

My husband and I are glad our numbers are always the same these days.


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