Time is the tastiest treat

I read an article this week that said couples who spend time together are happier, and live longer. 

I wondered just who had managed to bamboozle a government agency or research body into paying for that study, because it seemed like a no-brainer to me. 

Then I remembered all our friends who have kids, and it dawned on me that the study meant quality time with just the two people, not spending time in a group. One of the blessings of not having kids is that I can be more selfish. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that I can focus on what's important for my well-being a bit faster. I'd like to offer a few tips out there for those who have a longer list of people and obligations to work into their lives. 

You know that I'm going to mention food, so let's just get it out of the way - having a meal together, or even a snack, is a great way to share some quality time. Here are three suggestions - try one, or try them all.

If your kids are little, a planned dinner after they are put to bed could be an option. Prep your dishes ahead of time so you can whip up the meal more quickly and enjoy the time. Leave the dishes ‘til the next day, they won't go anywhere. :) Or, if you're too stressed to think of cooking, order in. Try something you know the kids won't eat and you'll feel decadent, which helps put you in the mood for selfish time.

If your kids are bigger, send them out to a movie, or, better yet, to a friend's house for a sleepover (they will likely be happy for the time to themselves, too). Then proceed as in #1 after the kids are in bed. If it's a sleepover, hopefully I don't need to suggest that you could have even more fun after dinner?
If it's in the budget, sneak away and leave the kids or other obligations (the laundry, the workout routine, the Christmas card list, etc.) at home.

And, wait - this is the most important part: Forgive yourself for taking one night off. Then enjoy your time together. It could be a movie, or a walk, or a dinner out, or even just a drink or dessert or an ice cream cone. But it's your time together, just you two.

My husband and I have enjoyed ‘date night’ almost every week since we met, 18 years ago. We go to a movie on Tuesdays (cheap night). Sometimes we grab a bite to eat first - sushi maybe, or a burger - but most times it's just the movie. I let him eat some of my popcorn, and he lets me have some of his licorice. After all, a friend's treat always tastes better, right? 

You might think this is odd quality time - how much can you share sitting in the dark, not talking? Well, you'd be surprised. We have great chats in the car on the way home, and we often bring up favourite scenes or lines from movies we particularly enjoyed. 

Now, full disclosure here: Martin and I met in the movie business, and I grew up in it. We both love the excitement of a good story, and we appreciate the craft of those who create all the ‘smoke and mirrors’ that draw us into the adventure. Movies have always been a common interest, and that is part of the magic for us. We fuel that interest with more stories and memories, so we have something to share. 

The more you are apart from your spouse, the more you need to find some kind of common thread that you can weave into the everyday fabric of your life together. Otherwise, you'll wake up one day each using a separate blanket.

I count my lucky stars that I found my soulmate, and at every meal we share at least one corny, starry-eyed look at each other. Food is a bond for us that fuels our hearts in more ways than one. 

If I were to watch our movie, I know it would be full of ups and downs, with more than a few laughs, but most importantly of all, it would have a happy ending.

Now get out there, and buy your lover a coffee . . . or a donut, at least!

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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