Married… And Still Dating

I thought I was done with dating when I married my husband Jamie.  No more awkward getting-to-know-you conversations, no more exhausting/witty banter, no more wondering if they’ll call.

Married... and still dating. Other people.

Wrong.

We’re still dating. Only we’re dating other couples.  Will they like us?  Do we all have chemistry?  Are the women just friends and the men have nothing to say to each other?  Do we have similar tastes in TV shows, food, child rearing?  Do they use swear words? (Um, we sometimes do)  Let’s be honest.  Once you finally get a weekend night available (dodging work obligations, family obligations and various Detroit sporting events), and drop ten bucks an hour on a sitter, flat-iron your hair (just me?) – the date better be good.  Unlike our single selves, we can’t just meet people out for dollar pitchers of beer on a Wednesday night (oh the days of $1 pitchers) to see how it goes.  We’re no longer a hook up couple with endless time. Wait. That makes us sound like we’re swingers.  We’re not.

We’re looking for a relationship.  And finding another couple that matches interests, kids and humor can be like finding that one in a million soul mate all over again.  But we don’t just open up to anyone – we’ve been burned before.  Showed a little leg, made the first move – but they just weren’t that into us. (cue flashback)

It was a wedding.  We were at table 23, the catch-all table of random friends, relatives and others you don’t know where to put, so you throw the extras at one table.  We sat down next to a couple who seemed to be our same age.  Ripe with a gin and tonic, we started talking.  You know, the usual how-do-you-know-the-couple, to what-do-you-do-for-a-living questions.  Then we progressed to talking about other weddings, fun trips, hilarious movies.  It was like they answered our Pina Colada song singles ad.  The other woman and I even took a trip to the bathroom together, the ultimate in female friend bonding.

At the end of the night, I impulsively (because I’m usually not that kind of girl) thrust my business card with personal number into the other woman’s hand.

“Call us!” I said brightly.  “We had so much fun with you guys! It would be great to hang out again!”

“That would be fun!” she gushed.  With that they turned, and walked out.

For days, Jamie and I were hopeful that we would get a second date.  I mean, we were funny!  We were witty!  We danced the Electric Slide together!

Nothing.  Scarred from putting ourselves out there, we vowed never to pursue another couple so brazenly.  I know, I know – nothing ventured, nothing gained.  So yes, we did heal.  We got back out there.

We have ended up making great couples friends in our neighborhood and from school.  We have a lot of fun, but it has taken a slow, dating dance to make sure it’s going to last.  Back in the dating days, looking for  Mr./Mrs. Right was about good looks, a steady job and someone who didn’t embarrass himself on the dance floor. (or two out of three)  Now we’re into good wine, swapping kid stories, a wild Kid Rock concert once every 3 years and getting home by midnight.  (Ok, 11:30 p.m.)

So, if you like Pina Coladas… and getting caught in the rain…. like Detroit sports… and watch The Barefoot Contessa…

We’re available.

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46 thoughts on “Married… And Still Dating

  1. Something similar happened to me when I took my son to the library to play. I went there in hopes to connect with some other mothers and to socialize my 11 month old son. To my surprise, I met a wonderful mother who had so much in common with me.

    When it came time to leave, due to nap time approaching, I told her it was nice chatting with her and I hoped to see her again. As I left the library, I hesitated to go back and give her my number. I slowly walked out to my car trying to figure out if that was an appropriate thing to do. I decided it would be best to wait and see if we ran into each other again.

    I haven’t been back to the library yet, as it has only been a couple of days, but I do hope she is there when I return. It can be a difficult thing to meet quality people that you connect with so well. As you said, we don’t wont to show too much leg too soon.

    • Traci – this is so true! I think there’s a lot of that “moms looking for other moms connection”. Man, doesn’t that sound like a bizarre singles ad. Good job playing it safe – who knew we had to date again??! Keep me posted on what happens and thanks for reading….

  2. I really enjoyed this post Christy- and it is so true! My daughter is in Kindergarten and I feel like it is just as important for me to make Mom friends as it is for her to make friends. Those solid “family” relationships where the parents AND kids are friends will make for a stronger bond. Glad you are finding those in your neighborhood- I think anybody would be lucky to have you two as friends!

  3. I find this a challenge as well — I’ve always been the friendlier, forward-er one to approach potential new friends, and usually it backfires right in my face. I’ll never forget when we were driving into the driveway from church and I saw a man about our age strolling w/ a little girl around the age of our eldest son. I jumped from the car when it was kind of still moving because there were NO kids in our neighborhood and I wanted to establish first contact. I introduced myself and my kid, learned his kid’s name, and then said, “well, we live right here and I’m always up for putting together a playdate; do you live around here?” And the guy said, “You know, I’m not comfortable with where this conversation is going,” and he walked away.

    Yeah, I don’t really miss New England AT ALL. 🙂

  4. Love it! I know just what you mean. How many different hats do you wear for each type of couple you go out with. I always hope I don’t mix them up. Be yourself and weed out the ones you are trying too hard with, right? Anyway, we’d love a date with you and Jamie. I know we are friends. Let’s MAKE them friends. Paul is super easy to get along with. Let’s just say there won’t be a lull in convo. 🙂 Heh.

  5. Hello Christy

    Great blog and so true. We dance with porcupines at times when meeting new people.

    Seriously, chemistry is important in all relationships and as an author and speaker, I find this paramount if we are to enact lasting change. In my forthcoming book, LiNK: The Fascinating Ways Our Minds Connect, I talk about the importance of empathetic resonance.

    Yes . . . our brains are wired (neurologically speaking) for connection to others. But where does it start?

    By being slow to speak, and quick to listen.

    There are many amazing people in my book who I met, but one of the most interesting? Kevin Bright, the producer of the hit show “Friends.” He taught blind children how to make movies. How? By reaching out to them in their context—not his.

    That flips the ‘gate switch’ to foster the means to LiNK (or date) other people!

    Cheers
    John Serpa

  6. I work nights so my friends are mostly co-workers. I only see my husband on my nights off(maybe that’s why we’ve been married for 14yrs!) I would love to hang out with other couples but my work schedule prevents that. I feel a little guilty when we do go out the very few times a year we do. Not too many are available around noon to have lunch and hang out with me and my 3yr old. Plus I live in the country. I do love watching the Food Network too!! I’m also addicted to The Chew now. They crack me up everyday!
    Sometimes my co-workers go out after work for a couple of hours(the bar closes at that time) and my husband has since turned into a pumpkin. I do enjoy my co-workers though. We have so much fun together! But really, who wants to join us around midnight.

    • It’s hard, Judy. We don’t live 9 – 5 lives anymore, so it can be tough to find people who want to hang out at different times! For years, my husband worked mornings and I worked nights! Glad there’s another Food Network addict out there…

  7. Hi Christy! After 4 years, my fiancee Joe and I just started ‘dating’ another couple and we are having the time of our lives! You are spot on! Thanks for the article! Anne Carlini

  8. Not too sound like a stalker, but I’ve thought for years that you and Jamie and my husband and I would be fast friends! #justsayin

  9. I know you and Julie (Quinlan) have been talking for weeks (months?) about the 4 of us getting together. If this post isn’t catylst, I don’t know what would be… Let’s get something on calendar.

  10. Hi Christy,

    Great post and so true. I always enjoy reading your blog, but this post had me cracking up as I read it. Especially the “swinger” comment as that’s right about were people might make that connection and question it, lol. Hope all is well with you and your family and good luck on dating!

  11. I hear ya sister! However, there’s a second level to the dating other couples. It’s when the males or females hang out together etc…even if you were in full swing as a two couples dynamic, a failed male or female breakout can cause the whole ship to sink. BEWARE the breakout.

  12. I am so glad I am not the only one who feels the need to put on the Spanx, get a new haircut, and tell my husband to be charming. Dating is serious business! It takes time, and chemistry, and courage. We were blessed with one of those “perfect matches.” There was good conversation, good wine, and a love of Indian food shared between all 4 of us.Then they had to go and move to Kansas!

    Startin’ over–theme song of this couple’s life. 😉

  13. Hi cmac, krad (you know, Bookie’s boyfriend, now husband from the KD days) here with the same issue popping up again and again. First our regular friends (still count you and Jamie as friends, just not regular friends) starting to have kids so they were “unavailable” to hang with the DINKs. Now we have the kids (younger) and their kids are older and keeping them busy so we can’t hang out as much as we would like. Then there is the fact that we live on a lake (great), but no neighbors with kids (sucks) and the great renter next door with kids just moved out/in with his girlfriend and her kids (same age as ours) in a neighborhood 15 minutes away since the rental was too small for all of them (8). So I suggest that the wife attend the “mom’s night” at the older boy’s school not so she can get something done like the flyer suggests, but so maybe she would connect with another mom that would eventually become a relationship that gets us an evening out with a couple with similar interests and kids that are nearly the same age and in the same school if not the same class. Will it work out as I’ve envisioned, don’t know, she hasn’t agreed to go yet. If we were close I’m sure we could be that couple for you, but we aren’t, so all you get is this post. Hope all is …Best regards, Kevin.

    • Kevin! Great to hear from you! Yeah, we have our wonderful college friends, like you – but it’s so hard to get all together. School and kids are helpful… give Michelle a hug for me – we’ve got to plan some MSU tailgating next fall!

  14. Judging from all the comments, it looks like you will not have a shortage of “couple dates” for the next year or two. Your article definitely resonates with us. There are very few couples with whom we want to spend our precious time. We enjoy camping with our favorite friends so we can hang out by the campfire after the kids go to bed without having to pay a babysitter. We loved hanging out with you guys last month. We’re free for a date anytime you all can make it to San Diego. I know we’re cousins but it should be o.k. if we keep it platonic.

  15. This is so brilliant, Christy…I love it when I meet a kindred spirit (or couple) – and it seems to get more rare as I get older. I totally pull a you – and thrust my info and life story on people at times, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Great analogy – whether it’s finding other couples or other like-minded mamas, it’s all a dating dance!

  16. You had me laughing, thanks! It’s so true…we’re new parents, so we’re finding it tough to hang out with other adults these days. Reminds me of the King of Queens episode where they look for friends in the home improvement store.

    There are so many internet dating sites — are there any for finding couples friends?!

  17. I totally get this!! I could talk forever about this, but to make it short and simple: yes, I feel like I am trying to find our family’s soul mate out there. And it’s so not easy. *sigh*

    Thanks so much for posting about this. It really made my day!!

  18. Hey, all yous super Christy fans…..me and my husband are going out on a couples date with Christy and Jamie tongiht. I know y’all are jealous…….fingers crossed that we “make the cut!”

  19. Great blog, once again! Thanks for continuing to share a part of your life, as it just shows that almost everyone has the same issues, challenges, and even an occasional embarrassing moment(s). Keep on writing! (Hey, by the way, saw Jamie on the Fox Sports Lions’ pre-game show this past Sunday. I didn’t know that he was doing that show; it’s great to see him back keeping Wojo in line, or at least trying.)

  20. My boyfriend (of almost 3 years) and I are always talking about how we wish we had another couple to hang out with! Suddenly I feel like I should start listing our “qualities” as if this is a dating site… ha! Is it super awkward to say we’d love to hang out with you guys?

  21. I feel you on this topic Christy! I’m in a wonderful relationship with a women that I love dearly. And it’s hard to find compatible couples with the same interests as us. I remember watching an episode from “King of Queens” where Doug and his wife were dating different couples after breaking up with their closest married couple. The show was funny but realistic.

    One of the worst situations I’ve been in was when we hooked up with a couple that initially where fun to be with. We attended the movies, bars, and a few social events with this couple until one day we went to there home and the conversation became real sexual. I mean. There’s nothing wrong with having a conversation about sex; however, the conversation became so in depth that my woman and I became uncomfortable with it.

    To make a long story short, the couple was actually interested in swinging together. We broke away from that situation quickly.

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