How do you date once you’ve been living together? Matt and I have been trying to figure this out. Once you move in with someone all of a sudden you spend most of your time with them and dating can get lost. We didn’t realize what was happening first, we didn’t realize that the time we were spending together wasn’t quality time.
I mean we wake up together, we go to sleep together, we cook, we clean, we watch TV. We seem to spend all this time together. But it’s not the same. We do these things because we’re living together. We still talk, albeit we’re both always a little tired after work. We still try and create some romance in our lives but it’s hard when living together creates a whole new set of responsibilities. Plus, we have a cat and he craves attention.
Before moving in together we used to go out for dinners, go for walks, drive around at night and just talk. I used to sing at the top of my lungs and Matt’s curly ash hair would move as he shook his head laughing at me. Netflix and pizza dates were exciting because we weren’t around each other all the time. Goodbyes were sweet, and hellos were thrilling. Dating was our relationship; our relationship was dating.
Now our relationship is rent, bills, groceries, cat supplies, cleaning, and sitting down at the end of the day exhausted. It’s Matt playing video games and me reading or watching Netflix or writing another blog post. Our relationship is mumbled goodnights on the brink of sleep. Our relationship is sleepy half kisses as Matt goes off to work and I sprawl out on the bed. Every Sunday we see his family, once in a while we group call mine. We constantly entertain our kitten because he is just full of energy. Our relationship is spending time making sure other things and other people are taken care of before we even think of ourselves.
When I got back from exchange, we made a deal: once a week one of us would plan a surprise date. It was nice, it also got to be expensive. Moving in together means that we talk about our finances and as students, we can’t always afford to go out to eat or do an activity. We try and think of free date ideas and honestly, if you have any please let me know. Don’t get me wrong, we are happy and loving our lives. It’s just different because neither of us have lived with a significant other before.
This weekend, it seemed as if every plan we made for a date was foiled. We finally feel comfortable leaving Boots for extended periods of time after his surgery and we decided to do something just the two of us. However, the weather wasn’t cooperating for the beach, we valued sleep a little too much, we needed breakfast, I wasn’t feeling confident to wear a bikini. Matt then suggested berry picking. However, berry season is closed, my back was sore, Matt had a pinched nerve in his neck, etc.
The silver lining was that the farm that we were meant to go berry picking on has a sunflower festival on right now. Kustermans in Mount Brydges, Ontario is absolutely wonderful. According to Matt, it’s meant for little kids with the giant bouncing pillow, playgrounds, corn pit and zipline. However, I adore the sheep, goats, cows, pigs, emu and rabbits. I love being out on a farm and I love sunflowers.
It’s the first year they are hosting this festival and the lady we were talking to says it’s very popular. Along with the things listed above, there is a sunflower maze and an option to pick your own sunflowers. Matt and I went through the maze without a hitch and then we got to pick our own flowers. We each got three, so we picked some for his mum as well. Apparently, there are two different types of sunflowers: yellows ones and red ones. From what I could tell, the red ones don’t get as big and we were told they are delicate but they’re absolutely beautiful. We got three of each.
We didn’t stay for long, but it was exactly what we needed. The two of us doing what we love: being together. We laughed, we talked, we held hands, we had our own private tractor ride. Matt joked that he slipped the farm extra money and that he was going to propose around flowers that spelled out “Will you marry me?”. I replied, “That sounds like a Matt proposal.” All imagination, but it was nice to joke around and feel so in love. Now we have a Somersby glass full of sunflowers to remind us to make time for each other because our relationship is more than just being roommates. Our relationship is whatever we choose it to be and I choose spending quality time with him, always.