Any marriage expert will tell you that date night is crucial to the health of your relationship. So choose a night, reserve a sitter and get ready to answer the most important question yet— which restaurant? You see, your restaurant choice doesn't simply reveal your culinary cravings— it reveals what's really going on for you. Take it from me, after nearly 9 years of marriage I've been to all the restaurants for all the reasons.
American Diner: If you're taking your partner to a classic American diner, you're hankering for simpler times. The days when it was just the two of you, no kids, no responsibilities, sex in the backseat before it became cluttered with carseats and backpacks. Well, those days are long gone, friend. Live in the now and appreciate what you have. And what you have is removable carseats and a spacious minivan so just get busy while you still have some of your youth.
Overpriced Mexican Place with Huge Margaritas: You've been dying to get into a fight. It's been brewing for weeks and you don't even realize it. You think you just want your significant other to loosen up, maybe say "yes" to a Bermuda vacation… but the truth is, you've been pissed about his bullshit for weeks, and that pitcher of house marg is just the liquid courage you need to let your rage spill. I'll be at the bar, waiting for showtime.
Chinese: It's been a while since you've had sex. And everyone knows no matter how much Chinese food you eat, you're always hungry for more an hour later. And that must be some kind of metaphor for sex, right? The fortune cookie even says it: you will be very successful… in bed.
Thai: There is culinary and cultural deprivation in your life. You've been subsisting on your childrens' bland leftovers for weeks. Cold mac and cheese, soggy fish sticks… And your cultural tastebuds have also been dumbed down thanks to being stuck at home with a sick kid, a Wiggles CD and a Caillou marathon. You need an explosion of flavors and spices to make you feel alive again. Nothing a big bowl of gaprao goong can't fix.
Tapas: Did you grow up in a large family where dinner was devoured before you even sat down? If you're choosing tapas, you're way too used to not being satisfied at the end of a meal. The same holds true for your relationship. There's an imbalance here. Why should your partner get all the portabella mushrooms? And by the way, when was the last time YOU had an orgasm too? If you must do tapas, show yourself some love, order two of everything.
Shabu Shabu: You know what this says to me? Intimacy issues. The last thing you want to do right now is sit across from your loved one, look them in the eye and connect. UGH! Too many feels. No, what you'd rather do is boil your own meat while watching TV on 5 flatscreens and thumbing through a karaoke catalogue. But beware— you still might connect in the car on the way home.
White Tablecloth: It's obvious: you're not getting enough romance. You are desperate to get a manicure, wear a dress, and be seduced by a pirate. Cellphones on the table would be a complete no-no at this place and that's a really good thing. Gaze at each other over candlelight and whisper sweet nothings. Have the valet keep your car engine running. This is gonna be a short dinner.
Greek: When the teacher's aide told you looked "so tired" this morning it cut deep. You ended up making a reservation at some crap-ass place called Yankee Doodles thinking you didn't deserve any better. But then, a waiter in a tux standing outside a Greek restaurant called you "pretty lady" and the game plan changed. Next thing you know, your man is buying you a dozen roses from some gypsy who wandered in. Apparently mediterranean food is really good for your skin, too. Who looks tired now B—?
Fancy Steakhouse: Congrats! One lucky couple just got their tax refund! Enjoy your meal, and remember to savor every last drop of that Chateau Margaux. Don't forget, you still have to pay the babysitter when you get home. Bon Apétit!