Today is just going to be a from-my-heart post, and it will probably be short. I just wanted to spill the beans about why we have basically completely stopped eating out.
About a year ago, Stephen and I made the decision to stop eating out. Now before you are slayed by how awesome we are, you should know that it was fighting that instigated this change. It's not because we are so virtuous, righteous and awesome. Honestly, we couldn't stop fighting about the same things, over and over again.
This may not be forever, but here's why we ended up just quitting the dining-out scene for a year...
We Like to Save Money
Let's get the obvious out the way. We've been dating for 12 years, counting the year before we got married. :) Eating out is not cheap; when you factor in drive time and tips, it can sometimes be outrageous compared with dining in. Add in the cost for babysitting, (if you don't have free help) :) and it's not even really that fun anymore. Ha, ha.
We Like It to be Just Us
Oftentimes at a restaurant, we would get a really cute waitress, or we'd be seated opposite an attractive couple. I like people watching and I honestly have a bad habit of staring. It was so distracting that at every meal we ate out, we were (I was) playing the comparison game. Her outfit, her shoes, his hair, her weight, his ability to small talk.... the list goes on. Then, Stephen. A laugh at the wrong time. A long interval with no words. Awkwardness. We started fighting about this type of stuff after almost every date. Mostly it was stuff in my head. I would get in a funk. I wouldn't be able to get out; no amount of reasoning on Stephen's part did any good at all.
We Like Grilling
The food at restaurants is the reason people eat out, mainly, right? I know dressing up and looking cute is fun (for some people!), but I consider myself a foodie and I really enjoy good food. Stephen does too! We finally decided that by grilling out almost every weekend all Summer, we could save money and make food we really enjoyed eating.
We Like Eating at Home
My counselor recently suggested having another couple over for pizza, just as an idea for hospitality and dining in, but adding a fun element of a double date. If you're with friends you trust, eating at home can truly be special! And delicious! :)
We Can Date Each Other in Other Ways
Stephen and I still get one-on-one time. Mostly we enjoy nights at home, watching a show or movie together, playing a game, or drinking a glass of wine... :)
We do sometimes get take-out, and over the past year, we have met up with my parents/ our extended family for a meal at a restaurant a time or two. When we went out of town this past year, we did end up eating out a little bit. When we went to the beach, we made pita sandwiches and ate chips and salsa for lunch everyday, had breakfast at the hotel, and only ate out in the evenings!
You may have thought it was the big tab for drinking, nope. (ha ha :0)) It really was these reasons here that made us change our mind on eating out!
Brennan Manning (famous Catholic priest and evangelist and friend to many) wrote, "Marriage by definition involves two people, not one. There are always two sides to every story, and the truth often hovers somewhere between the two." Stephen and I have often seen a situation differently. I'm only attempting to tell you how I think we have held onto our marriage in spite of dips and that of making it strong and full of purity.
Brennan Manning also said,
"It's okay not to be okay. When you learn this, you are on the threshold of the greatest grace of your life." #powerful #profound
I suppose eating out is for luxurious purposes more than anything else. I think we just made up our minds that we preferred other luxuries in life to the luxury of eating out. :)