I am still (after 20 years, why break the habit of what's almost a lifetime?) married to the same man and no we haven't decided not to be mutually exclusive.
But, as our children are growing up, we get to go out, without them, and sometimes it's a spur of the moment thing, nothing booked, no babysitter, no restaurant, just a whim to get out and sample something new!
Last night Simon and I had such an opportunity as both children had arranged to overnight at friends', Ben with Timo & Jas with Clemence.
I met Si in town just after 6pm so that we could first go suit shopping. Simon is colour blind and prefers to have my opinion when he's buying clothes, and I would prefer not to have 2 very bored children tagging along. Ben (12) doesn't enjoy shopping and even when it's a necessity (as in, he doesn't have any clothes that fit him) he wants to be in and out as quickly as possible, the fewer shops visited the better. Jasmine (8) loves shopping, as long as it's for her and only her, when I take Jas shopping I'm not allowed to look at anything that I might like, she gets very annoyed. Consequently Simon and I don't get much shopping time together, so yesterday early evening was the perfect opportunity, suit shopping and then dinner.
The first shop P&C was no good, nothing in Simon's size that he liked and not very helpful staff either. But Ansons was better, much better. A very helpful member of staff and not one but two suits that Simon liked, a poor selection of magazines to read whilst waiting though - it's a men's shop (no ladies' clothes AT ALL - don't quite see the point in that myself) so why don't they have ladies' magazines in front of the comfy sofa to read while you're waiting for your indecisive male to make up his mind about what he likes/what fits etc? But no, boring architecture magazines - DULL!
After the suit purchase we went to a small Italian restaurant that Si of course has been to before with work colleagues but I've never been there.
It was so nice, to sit there together and chat, without constant interruptions from children and to look through the menu with a view only to what I would like to eat and not to have to also think about what would be suitable for the 2 children.
We started with some delicious rosemary and garlic focaccia and then I had tagliatelli with smoked salmon in a creamy sauce (yummy) and Simon had a lasagne that was so hot he almost burnt his tongue! He'd wanted to try the tiramisu afterwards but we were too full even to consider sharing!
A few weeks ago we had another date, again Jas was sleeping over at a friend's house and Ben was having a friend stay at ours. Again we went Italian, but this time walked down into Kettwig to an Italian restaurant that had been recommended by friends and that looks small from the window but is clearly rather like the Tardis in its internal dimensions! The food that evening was very good (and accompanied that evening by some Pinot Grigio as there was no driving, only walking to be done) and from there we walked on into Kettwig to Lulu's for a martini to round the evening off.
I could get quite used to this dating lark!! I'm looking forward to the next occasion!