Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | February 14, 2012

Forty Years of Dating

Table for Two

Bob and I started dating forty years ago.  Initially our conversations were all about us.  We were young and getting to know each other.

After we were married we continued to have date nights.  Our conversations turned more toward the events of the day and our future – still largely about us.

When the kids came along, we really started to value date nights, especially if eating out was involved.  Going to a restaurant (even fast food) and eating your meal while it’s hot – there’s nothing like it for a mom.  Throw in that you don’t have to cut anybody’s food, and it just doesn’t get much better than that.  Somebody else does the dishes – that’s a little piece of Heaven.  Date nights were times to break out of monosyllable and enjoy uninterrupted conversations, assuming I had any energy left.

As the kids became teenagers we kept up our date night routine.  It became a lifeline to each other.  Going to a restaurant meant that none of your sons was going to swoop in and eat more food than you thought was humanly possible while leaving you with the chicken neck and the heel of the vanishing loaf of bread.  The big problem here was that even though we would have a table for two, we managed to bring our kids along.  The conversation would inevitably turn to whichever one of the kids was having a problem or giving us problems.  Our mission – a quiet evening out with each other, a table for two with all kid-related topics left at home.

Now we’ve hit a new season.  Our kids are all grown, but we have Bob’s dad living down here in assisted living.  I take him to doctor appointments or run errands with him.  Bob helps him with his computer issues, of which he has plenty because he’s legally blind.  We try to spend time with him and happily incorporate him into our lives.  The problem is that now when we go out to dinner, we have “Dad stuff” to talk about.  Just when we got over the temptation to talk about our kids, now the topic of what Dad needs or is going through keeps coming to the surface.  Our new mission – a quiet evening out with each other, a table for two with all Dad-related topics left at home.

I’m wondering what the next phase will be.  Maybe a table for two with a new mission – trying to remember what we wanted to talk about all those years while cherishing memories that we’ve made together and planning for some more.  I’m not sure what the future will bring, but as I’m preparing for Valentine’s Day I’m looking forward to sitting across from my husband at dinner tonight and thankful for the blessing of sharing life with him.


  1. Happy Heart Day to two of our favorite Dating Couples. 🙂 Here’s to another 40 years!

    • Thanks, Debi. Happy Heart Day to you, too. I just finished reading your blog and was freshly inspired and amazed at the grace God gives.

  2. “with a new mission – trying to remember what we wanted to talk about all those years while cherishing memories that we’ve made together” is my favorite part of the whole piece. Very entertaining, thank you.

    • Thanks so much! Hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day and whatever it brings.

  3. I remember those early “date nights” – congratulations on 40 years!!! When our lives “are” our kids and parents, it is very hard to leave them out, even for an evening but obviously you and Bob are blessed to have each other and are an example of commitment, dedication and what true love is. Happy Valentine’s Day to you both! Love always, Gayle

    • Thanks, Gayle. We are blessed. We loved visiting with you last month. What a treat to have a friendship that lasts through time! I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day, too. Love you.

  4. Isn’t it true that every season seems to be focused on different issues?
    The newley wed age is focused on ‘discovering each other’ the middle ‘married’ years focus on the children if you have any, the later years focus on retirement plans, grandchildren and aging parents.
    We have been married 38 years and have weathered many a storm together.
    It a comittment to stay together ‘for the family’ we wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • You’re right, Sharon. We’re coming up on 37 years so we’re right behind you. I’m so grateful for the commitment to stay together.

  5. We were wondering if we could join you guys for dinner….dinner for four? We can talk all about the good ol days and then discuss what nursing homes we would pick out for ourselves~ hehe

    • Oh, too bad I didn’t check this sooner. Bob and I had to suffer through dinner alone sitting out on our porch by candlelight. As far as the nursing home goes, I figure we turn ours into an assisted living neighborhood. Maybe we can get Chris and Emily and Dena and Derek to move in and the guys could do all the nursing for us. We’d keep them busy.

  6. […] My good friend Bonnie always makes me laugh. You’ll enjoy her thoughts on Forty Years of Dating. […]

  7. Oh, I’m with you Bonnie – it’s amazing how the conversation runs over the years! The neat part is that we CAN still converse! 😉

    • I agree, Lori. I’m so thankful for that. I watch my parents struggle sometimes because Dad has a severe hearing loss. Often his hearing aids are in the shop and it’s hard on both of them. It’s hard enough when he has them in good working order, but after 63 years of marriage they are great examples of being patient with each other.

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