Photo: Juliet

My girlfriend Juliet and I lead extremely busy lives together and apart. And the presence of children in our lives really affects how often we go out on dates. So when we do have an evening out, I consider it an “accidental date” since it’s usually unplanned. But we always go with it.

Accidental dates have included:

A romantic dinner at an upscale sushi place on a Saturday we didn’t expect to see each other and both wore ultra-casual lounge wear that probably shouldn’t have been seen outside of the house–Juliet’s outfit graced with two mismatched Christmas socks. We definitely turned heads for all the wrong reasons that night.

A summer’s evening when Juliet had a romantic urge to take me to her favorite outdoor refuge–a gorgeous spot near a lake–so we could watch the moon rise together. But it was cloudy and cold that night and the moon never showed. Instead we just got silly and cracked each other up as we watched the darkening gray sky swell and hurl lightning bolts until it broke open in a downpour that sent us running to the car, laughing all the way.

Every single outing with her, no matter how great or humble, is like our first date all over again. Perhaps renaming them “carpe diem dates” is really more appropriate. Either way, spontaneity keeps it fresh and keeps us guessing what’s next. I think e.e. cummings summed it up nicely: “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”