Mrs MacPickle Solves All Your Problems!

Posted by in February's Magazine

Dear Mrs MacPickle,
How does one keep any kind of romance going in ones long-term relationship without spending a fortune? I am quite fond of my husband, and I sometimes quite fancy him, but we are both chronically busy with work commitments, and as our children go to bed later and later it’s hard to get time alone. And I am almost never feeling flush enough to fork out for both a babysitter and the cost of a night out. I can’t even stretch to a takeaway most weeks. We are both so knackered that any free time at all seems to see us glued to the telly or taking it in turns to get out of the house. What can I do? Anon

My dear friend, I hear you.
As our children get older we move from beyond the exhaustion of having babies and hence not wanting to go near our partners, to having just enough energy to quite fancy the idea but not having the time or space. Here is my advice, and I would say that it is perhaps given with more confidence than most of my usual advice. It goes like this:
1) Make a date with your partner with all the calendar writing, diary filling certainty of any other engagement even though you are not going to physically go out. Say something like,
2) “I was thinking we could make a date to spend time together, say Wednesday 8 o’clock
3) Keep this time free with all the vigour you would keep a work meeting or thing-with-someone-you-take-for-granted-less-than-your-partner.
4) Plan to do something low key but nice with this time. Ideas could be to share a couple of weird local beers and talk about which one you like best, have a glass of wine and listen to an old album in its entirety that you haven’t bothered with for years since It All Went Digital, or most ideally of all…
5) PLAY SCRABBLE. I can’t stress enough the value of making a scrabble date in advance. It is free, it doesn’t take long, and it’s just the right amount of quality engagement with another human being you can just about manage, however tired or stressed you are. Plus, you might even be able to spice things up with some rude words. Once Mr MacPickle played ‘boner’, which allowed me to get ‘orgasm’ onto a double word score. And, my friend, we really can’t ask for more than that now can we? ■


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