Empty nest syndrome is something every couple must face when their children grow up and move away, but I’ve always known it is more painful for some of them. I didn’t want to have a difficult transition when my children left, so I worked out a plan as they began to get older. I put my foot down and told my husband we would have a date night once a week. I was surprised when he agreed easily, and we started dating as the kids moved into their teen years.

After our last child left for college, I was panicked that my plan might not work. While we had found plenty of interests we still enjoyed together, there were times each of us felt we were drifting away. I suggested that we simply take a vacation together, but he said he’d rather stick with our date nights. I thought he had second thoughts about our changing relationship, but I found out he knew what he was doing.

Our first date night without children was a trip back in time, and my husband arranged all of it. He called the couple we had double dated with on our very first date, and they agreed to go out with us. The restaurant we had gone to was closed, but my husband managed to find one almost like it. We had a great evening, and it was fun to catch up with our old friends.

When we got home, my husband had arranged for another friend to deliver flowers and chill a bottle of champagne for us. He even made sure the sound system was playing the music we enjoyed as a young couple. I’m really looking forward to next week’s date night when it will be my turn to choose where we go on our second date.