I never realized I wouldn’t have cable or internet.
When Chad and I first got married and moved into our quaint apartment on Walnut Street back in 2011, I never thought about the things we wouldn’t have. I was thinking about picking out plates and where to hang my mirror and how many bath towels we would need. I was thinking about morning coffee together and lazy afternoons strolling around town. I was thinking about the life we would build together, the successes we would have, and all of the memories we would make.
In all fairness, we were super blessed. We had found an adorable apartment for a good price, and he had a great job. We had awesome family members who helped us get on our feet, helped us get furniture, helped us navigate the waters of living on our own.
But, for the first few months, we didn’t have internet or cable.
We were both nervous. We’d both lived at home until we got married, so we had no clue how to budget or how much the bills would cost or how to plan meals. We had no idea how to make a cleaning schedule or how to host a party or anything else about growing up.
So, for the first few months, we didn’t get cable or internet, wanting to see how we managed our money before adding anything else on.
We thought it would be tough. How would we survive without constant email updates and television shows? How would we manage?
But you know what? Looking back, they were a good few months.
Without cable and internet, we had a lot of movie nights, sitting on the couch with our homemade popcorn watching stuff together. We had a whole lot of game nights, a whole lot of walking nights. We had a whole lot of talking, a whole lot of cooking, a whole lot of time together. Quality time.
Eventually, like many couples, the luxuries started to add up as we got more comfortable with our budgets and moved up in our careers. The cable man came one dreary day, and the internet was suddenly something we didn’t know how we’d lived without. The game nights were still there…but suddenly I wanted to watch a show on television or he was surfing Youtube. Our walking nights turned into sitting nights, sometimes separately as we watched different things.
Now, there are so many nights we’re absorbed in our own world. We have so many things now, and life is nowhere near as simple as it was. We’ve got gaming systems, televisions, computers, a computer room, and everything in between to distract us from life and each other.
Looking back, those simple days were tough. There were days we had our eyes on what we didn’t have. But they were beautiful, too. They were days when all that mattered was having each other. All that mattered was our tiny apartment, our life starting out, our dreams about what would be someday.
In the past month, Chad and I have started a new weekly tradition, a shout out to our first months of marriage. Every Thursday, we have a movie night together. We pick a movie we have or on Netflix, and we watch it together with a snack.
You know what we’ve found? That one night of setting aside our personal distractions, that one single night of just sitting together and laughing at the same screen, it’s been amazing.
You can have internet and cable and still have a strong relationship. But you can have internet and cable and slip completely away.
The bottom line is, no matter what luxuries you have or don’t have, you have to make time for each other. Quality time, together only time, no distractions time. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching Alice in Wonderland or playing Yahtzee or painting a picture or just lounging on the couch. Sometimes simple times make for the strongest relationships.