Take Him Out on Dates, Too

Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates

I’ll be candid–if you’re in a relationship where you expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter–get out. I’ve been in that situation in the past, and while it was nice at first, it made me feel like I was being put into a box where I was incapable… and weak. Having someone do absolutely everything for you 24/7 seems like it’d be great, but it’s not. You’re not living up to your potential as an individual that way. And at the end of the day, being your best self is always, point blank, the most important thing.

Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates
Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates

But of course, I’ll also say that while being in a fully equal relationship sounds idyllic, in reality, it takes work. A lot of work on both individual’s parts. When I met my boyfriend, I knew he was different. He loves me and raises me up. He’s the most supportive and caring guy I’ve ever met. But he doesn’t coddle me, he doesn’t suffocate me with affection, and he doesn’t treat me like a fragile angel who needs everything to be done for her so she doesn’t have to want for anything. He loves me unconditionally, but also understands that I’m a self-sufficient, independent woman who is fully capable and an equal contributor to all areas of my life, from my relationship to my job, and everything in between. And, on top of all of that, having an equal partnership comes with understanding that your boyfriend (or husband, or partner) is only human–he can’t, and shouldn’t be expected to, do everything.

Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates
Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates

While I’m all about being spoiled and I will never say no to a surprise date or a bouquet of flowers, surprises and dates shouldn’t always fall exclusively on the guy’s shoulders to have to plan or pay for. When we moved in together earlier this year and established our first house rule–monthly date night–we immediately agreed that we would take turns doing the planning, surprising, and spending so that we could each feel appreciated. Everyone likes surprises, right? And I personally get so much satisfaction out of figuring out date nights that consist of things he’s never done before. This year, we’ve taken each other out to cooking classes, neon art tours of downtown LA (he loves neon art!), drive-in movies, comedy shows (he knew I’d been meaning to go to one ever since I moved to LA), and finally last weekend, I took him to go see Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia (which I highly recommend!). It’s exciting to plan something new every other month, and sit back and enjoy being a little spoiled on the months in between when it’s his turn.

Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates

And sure, every relationship is different, so what works for us might not always be applicable to everyone else. But in my personal experience, and in my witnessing of other relationships, I’ve found that having someone who challenges you to be independent is extremely gratifying, and when you’re equally working to raise each other up and treat each other right, everybody wins.

Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates
Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates
Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates
Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates
Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates
Rachel Off Duty: Take Him Out on Dates

 

WHAT I WORE:

Since we went to go see Luzia, I was honestly geeking out a little (I love all things Cirque du Soleil!) and I was inspired by the orange and yellow tones of the show billboards that are all over LA, so this mustard yellow wrap blouse was a perfect match. Originally, I planned to only wear these black booties in the car on the way to the show and switch shoes once we got there (I legitimately have heels in my purse in these pictures that never got worn), but they were too comfortable to take off. I think I was a little too obsessed with this outfit, though – my boyfriend complained that I was asking for too many pictures while we were supposed to be out on a date. Oops!

Mustard Wrap Blouse | Shop Tobi • High-Waisted Skinny Jeans | Zara • Cutout Booties | Steve Madden • Purse | Ted Baker