by Heather Walsh, Guest Contributor
Aside from family separations, PCS is a stressful time. The silver lining of this time is your family is all together (hopefully)! Take advantage of this sweet time and reconnect with your spouse. How? Yes, you have to call DMO, arrange for car pick up, and make sure that the trash in the trash can and the cats aren’t packed into a box.
But after the boxes are packed, the crates are gone and all you have left to do is the actual moving of your bodies to the new location, you can have some fun! Here are 10 of the many ways to date your spouse during your PCS.
10 Creative Ideas For Dating Your Spouse During Your PCS
Leave love notes. Write a note about why you love your spouse or what you are looking forward to doing together. If you are driving to your new destination, tape it to the steering wheel. If you are flying, leave it in their suitcase or wallet.
It will instantly make the mood more pleasant the next day while you struggle with suitcases and the kids by reminding them how important they are to you especially now.
Plan a movie night in wherever you are. If you will be moving CONUS, utilize Redbox or Netflix. If you are moving OCONUS, buy a digital movie before you go for your laptop, tablet or phone. Somewhere along the PCS route, choose a night when you will watch the movie together. This down time will be an enjoyable break from planning logistics of the trip. Plus, the kiddos should be asleep so theoretically you can watch a movie of your choice.
Question and answer. If you are driving cross country or waiting in an airport, you have some down time. A quick Google search produced several links of popular questions to ask your boyfriend/spouse/significant other.
If you will be traveling in areas without wifi, copy and paste the questions into a note tab that is readily available no matter your service capabilities. Why not use these questions to get to know more about your spouse?
Schedule a 30-minute break. Choose a time when you will most likely be uninterrupted. Set a timer for 30 minutes and just talk.
The rules are no PCS talk, no phones even for reference, and no talking about your kids.
You can talk about your goals for your new location but try to keep the talk to about the two of you. Remember what you used to talk about when you were dating?
Enjoy a late-night snack. While this isn’t the healthiest thing for your body, it can be stress-reducing for your relationship – just try to make it a less unhealthy snack.
One of our favorite things to do when moving is to sample some of the local food. Where it is onigiri in Japan, fish tacos in Southern California or southern barbecue in North Carolina, there are amazing treats to try all over this world. When grabbing food to eat for the evening, pick up a snack for you and your spouse to share once you have stopped for the evening and/or the little ones are down for the night.
Borrow an audiobook! The last thing you want to do when you are moving is add another thing you have to keep track of – and technology has helped with this in many ways. One way is the ability to borrow audiobooks from our local libraries digitally.
Before you leave on your road trip, look at the digital audiobook options at your local library, or a service e-library Choose one that you and your spouse would enjoy to listen to together.
The beauty of these digital books is that they return automatically at the due date, and therefore if the library you frequented is now on the opposite coast, you don’t have to worry about postage in mailing a book after you have moved!
Share headphones and listen to it together on the airplane, or listen in the car while the kids nap or watch a movie. Or if you need to, wait until the little ones are in bed and listen together. Stop and talk about it. This gets your head out of the PCS planning funk, able to relax with your spouse and enjoy learning about a new topic.
You can also download episodes of NextGen MilSpouse’s Happy Hour podcast. We even have a special episode all about PCSing. Click here to download it.
Have a coloring contest. If you have kids, chances are you have crayons or markers that are coming with you while you travel. While the kiddos are asleep, borrow the coloring tools, take a sheet from the coloring book and go to town coloring.
Maybe limit the number of colors you use to three, or come up with a theme – that you have to turn the fairy coloring sheet into a Marvel character…have fun! You will be using the creative side of your brain and having non-PCS related fun with your spouse!
Studies have shown that coloring can decrease physical and emotional signs of stress…and what a better time to pick up coloring book than during a PCS!
Challenge your spouse to a staring contest. No, but really. This is the perfect game for a PCS. Requires no equipment. And how can you stare without blinking or laughing, go ahead, I dare you! (But I think it goes without saying to not do this while you are driving.)
Romantic chat in an empty house. One of the things I pack in our “open first” boxes that I bring with us is candles. While technically the candies are for power outages, they also double as mood lighting!
The first night in your new-to-you empty home, lay out a blanket or beach towel on the floor and light a candle. Sit and chat with your spouse. Celebrate surviving another PCS and talk. About anything.
This sweet time will help the two of you connect and be ready for the unpacking days ahead. Appreciate how clean (or not) the house is before all of your belongings arrive.
Build a box fort. Before we had kids, my husband made furniture out of boxes for us to use while awaiting the next step in the move process. It was practical and fun.
We now make box forts for the kids or make a box into a slide for sliding downstairs. But why not do something like this for you and your spouse once the kids are asleep?
If you are competitive, make it a competition to be creative. If not, use teamwork to build something together.
If a box fort isn’t your thing, try making as many pieces of furniture as you can with the boxes. Either way, it will end up in the recycling but it will be a lot of fun to create and “play” in as adults!
BONUS: Hold hands. This may sound silly, but in times of stress it isn’t everyone’s natural inclination to reach out and hold hands with the person you love. Reach across the seat and hold their hand – chances are it will lower their stress level as well as yours.
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Heather Walsh is a mom, Marine wife, Navy child, blogger and lover of all things crafty and Disney. Professionally, she is a Physician Assistant and has a passion for helping others to stay positive and supported. Currently she is one of three women who share travel tips for the military family at www.milmomadventures.wordpress.com They are currently sharing exploration of Southern California and Virginia with tips for the military family on how to enjoy the adventure with every PCS and save money while doing it!