The Best Date Ever

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I remember it like it was yesterday. It was Sweden's National Day, June 6th, many years ago when Patrik and I were still just dating.  It was a bright sunny day and I had planned a surprise date for us. Patrik had no idea where we were going or what we were going to do. Neither of us had any idea what would happen to make this the most memorable date ever.

We both love being by the water, and Stockholm is surrounded by water and the archipelagos, with over 30,000 islands to explore. We were going out on a day adventure to one of these islands, called Fjäderholmerna. The only way to reach it is by boat.  I packed a backpack with the essentials for a cozy time, a blanket to sit on, some plastic glasses, bubbly drinks, and some snacks. I had made reservations at Fjäderholmerna's Krog, a fancy restaurant on the water for dinner. My plan was to hike around the island, find a place with a view to sit, and enjoy some quality time before dinner reservations. 

Everything was going according to plan, until we started climbing the rocks to find a place to sit.  We saw seagulls circling around us, coming quite close to us, and then Patrik realised we were getting close to a nest. Patrik comes from the west coast of Sweden, and for generations back his family were fisherman. He knows when you see a seagull with a nest, you need to get away as fast as you can, otherwise they can attack. So we turned around and started climbing down the rocks. I had worn these cute flat boots that didn't have the best traction. As we were trying to get down these rocks, I fell on my knee, but I kept going until we were safely at the bottom. 

When at the bottom, Patrik said "You're bleeding! Look at your knee!" I said "Oh, I am fine." He said it two more times until I looked. I was wearing white leggings, which didn't get a cut in them, but I saw the blood and when I rolled up my leggings, I saw the gash in my knee. I'll spare the details, but it needed tending to. I went to the bathroom and tried to stop the bleeding and saw that I might need stitches. I came out of the bathroom and asked Patrik, "Can you handle this?" He said, "yes. " He took one look and said, "we need to get you to the hospital!"  I immediately said, "No! I'm not going to let this get in the way of our plans today! We have dinner reservations!" Patrik, calmly objected, and said, "It is more important that we take care of you." He then went on the search for bandages to help stop the bleeding. He found some nice men at a nearby store, who came with water, soap, and bandages. They cleaned the wound and then wrapped it up. 

I will always remember, in that moment I saw Patrik can take care of me. That meant more to me than any fancy date we could have had. I decided to trust and listen to Patrik, so we headed back to Stockholm to find a nearby hospital. The photo below is from our boat ride back to the city.  We were making the most of our time together no matter the circumstances.  

We finally made it to the emergency room.  Upon initial inspection, the nurse looked at my wound and said it could probably use a couple stitches. Then she asked about insurance and when I said I didn't have insurance, she said, it will be very expensive to put stitches on. In that case, she said, "I will clean it out and put a butterfly bandage on it. You need to watch it carefully, and if there are any signs of infection, then you will have to go to the hospital." This nurse was our angel that day.  

After this, Patrik and I took a (slow) walk nearby and ate at a restaurant on a dock, floating on the water. We had great conversation, reflecting on our time together, and the lessons learned. Although this date did not turned out as I had planned, in many ways it turned out even betterIt created an opportunity to see how one another responds in a challenging time. We both remained calm. I was quite stubborn. Patrik took care of me. This is still how it is today  We have yet to make it back to Fjäderholmernas Krog for dinner reservations. 

We still talk about this date, and will continue to talk about it. It was a turning point for me in our dating relationship to see that Patrik truly cares for me and was willing to do what it takes to make sure I am taken care of.  This experience allowed me to see that I can trust him to lead me in the best way even when I stubbornly object.  

Almost 6 months later we were engaged, and close to a year later we were married.   We still continue to date every week. Our dates are not always as crazy as this one, sometimes they are simple, yet filled with quality time.  Eye contact. Truly listening to the other. Being present. Engaging in conversation. Talking about our dreams. Having fun. Being together.  We find it is essential to our relationship to connect one-on-one on a weekly basis. We are so thankful to the friends in our life who invest time in our son to make this possible!

Do you have a memorable date? What made it so memorable? How do you find ways to make weekly date nights happen, especially with the busy-ness of life, children, work?