It may not be like the old times, but you never know what a drive around the block or a park and dine date can do for your relationship
Who says you stop dating your partner after you’ve marked your first, third or seventh (or more) year of being together? Unlike what we see on screen, dating your current partner doesn’t end just as the relationship begins. Because there’s no magic that’ll keep you guys together. This may or may not be news to you, but relationships take work. There’s (a lot of) effort required to keep the spark going, and you and your partner growing.
In the time of the pandemic, fear, distance, loneliness, anxiety and monotony pose a threat not just on our mental health, but our relationships, too. Sadly, I’ve witnessed a few relationships crumble over the past year with friends citing general difficulties, distance and dullness from constantly being together in the same space as reasons to call it quits. But while other couples crave change or “for something better,” I find myself on the other end of the spectrum, looking for stability. Stability in this ordeal has taught me to appreciate what’s in front of me better and to hold my person closer. And while it’s true that the everyday can be tedious, we’ve learned to focus on what matters, find joy in the simple things and get creative with our errands-meet-leisure dates.
Like many, we still have apprehensions about going out and staying anywhere outside our home too long. Safety is a top priority and so, a lot of our dates happen in the car, which is something that couples can do responsibly to break the monotony. And one particular weekend, we were able to take the Ford EcoSport out for a spin.
Marketed as a family car, the Ford EcoSport boasts a lot of space, a smooth and comfortable ride, and great safety features. It’s also reasonably priced so it’s perfect for young couples and families.
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An Errands-Meet-Leisure Kind of Date
Weekends are truly sacred in a time when always-on is the norm. But as much as my partner and I would like to carve out hours from our day to do couple things, we’ve found ways to date between weekend errands and chores or turn those activities into a date. As the saying goes, work with what you have. And that we did even when the weather wasn’t in our favor.
Our rainy Saturday didn’t start out as planned, and we had to move around and take out activities scheduled for the day. First stop was the groomer, which was a 15 to 20-minute drive away from home. While many dislike wet weather, I actually like the sound of rain sputtering on cars and windows. I like watching it too, especially through the EcoSport’s sunroof. We put on our favorite tunes on Spotify, which seamlessly and wirelessly connected to the car’s SYNC 3, and sang our hearts out. That itself is special for couples with kids like us, because we live with a gradeschooler whose taste in music is a mix of cartoon soundtracks and heavy metal. More on the SYNC 3, it uses voice-activated technology to connect with some of our favorite apps via AppLink3, making it a breeze to skip songs or switch between activities.
Now just in case you have trouble parallel parking (like me!), the Ford EcoSport’s rear view camera, which turns on every time you shift into reverse, and Rear Parking Sensors are a godsend (no more asking my partner to get out of the car to guide me into a tight parking spot).
We drop off our dog, and grab coffee and cake at the nearest Starbucks. Around this time, the skies were a little clearer, so we parked with our car socially distanced, pulled the windows and sunroof down and put our feet up. Now if only cars today had tables.
What’s a weekend without some quality family time? While we normally spend it at home, sleeping in, watching morning cartoons and taking a quick trip to the playground, a change in scenery is always welcome. Our gradeschooler had been asking for a new pet, and we finally decided to get him two—turtles! We drove to the nearby pet shop, kid and dog in tow, and readied my list of stores that sell aquatic pets. I stepped out and dashed past the entrance while my family looked for a parking slot. That day, we took home two red-eared sliders that sat in the back seat as we went through options for park and dine.
There weren’t a lot of restaurants that matched our afternoon craving, so we drove home. On the way, we made a pitstop to our neighborhood fruit and vegetable stand to pick up the next two weeks' fresh produce. Good thing the Ford EcoSport has plenty of space and storage, as well as a six-speed transmission to ensure the ride is smooth (road bumps and potholes be damned) for everyone and everything including our new turtle friends.
And because general safety is a concern especially when there are kids around, the EcoSport’s safety features—the airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System and Electronic Brake Force Distribution—put our road safety worries at ease.
So, this is what long-term dating and relationships look like in our collective normal. We learn to keep the spark going even after the thrill of many firsts—that first date or first kiss—fades. It takes a lot of work and patience to stay together, especially through raging tough times. But among the many lessons to take away from all this is: hold those you love, especially your person, closer, cultivate acceptance of your differences and remember that joy can be found in the everyday.
Now, go take your girl or guy out on a date safely. It may not be like the old times, but you never know what a drive around the block or a park and dine date can do for your relationship.
The Ford EcoSport is available starting at P750,000. You can also get it for as low as P7,999 per month with one month of amortization free and a low down payment of P23,000. Click here to learn more.
Art Matthew Fetalver