Elements of a Great Date

Men and women often have different ideas about what makes a great date. Men tend to connect through activities. Women usually like to connect through talking.

A great date has both - time for doing an activity together and for talking on a personal level. 

Another element is quality time together. This means that it’s just the two of you (no kids, friends, or family). You are focused on each other - same as when you were dating. 

Having fun might be the most important part! 

You got married because you had fun together. Your marriage can remain (or return) vibrant by continuing to have fun together.

Here are some helps from the book, $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget, plus some ideas of our own.

Take a break from your normal routine. Go to a part of the city that you haven’t been before. Even if your date is an “at home” date, you put the kids to bed first. Have a candlelight dinner in the bedroom! Or get take-out and have a picnic on the floor in front of the fireplace on a cold winter night. 

We both love nature and being in beautiful, peaceful places. Sometimes that is working outside together or sitting together in our backyard. Sometimes we go to a little lake in another part of the state and stay in a "primitive" cabin. 

Be purposeful in your time together. Take a hike together and talk about the wonders of God’s glory in nature. Talk about the path of your life - past, present, and future. 

You don't need to have a deep, meaningful conversation. Those kind of talks bring more intimacy to a relationship. But we can't usually program when our conversation will be meaningful. That take a heart that is willing to be open to those moments together.

Remember that you are on the same team. Avoid negativity. Encourage each other. Show love and value to each other.

And they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24b
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33

For more on Great Dates, see our last blog, Great Ideas for Great Dates …. 
Recommended books:
10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage
10 Great Dates for Empty Nesters

Great Ideas for Great Dates ….

When we see a new couple, one of our first homework assignments for them is to have a date. Reconnecting in a fun way is important to the health and longevity of a marriage.

Most women want their husbands to plan the date. They want to know that he wants to spend time together. If a husband is reluctant to plan a date, it is usually because:
  1. He doesn't want to fail. 
  2. He doesn't want to be criticized. 
  3. He has no idea what to do.
  4. He doesn't want to spend the money. 
This book, $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage and Fun on a Budget! (By Peter & Heather Larson, David & Claudia Arp) is one of the most practical and helpful books we have seen.

We recommend that you plan the date together. This book has 52 ideas of dates for $10 and under. The cost doesn't include childcare but they have a whole chapter at the end on ideas for that.

The $10 or less idea is great because it doesn't put stress on your budget and it forces you to be creative, rather than going to the stand-by dinner and a movie (nothing wrong with that date but it costs a lot more and doesn't always give a chance to connect).

One of the first ideas from the book is to see your city as a tourist. If you were coming from out-of-town, what would you want to see?

There was a time in our fair city that the answer to that question might be - nothing! That can no longer be said about OKC!

In fact, many visitors (especially from the East) want to see the stockyards. Hard to believe but true!

Several years ago, we did a downtown date. We have much more to see downtown now, but it was a lot of fun going to new places. Certainly, you can spend more than $10, but you don’t have to. If you go to travelok.com , you will find lots of places to explore and coupons!

Sharing new experiences together puts another drop of super glue on your marriage. Going on a date communicates that I choose to spend time with you and you are a priority in my life!

Believe in ......

Imagine the difference to our collective consciousness if we say “Most marriages last a lifetime” rather than “Half of marriages end in divorce.” Shaunti Feldhahn 

BELIEVE in MARRIAGE

According to the Census Bureau (2009), 72% of people are still married to their first spouse. Some of those are widowed. Probably 20-25% of first marriages now end in divorce.

Believing in the viability of a lifetime marriage is a small thing that can make a big impact on our willingness to get married and work to make that marriage succeed.

BELIEVE in GOD

What made young David different that all others who tried to take down Goliath?

What made Joshua and Caleb different from the other 10 when they reported on what they saw in the land God was giving them?


They believed in God’s power and His leading in those situations. Believing in God’s work and His plan for marriage makes an immense impact.

His plan is built on the concept that He meets my needs and I am to give to my spouse. Marriage is about what I can give - not what I can get. When I look to GET from my spouse, I will never be satisfied.

I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. C.S. Lewis