Being newly married, I wanted to make sure that hubby and I were setting a firm foundation for our marriage. I was looking online at some resources and came across the Date Night Challenge 2013 from a christian organization called Focus on the Family. Their premise is that research shows that dating at least once per month significantly improves a relationship and can strengthen a marriage. I immediately signed us up. We are not doing the whole church wide event, just the dates for us.
It starts by having you and partner go on one date per week for the first 3 weeks, and then once a month after that. Each week there is a theme for the date, as well as questions to ask each other for deeper reflection afterwards. As a part of my personal blogging challenge for this year, I will blog about each date (the PG version).
We started Date Night #1 on January 1st. I think it is quite fitting as the best way to start off a new year. The theme for this week was
Date 1: Laugh and Play Together
Couples that play together, stay together
One of the best ways to ensure your marriage arrives at its desired destination is through playful activity. The enjoyable times we spend together are the lifeblood of a marriage. In fact, while researching their book Fighting for Your Marriage, the authors discovered that “the amount of fun [couples] had together emerged as the strongest factor in producing their overall marital happiness.”
The bottom line: If we never laugh and play with our spouse, emotional connection and intimacy fade. We need to do what King Solomon encouraged: “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which [God] has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life” (Ecclesiastes 9:9, NASB).
Date Night Rules
Make sure to turn off your phones, dress up a little, be polite, compliment each other, be affectionate, etc. Make sure you protect your date night from conflict; if a conflict arises, agree to talk about it another time. Just focus on each other and on your date.
The theme was laugh and play together. We were given a list of activities to pick from, such as karaoke, going dancing, going to a sporting event, going ice skating/sledding, go to a park and go swing, etc. We made our own activity of going to play miniature golf. Cell phones were left in the car and we decided not to talk about money or work. It was a beautiful day outside, with the sun shining, some clouds in the sky, and the temperature around 65-70. There were a few other couples and families at the course, but we had no one immediately in front or behind us so we were able to take our time and really enjoy the moment. There were many laughs had at our golfing mishaps, such as when I hit the ball so hard it went off the course, bounced around a bench and some sidewalk and ended up bouncing its way back onto the course, or even laughing at ourselves and our jokes and comments towards each other. It was even sweeter for me when I won by 7 points
After our golf activity, we were instructed to go somewhere for a drink/coffee/etc to unwind and then given a few questions to ask each other regarding our time together, such as “what was your favorite part about our date”, ”what’s one thing you learned about me that you didn’t know before”. We chose to go to Starbucks and use a Christmas gift card for a peppermint mocha for me and peppermint hot chocolate for him. It was nice to just sit, relax, have no distractions, and really focus on each other and the fun that we just had. After that, we planned our next activity for Date #2 next week….stay tuned