National Marriage Week is next week and the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association is blogging on dating to encourage couples and to lead into celebrating Valentine’s Day. Greg and I love to plan special things for Valentine’s Day because we enjoy celebrating our marriage and the blessing we are to each other.
In contemplating dating for this blog, my mind took a different turn, so here it is.
Remember when date night didn’t take so much thought? When we were first dating, we just wanted to spend time together and it didn’t matter doing what as long as we were in the same space and able to have conversation, it was perfect. Now it seems like so much more thought goes into a date, there are fewer occasions available, so the date is less spontaneous and more planned out for a perfect evening that includes all of the things we want to do with each other. And yes, this usually includes expectations about the end of the evening as well.
Marriage can take you way beyond the days of “Hey, do you want to go have lunch?”.
What happens that shifts us from the anytime spontaneous date to the planned out, hope this goes perfect date? You know what I am talking about, the kind of dates that now make or break sex at the end of them because we decided to bring our suitcase full of all our baggage on the date with us. I have heard the stories from friends as well, there is the obligatory anniversary date or the birthday date gone wrong, I know we each have our own story.
So what makes the perfect date? Is it the place, what you got to wear, was there flowers, valet, wine, or just the expense that made it special?
I feel like at different time I could say yes to all of the above questions, at some point in my life all of those extravagances have created an environment where I felt treasured and special. There is nothing wrong with that, it is great to feel treasured by our spouses and to celebrate each other in all kinds of ways, but in asking myself the question of what makes a perfect date, I only had one real answer.
Where I am at spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically with my husband dictates how our special moments are shared.
The date may be grabbing dollar ice cream cones and eating them in the car together and if all of those things are in line, it is the best ice cream cone I have ever eaten with my honey. But in turn, if he took me to On Broadway(a really nice restaurant where we live) and all of those things were out of order, it could be money wasted and unpacking emotional suitcases for us. We have been at On Broadway and seen couples come in all dressed up and spend their evening with each other on their phones with other people, it makes us sad when we see this.
I don’t have all the answers, but I have the answer for me. The best times spent with my husband are when every part of our relationship is in order and we can truly spend that time cherishing each other.
For some fantastic date night ideas, check out Randy Southern’s book 52 Uncommon Dates: A Couples Adventure Guide for Praying, Playing, and Staying Together.