In previous posts, we defined the date, balanced the budget, and bagged the babysitter. Today we will Customize the Categories. A date is a date is a date is a… disappointment. Though all men are created equal not all dates are. Therefore, we must catalogue and customize our categorized dates. Dating:
1. The Simple Date (Weekly)
Every week you should take 1-2 hours and spend time communicating with your spouse in a date setting. Nothing extravagant here, just simply being alone together and aware that you are on a date. Going for a walk around your neighborhood, putting the kids to bed and playing a board game, getting some take-out and renting a movie are all ideas of simple dates that allow you both to focus on you! When speaking on this subject, I always include sitting in church together. There’s nothing like sending the kids to children’s church and sitting down together with the Word of God in one hand and the other grasping the hand of your love.
2. The Monthly Date (Monthly)
This is the date (every 4th week) that will take more time, thought, and money. A few things to remember are dress to impress, be adventurous, and have fun! Ladies, tonight is not the night to wear your t-shirt and sweats and throw your hair into a ponytail. Dress up as if you were still trying to impress him. Men, please… for all our sakes… SHOWER. I know you just got home from work and you are exhausted… still… shower. Show her that you really care about her by the way you look. Be adventurous! There is nothing wrong with dinner and a movie, I’m all about that! But if that is what you are doing 12 out of 12 times every year, then you, my friend, are in a rut! One of the best dates Heather and I ever had was Shakespeare in the Park (and it was free). Another was a wedding we attended in Mount Charleston. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say that doing something out of the ordinary is a way to make these evenings memorable. Go on a hike, play tennis, and enjoy the time together. Remember to talk, laugh, and just relax with one another. This is why dinner out is so good. It gives you a chance to look at one another and communicate.
3. The Special Date (Every 6 months)
Every year you have an anniversary and two birthdays between you. Use these as opportunities to do something extra special. Go see a show! In Las Vegas, they just built the Smith Center for the performing arts. We will now have nationally known city orchestras, ballets, and Broadway shows. This is fantastic for these types of special dates. My wife and I, on her birthday, will be going to see Wicked a broadway musical about the Wicked Witch of the West before her Dorothy Days. It will be something special. Fine Dining is an option if you are like Heather and I. We might be considered foodies. We like the food network, travel channel, and occasionally eating at fine dining establishments. How about getting a room for the night? Or perhaps an unexpected shopping spree? Yes, these will cost money; that is why you will need to budget for these dates. (Read Date Your Mate – Part 2 for budgeting ideas)
4. The Extravagant Date (Every 18-24)
Occasionally, you will need to get away and reconnect on a deeper level. A weekend get-away is perfect for this. Depending on your style, you could camp in a wilderness location or hole-up in a luxury downtown hotel. The point is to get away! I highly recommend a couples retreat like the one we host: www.coastalcouplesretreat.com. This will give you time to talk and laugh as well as hear sessions on marital intimacy and communication. Occasionally, take the big trip! See the world together! Plan that trip to Hawaii, Europe, or South America. Cruise to Nowhere or Anywhere. Just get out there and be extravagant.