Is life beginning to seem like an unending list of obligations? Is your relationship somewhere on the to-do list? When the primary relationship of your life begins to feel like an obligation, or a habit, you may get forgetful…forgetting why you love this person…forgetting that you have fun together…forgetting what it’s like to just be with your best friend.
Valentine’s Day comes only once a year. It may be nice to get roses or chocolates or a romantic card, but your relationship can’t survive on a once per year gesture!
There’s an easy fix. Begin courting each other again!
But, first, there’s one must-have rule. When you go out for relaxation and fun, you must not bring up a problem that needs resolving. If you do, your fun date will immediately be something neither of you want to repeat…defeating the purpose. Issues that need discussing must be scheduled for a different, separate time. And then keep that date!
Problem solving dates and Fun dates both need regular but separate commitments from both of you! (I’ll share how to have a problem-solving date in a future blog.)
So, here’s some great date ideas straight out of my marriage to Jim. (We enjoyed a loving, fun relationship until his passing a few years ago. We had regular problem-solving dates as needed to keep our accounts with each other clear so that our fun dates were really FUN!)
Being financially stressed is no excuse to skip fun dates! When you’re under financial or any other kind of ongoing stress, you need the relief of breaks to leave the stress behind and just enjoy each other. $25 can create a great date. Look for two-for-one coupons for a meal. It could be breakfast at a diner, or a spaghetti or burger dinner. Add a matinee movie and you’ve got a great 3-4 hour escape to remember that you’re a team and, together, you will eventually pull out of the financial pits.
Do you enjoy table games? Take one of your grocery totes and fill it with games that can be played by two persons. Gin rummy, tile rummy, Yahtzee, a travel sized game of Scrabble, etc. Throw in an old tablecloth to cover the picnic table at your local park. On rainy days, game tables can be found in a mall food court or your local library.
One of our favorites was a Mystery Date. We each kept a file on the other where we collected newspaper clippings or ads about places we thought the other would enjoy. One time, Jim let me know that our next date was a surprise. He told me to wear casual clothes, but to take a dressy outfit to change into. We drove to an ocean side restaurant where we enjoyed breakfast on their deck. Then he took me to a quilting store with instructions to take my time. (He relaxed in the car with a newspaper and crossword puzzle book.) We wandered around a huge outdoor food court in West Hollywood choosing diverse, unusual food items for lunch, ducked into rest rooms at a coffee shop to change into dressier clothes and ended the day at a live performance in Hollywood.
Regular dates were once per week. These Mystery Dates happened perhaps every four-six months. They were very special occasions! The things chosen to do were not nearly as important as the effort and planning that went into delivering the day as a love-gift.
Now that Jim has passed on, these memories are a few of my favorites!
Can you imagine how loved your partner will feel after having an entire day planned around his or her interests? Are you ready to start collecting ideas for a Mystery Date?
Regular dates restore the love balance to a relationship that may be dragging from too much responsibility. Regular dates cure or prevent the blahs. Mystery Dates infuse a giant dose of loving directly into your partner’s heart. So, get your calendars out and plan a date!
Nancy Landrum has been teaching relationship skills to couples for more than 25 years. Her signature book, How to Stay Married & Love It! Solving the Puzzle of a SoulMate Marriage is full of practical strategies to create and sustain a loving, lasting relationship. Click Here to Order
If you’d like a phone call from Nancy, click here to schedule it on her calendar: https://meetme.so/SpeakWithNancy