Do you want to have a winning marriage or a mediocre one? Do you believe that having a great marriage is possible? Are you trying to thrive or just survive? Just surviving in your marriage is not only stressful, but it’s depressing. Be proactive and put in the effort to win.
“Do you know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Cor 9:24
Going on a weekly date is an activity that can help you have a winning marriage. Jennifer and I frequently hear excuses about why this isn’t possible. The most common reasons people share:
- “We cannot afford to go on a date”
- “We don’t have enough time to have a date”
- “We don’t have childcare options”
- “We don’t enjoy doing the same things”
- “I don’t trust people with my children”
While these statement may have some legitimacy, they are usually justifications for not wanting to do the work necessary to connect. Don’t let this be you. The quality of your marriage has too much of an impact on your future. There are some things in life you can’t afford to neglect no matter the sacrifice.
Dates can occur anytime (e.g. early morning, lunchtime, the afternoon, after work) and on any day of the week. We suggest you plan dates weeks in advance since the anticipation of the event is part of the fun. We also suggest you share and rotate the planning of the outing (i.e. husbands can find childcare). A successful date involves time for quality and positive communication for at least 90 minutes. You can have a date playing a game, working out, or even shopping. Going to a movie doesn’t count, unless you go out and talk before or after the movie. Here are our rules for keeping date conversations positive.
What to talk about
- Positive things
- Your goals together
- Your future together
- Funny stuff that has happened
What to avoid talking about
- Problems at work (e.g. you boss)
- Problems at home (e.g. money)
- Complaints & gossip
- Criticizing others
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Having a weekly date may seem daunting. It will take hard work at first and may initially increase your stress, but remember that most of the best things in life are hard at first. Push through the resistance you feel and get those dates on the calendar and eventually it will become a habit. Your health, your kids, you marriage, and your community will all benefit from your investment.
“Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.” – Lou Holtz