I am totally a list maker. I have sticky notes all over the place, plus documents on my computer and phone with various kinds of notes. Some are to-do lists and reminders. Some are ideas and brainstorming. I’ve started lists of date ideas, Pinterest boards of love notes and quotes, and—of course—my bucket list. I refer back to them occasionally. Some get thrown away. But with Valentine’s day recently passed, there is one list that has stayed on my mind: Date Ideas & Marriage Advice. At first, this was a personal list of things Luke and I could do together. But as we create deeper relationships with friends & clients, we find ourselves referencing it more often.
Some of these dates and advice we came up with ourselves, while many are appropriated from articles, books, and marriage talks that we have attended. Here are a few dates and advice you might like:
- Drive-in Movies! There aren’t many drive-ins left, but if you have one locally, it makes for a really fun and affordable date night. We’ve found a small handful near us, and most of them show a double feature for less than the cost of 1 movie at the multiplex. It’s awesome! Luke and I would do this often when we were dating long distance. There are 2 drive-ins where we would meet in the middle for an evening. We’d grab dinner and dessert to-go from one of our favorite restaurants, or make a quick stop at a market to pick up some snacks. If you have an SUV, we strongly recommend putting the back seats down and tossing in a nice, thick mattress topper and a bunch of pillows and blankets. Open up the back hatch and enjoy dinner and a movie from the comfort of your own cozy car lounge. If you don’t have an SUV, bring your own atmosphere with some lawn chairs and a folding table. Don’t forget the candles!
- Marshmallow War Games! We heard this from Jay and Laura Laffoon during a marriage seminar. Either plan it together or surprise your husband or wife when they come home by leaving a weapon and some ammo by the door with a note reading “arm yourself.” You can make your own marshmallow blow guns out of PVC pipes. There are plenty of instructions like this one available online. OR make it easy by buying a marshmallow gun or nerf dart guns. Turn the house into a battle field and let the wars begin. If you have kids, arrange for them to spend the night at a friend’s house (or let them in on the fun if you must). It helps to clarify the stakes and rules before you begin. Are you battling to help solve a decision to be made? Or maybe you’d like to spice it up by making it strip nerf wars (whenever an article of clothing is hit, it has to come off). Have fun making it your own!
- Christmas Light Judges Panel! Luke came up with this one last Christmas. We visited the local ‘Candy Cane Lane’—a community known for their elaborate Christmas light decorations. But to add an additional touch, we awarded different homes with honors as we saw fit. We stopped at Target and grabbed paper ornaments, ornament hangers, and a marker. As we strolled the neighborhood, we invented awards for different houses’ Christmas displays, wrote the award on the paper ornament, and hung it on the doorknob or front gate for the homeowner to find. One house was voted ‘Most Traditional’; another ‘Most Modern’. ‘Best Nativity’, ‘Awesomest Driveway’, and ‘Sexiest Snowman’ were also among the honors presented. Just keep it positive and encouraging!
- Marriage First Day! We have all heard the importance of keeping a date night within marriage. We do, and we strongly recommend it! But sometimes we also need a time set aside to be open and chat about US. We have chosen the 6th of every month (our anniversary date) to connect with each other and see if there’s anything to be discussed or worked on. Maybe it is just a date night. Maybe we need to review our budget together or address something that has been on our minds. It’s much healthier for our relationship to be open than to let things fester and build. It’s a time of patience, grace, and listening if needed. Or it can be a time to have fun together when life gets too busy. The most important thing is to reserve a time to focus on your marriage.
- You’re My Favorite! You can do this as a surprise for your spouse or do it together. Take some time to write down 5 favorite memories from your past together and what you loved about them. Did it display a sense of humor, patience, respect…? Leave these as love notes for each other throughout the week or set a time to walk down memory lane together. Sharing memories are full of encouragement and joy can really invigorate a relationship.
Do you have any favorite dates or marriage advice that you have received?
I’d love to hear more!
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