Monday, June 2, 2014

"Just Us Two"

Tonight Thomas and I are going to celebrate our anniversary.  Our actual anniversary was on Saturday, but I had a wedding to officiate and worship to lead that night, so tonight is the night we have set aside to stare lovingly into each other's eyes and whisper sweet nothings...or not.  That's not really our style, but we do like to hang out together just the two of us, and tonight we are doing that by going for dinner to a place we have a gift certificate for in town.

I'm a firm believer that if you want to have a strong and satisfying relationship with your partner for the long-term, you need to be intentional about spending time together in the short-term.  But that doesn't mean doing so is easy. 

In the midst of work commitments, kid schedules, and other goings-on, it can be tricky to find a free night or a free couple of hours together.  Our kids do well with babysitters, but there's no doubt they would still rather have us stay home.  So when they try a few tactics to make that happen, we assure them of two things: 1) we will be back; and 2) Mommy and Daddy love each other having alone time together is one of the ways we keep that love strong.

Once we've found time for a date and have made an exit, the next challenge can be having enough energy to carry on an adult conversation for more than five minutes without talking only about work and kids.  Maybe it's just me, but it's like when you actually get down time from the crazy-distracted pace of life, all you want to do is veg.

That's where we've found that doing something active on a date helps a lot.  Going out for dinner is probably the thing we do most often because it's easy and doesn't depend on the weather cooperating.  However, the times when we have gone biking, or golfing or played games in a coffee shop stick out as some of the times when we've had the most fun.

I'm always trying to think of some "new" ideas of things we can do together that are inexpensive, easily accessible, and local.  To that end, I've put together the following list after gathering some ideas, and so I'm passing it on to you in case you ever need an idea for what to do when it's "just you two." 

Even if you hesitate at first to take that time, know that it is one of the best things you can do for your marriage and for your family as a whole.
  • Challenge each other to a Wii tournament.
  • Watch a sunset at a lake or beach.
  • Rent a movie and enjoy it with take out from your favorite local restaurant.
  • Rent a canoe or kayak for an hour.
  • Hang out at a local bookstore.
  • Rent a bicycle built for two.
  • Get out old pictures of your life together and chat about your favorite memories.
  • Challenge each other in a game of Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry, or other board game favorite.
  • Take in a local sporting event.
  • Go camping just the two of you.
  • Go for a long drive out in the country.
  • Hit a bucket of balls at the driving range.
  • Make a fire in a fire pit and roast s’mores.
  • Test drive a car just for fun.
  • Do a progressive dinner – appetizer at one place, main course at another, and dessert at a final location

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