Keeping the spirit alive in a relationship can be one of the biggest challenges, whether you are in a long-term dating relationship or you have been married for a number of years. I love this series of videos that we are going to post because it is such a great reminder of why we got into a relationship in the first place and what we need to do to keep them fun and exciting. We are going to delve into dating that super special someone in your life to know how to have those difficult conversations whether it be with your kids, a co-worker, friend or family member.
So welcome to Focus Forward…let’s nurture those relationships.
When I chose the title of this module, dating with a purpose and started tossing the name around I quickly realized that I needed to define what I meant. Almost everyone I spoke to immediately thought that we were going to talk about looking for that perfect person and what that looked like. Was it in a bar, online at the gym or through a blind date that was set up by the most well-meaning friend?
Noooo…I was going down a whole different path. I want to capture the romance, the excitement and adventure of dating that person that you already have firmly implanted in your life. Talk about how to rekindle what made you giddy and gave you butterflies when you first met. You know what I mean… remember, when you first started dating or even first got married and you would hear the car pull up or the garage door open and you would jump up and be so anxious to see the light of your life. The person that gave you new meaning for getting up everyday in anticipation of what the day might bring. Yeah, that person… the one that is your cheerleader, your shoulder to cry on and your confidant , your best friend. The one who is your grown-up playmate.
That is what I want to jump into…dating that person again. The person that you have already chosen as your one but making that date special, dating with a purpose. Many of you may understand why I am feeling the need to reinforce this. As we get busy and have been with that amazing partner for months or years, we sometimes tend to get a bit complacent. We may even go as far as taking them for granted without even realizing that we are doing it. Oftentimes by the time one or both of you figures this out, there can be a long road of work ahead to rekindle the spark. When this happens you often hear and maybe you have even done this…you both commit to “date night”. Whether it be once a month or once a week it is on the calendar and it is something that you both realize is calendared time that nothing can knock off the calendar. That is a fantastic first step…but what does “date night” look like? How much thought and planning goes into it, if any, or is it something that the 2 of you meet at 5:00 and look at each other and ask “well, what should we do tonight”?
I am going to help you make date night special, something that you are excited about and something that each of you can take a turn in planning or you can do it together.
Let’s begin with 3 important reasons to make date night a big deal and why it should be the most important thing on your calendar.
Like a house, a relationship needs a strong foundation. Dating provides the opportunity to build and maintain that foundation so that when the world throws us a curveball, we can handle it like any highly performing team would.
So, what does dating your one and only look like? I am sure that we can all remember when we started dating a new potential partner, that it came with some excitement mixed with some anxiety. We stressed about what to wear, and what to say and what they would think. Likely, none of us want to relive those aspects of dating, but what about the awesomeness of romance, fun, joking, surprises or the occasional disaster that has you laughing until you cry. These are the things that make dating memorable and bring you closer to the one you chose to spend the rest of your life with.
By dating with a purpose, you build new memories and visit old ones. If you think back to when you first began dating, what did you do that helped you decide if there was going to be a second date? You talked, you shared experiences and you learned about each other. This piece has not changed…these are the core activities that will enable you to continue to grow closer and to remind you of why your love is so deep and can withstand anything.
I am sure that some of you are thinking that you don’t have the money or the time to plan something super extravagant. I am telling you right now, that’s not what it’s about. If you are able to escape and do that date weekend to someplace special then that is great, but honestly you just need to spend time alone and it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.
What about this…
Find your favorite coffee shop that is quiet and quaint and snag the corner where you can relax and talk and that you know you won’t run into anyone you know. Maybe you venture out and research some other little cozy hangouts in other parts of town that you don’t normally explore just to ensure your time is not interrupted.
Or… That walk in a park, holding hands and laughing at the children who are playing with no worries as to what the rest of their life brings outside of what is for treats that afternoon. Maybe you add a romantic picnic to that walk, and you have brought all of your partner's favorite things. Does it even include a card or a note that expresses how important they are to you?
When was the last time that the two of you just went for a country drive with no destination in mind? Get away from the traffic and just drive and talk. You will be amazed at the topics that come up if you make the effort to leave the everyday stresses of work and life back at the house.
Too often date night ends up being dinner and a movie with little to no engagement. Think outside the box, back to when you wanted to make every experience special and memorable. What can you come up with that when it is over you are just a little more in love?
I hope that you use this to grow the foundation of your relationship and add to the memories that you will share forever with the one that you love.
Please share this with friends and family that relish in keeping their relationships fresh and alive.
And remember the choice is always yours to focus forward.
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