Dating Ideas

HOMELIFE MAGAZINE – LIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES

November 2005

 

Headline/deck suggestions:

23 House Dates – Low Cost, Great Rewards

Fabulous Dates without Leaving Your Home

Spark Romance (again) in Your Own Living Room

23 Keys to Simple Romance

 

Ø      Candles, chocolate and flowers top the list of the most common romance starters. Transform these love communicators into original, mysterious invitations to your spouse to join hands with you and explore new dating territory.

Ø      What makes your husband tick? What languages can you speak based on your intimate knowledge of his character to tell him how much you love him?

Ø      Consider these fun variations of the candles, chocolate and flowers routine to discover new levels of intimacy in your marriage.

 

Sidebar

In the famous balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet Romeo delivers one of the most memorable outpourings of infatuation ever written. He beautifully describes his love for Juliet and swears to it “by yonder blessed moon.” Ever since then, ambitious young lovers have imagined themselves courting champions if they even vaguely match the sappy-sweet ambiance of Juliet’s garden. But before donning tights and a feathered cap, men will be wise to consider Juliet’s response to this insanely hormonal moment.

Juliet calmly asks Romeo to give her more than an impulsive outpouring of emotion, which she claims is, “too rash.” Moonlight mumbo-jumbo may sound rapturous, but most women would rather hear sincere promises of lasting commitment. Mark Simpson, a licensed marriage and family therapist, explains that the myth, “When I feel it, I will act,” should be replaced with “Because I act, I will feel it.” True romance often begins with a conscious decision and ends with elation rather than the other way around.

Teddy and Laurie Stewart from Lebanon, TN, have been happily married for twenty-four years and say the key to their longevity is doing thoughtful things for each other throughout each day. Teddy wakes up every morning to a hot cup of coffee on his bedside table, a gesture of love and support from his wife that tells him she’s on his side today, no matter what kinds of challenges he may be facing. The key to keeping a relationship interesting and romantic is making an effort to show your spouse that you’re still interested in making the relationship better, in experiencing the simple romance that brought you together in the first place.

Lisa Sharpe, a marriage and family ministry specialist in St. Louis, MO, points out that men like nothing better than a little friendly competition. Sometimes a woman expects her mate to create the mood for an intimate evening exactly like she thinks it should be done. Meanwhile, the man wishes his wife would take a step into his world for a change. Sitting on the couch together and shooting hoops into a toy basketball goal across the room may be the husband’s idea of a beautiful evening. Having a competition to see who can make the best dessert or even arm wrestling may give both parties an opportunity to flirt like they used to when they started dating. Life gets terribly serious sometimes, and taking a lighthearted approach to a potentially romantic evening is a great way to release stress, relax and enjoy one another’s company.  

 

Article

February is a short, cozy month nestled between the harshness of winter and the energy of spring - the perfect time for rekindling romance. What is God’s idea of excitement between two people who think they already know everything about each other? One way to find out is to start with drawing near to God and drawing near to each other. It begins with purposefully seeking something new, different, and better and knowing God promises that he who seeks shall find.

Even during dreary, winter months couples can enjoy fun, inside dates to keep the romantic spark burning. Try a few of these ideas to avoid the couch-potato syndrome of chilly February nights.  

Ø      Unscented votive candles can be purchased for as little as $.16 each from websites like www.discountcandleshop.com. Surprise your spouse by placing the candles in red luminary bags and lighting a pathway from the front door to the dinner table where you’ve prepared his or her favorite meal.

Ø      Make a collection of pictures of the two of you that date from the beginning of your relationship to the present. In a scrapbook marathon create a memorable salute to the time you’ve invested in one another.

Ø      After dinner prepare a bowl of fresh fruit cut into bite size pieces, such as grapes, strawberries or mango. Compliment the dish with freshly whipped, sweetened cream and Andes chocolate mints. Rent a classic black and white love story like Breakfast at Tiffany’s to watch together while you enjoy this tantalizing dessert.

Ø      Continue the candlelight romance by gracing every flat surface in your home with the twinkling lights. Slide the furniture in your den against the wall and dance to instrumental love songs.

Ø      If you have two computers at home, go to separate rooms or the house or sit side-by-side on the couch and instant message each other.

Ø      Create a compilation of songs that wake up fond memories for the two of you. Use it as background music as you try a new home decorating idea, like painting a room or building a piece of furniture together.

Ø      Design a basket of handpicked, thoughtful gifts for your spouse to discover when he comes home from work. Include scented candles, body lotion and gourmet snacks.

Ø      Jeff and Kim Herndon have been happily married for nine years, and Kim’s ideal inside date is to come home to a warm bubble bath. If Jeff drops rose petals on the clouds of sweet-smelling foam and arranges floating candles along the edges of the water, he will have made her deliriously happy!

Ø       Retailers practically give away overstocked boxes of chocolates after Valentines Day. Use magazine cutouts or your own drawings to create a picture of two people enjoying a winter outing together and place it in the bottom of the candy box. Every piece of chocolate your spouse devours will uncover a clue for your dating idea.

Ø       Glue Hershey kisses to clue cards and send your spouse on an indoor scavenger hunt. Lead him to a sealed envelope containing movie or theater tickets.

Ø      Indulge on popcorn, candy or homemade treats while playing a card game, putting a puzzle together, building something out of play dough or clay or creating a LightBright picture.

Ø      Venture out to the chilly deck or patio wrapped in a cozy blanket or afghan. Savor steaming cups of hot cocoa while you see how many constellations you can identify.

Ø      Gather home movies from the early stages of your relationship. Decorate with the flower arrangements similar to the ones used in your wedding and watch your wedding video or vacation videos and reminisce about fun family times.

Ø      Gather five to ten gold or silver candles in a hurricane vase and tie them together with decorative ribbon. Place the arrangement in the middle of the coffee table for a hint of class and intimacy while you snuggle under a blanket and watch your favorite romantic classic.

Ø      Take turns listing each other’s best qualities in alphabetical order.

Ø      Create redeemable tickets for tasks you can do for one another around the house, like taking over household chores normally delegated to one person. Place them in a decorative gift bag and play Pictionary, Scrabble or another favorite board game together. Every time one of you gets a right answer, draw from the bag of future favors and niceties.

Ø      Purchase a cake decorating kit and see what kind of masterpiece you can create together.

Ø      Expand your indoor date ideas beyond your own living room. Invite two or three other couples to participate in a progressive dinner with romantic flair. Each couple chooses to prepare appetizers, dinner or dessert at their home, and the other couples travel there in succession to enjoy the delicacies alone in a new, stimulating environment. Go all out and have soft music playing and dimmed lighting awaiting each couple.

Ø      Invite another couple over to serve you and your spouse a candlelight dinner in your own dining room. Your wife won’t have to lift a finger as the “waiter and waitress” run back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen serving you. In a few weeks, repay the favor by serving the gracious couple in their home.

Ø      Play a hot, new computer game together.  

Ø      Snuggle under a blanket in front of the fire and read a book out loud to each other.

Ø      Have a competition to see who can cook the best tasting dessert.

 

Saying “I do” doesn’t guarantee that when the demands of everyday life settle like dust on a marriage relationship both parties will remain committed. By assuming an offensive, protective attitude Christian couples can preserve the passion that originally drew them together. Otherwise, the Enemy will slither into the private quarters of one of God’s most sacred institutions and rob it of its passion.

Married couples who go on dates together aren’t guaranteed immunization against apathy, boredom and distraction, but they’ve taken the first step in a larger, offensive game plan. Putting a lot of planning and effort into a romantic evening at home expresses what husbands and wives must creatively repeat to each other throughout the years of their marriage -  “You are so important to me that I’ll place everything and everybody else on hold while I work to strengthen our relationship.”