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Thursday, January 7, 2016

A warm welcome to all the new subscribers who signed up through my "Warm Winter Date Night" giveaway. Congratulations to Krista on winning the contest - I'll be contacting you shortly.

To the rest of you, I hope you'll stick around. I hope you'll be a regular reader (and commenter) here on Journey to Surrender. Most of all, I hope your marriage will be blessed and strengthened by what I share.

As I mentioned in my last post about the giveaway, I'm launching into a new series this month: Date Night.

I'm sure you've seen lists like this before.
You've read them, and thought "yeah, we really need to do that." Then you went on with your Iife and forgot all about it.

I get it. Life crashes in, and thoughts of date night fade into the distance. It's too hard to do it with any consistency, and there are too many reasons it just doesn't seem possible right now. Maybe someday. Maybe someday when the kids are older. Maybe someday when work isn't so demanding. Maybe someday when I'm not so tired. Maybe someday when we have more money.

The problem with waiting for "someday" is that someday never comes. There will always be reasons that continuing to date each other is difficult, no matter the season of life you find yourself in.

Whether you've been married 4 months or 40 years, you need to keep dating for all the reasons listed in the infographic above and more.

You probably already know that. The question is what are you going to do about it? Now?

Make a Plan for 2016

I'm not a big believer in New Years resolutions. I am, however, a big believer in making a plan to accomplish a goal, especially when that goal has to do with your marriage.

I'm going to be sharing some results from my recent Date Night poll in the coming posts, along with Date Night ideas, and additional encouragement as to why this is so important.

I'll share here the first few Date Night poll results (more to come in future posts). In my survey, 47% of respondents were either somewhat or very unhappy about the frequency of their dates. Only 10% were very happy. Clearly there is a lot of room for improvement in most marriages - probably in yours too. You are not alone!

Here's what people said were the biggest impediments to having more regular date nights.
Busyness was clearly the number one enemy of date nights, followed closely by having not enough money or enough energy to make it happen. A significant majority reported one of these as among their top obstacles.

It's easy to say, and less easy to do, but these really come down to managing your priorities. Bottom line: these marriages are getting leftovers, and most of the time there aren't any.

So as you set plans and goals in place for 2016, sit down with your spouse and talk about what is keeping you from more frequent and regular date nights. Identify your top few obstacles, and then brainstorm options for overcoming them. What are you willing to say "no" to, in order that you can say "yes" to a better, more intimate, more passionate marriage?

Make specific plans for who is going to do what differently in order to make a way for dates to happen more consistently.

Make a Plan for January

Let's start with baby steps, and just look at what's left of this month.

Get out your January calendars, and set aside at least 2 or 3 dates in the coming weeks for dates. You don't have decide right now what you are going to do (that's for my next post), but decide who will be in charge of making the plans, whether you take turns, plan together, or one person does it all.

Whoever it is that is designated as the date planner, hold each other accountable. It's okay to ask, a week or so out, whether the plans are all set. Don't be tempted to say, "Well, if he/she really cared, I wouldn't have to remind him/her." Give each other the benefit of the doubt. Better to say, "I'm really looking forward to our date on Friday. Can you clue me in on your plans? Or is it going to be a surprise?"

What is the biggest obstacle for you and your spouse when it comes to having more dates? What do you think can be done to overcome it? Leave a comment.

Next Time:  "I Don't Know, What Do You Want to Do?"


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