I recently asked Facebook followers to suggest topics for this summer, and one respondent suggested romantic getaways. To be honest, I’d probably get an “A” in sexual intimacy and a “C” in romantic endeavors.
Thankfully, Moody Publishing offered me a review copy of 52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple’s Adventure Guide for Praying, Playing, and Staying Together. Because a gal like me, and even some of you romantically seasoned folk, could use a resource with fresh ideas for date night — or even date weekend — with your spouse.
Biblically based. I’ve seen date night books before, but what I really liked about this one is how Scripture is interwoven throughout the ideas. There’s a focus scripture at the beginning, questions for relating to one another and to God, and follow-up passages to reinforce biblical understanding and intimate time.
Uncommon ideas. The book boasts that these date are “uncommon,” and indeed they are. For instance, how many of you have bonded over a trip to a cemetery? Or gone apple-picking? Too many of us default to dinner and a movie, or conversing about household tasks and parenting, or — let’s face it — trying to figure out how to skip all that and end up in bed. But a good date night helps you stay connected, grow in intimate knowledge of one another, and keep the spark alive. These uncommon ideas foster exactly that.
Little or lots of planning — your choice. The date ideas are flexible enough to allow you to put a little or a lot of effort into each one. If you’re especially creative or an organized planner, you could really amp up the experience. If you’re more about living on the fly, most of these dates don’t require too much money and effort, and you can simply follow the script and meet with success.
Intentional dating. Intention is key when it comes to continuing to date your spouse. Getting to know one another and enjoying time together shouldn’t end when we say “I do.” Our lives are far more meaningful — and the sex even more intimate — when you’re spending time with someone you know well.
Not every chapter may hook your interest, but with 52 ideas, there’s bound to be some dates you’d like to try and would enjoy. For instance, I’ll share two dates from the book that Spock (my hubby) and I have actually done — one that worked poorly and one that worked well.
Canoeing. Some years ago, Spock and I went to a nearby woodsy resort where you could rent a canoe and head out on the river. We thought that would be fun. However, we did not — as the book wisely suggests — pray or discuss anything beforehand. Instead, we grabbed our life jackets, our paddles, and pushed off into the calm waters.
Now one of us had spent every summer at church camp canoeing and had a reasonable amount of experience in paddling, steering, avoiding or navigating rapids, etc. . . . while the other one thought he was stronger, smarter, and generally better able to command the ship, so to speak. Both of us became frustrated with the other, and by the time we finally pulled back up to the bank, I’m pretty sure I’d had way too many stray thoughts of other ways I could use a canoe paddle.
All that said, it’s a shared memory now. And one we actually laugh about. So was the date a disaster? On one hand, we weren’t exactly falling in love with each other on that river. But on the other hand, we got to know things about one another, we look back with humor at that day, and we could canoe together far more successfully next time. I’d definitely do it again — but following the book’s prescription of better preparation.
Factory tour date. I adore this idea, and it’s been fabulous for us. We’ve toured the Blue Bell Factory in Brenham, Texas. (Don’t know what Blue Bell is? Then you are missing out on some fabulous ice cream!) We’ve toured the Llano winery near Lubbock, Texas. Both were fascinating trips and spurred conversation during and after the date. It was so interesting to see how these products are manufactured, and we learned more about each other based on what intrigued each of us. Of course, we also got to share some wonderful ice cream and a few sips of wine at the end of the tours.
But perhaps the coolest was a private tour. You see, my husband’s work is associated with the space industry (see how well that “Spock” moniker fits!). Due to a project he was working on, we were invited to tour the digs of a space engineering firm and see what they are working on for the future. It was so cool seeing the project in action, feeling the inner pride that my husband was connected to this amazing endeavor, and discussing the experience with him afterward.
Even though we’ve done the tour date before, as soon as I saw it listed in the book, I thought, “Why don’t we do that more often?!” Plus, there were more ideas in the chapter on how to enhance the experience.
You may find inspiration on every page or simply every other chapter, but 52 Uncommon Dates is likely to spur your imagination, motivate your marriage, and lead to some wonderful shared experiences. You’ll build intimacy as you intentionally date your spouse.
Moody Publishing has allowed me to give away one free copy of 52 Uncommon Dates by Randy E. Southern. If you’re interested, please comment below with your best marriage date ever. It can be something you’ve done, or something you’d like to do.
I was given a free copy of 52 Uncommon Dates in exchange for an honest review of the book. My review is my own. The link provided is an Amazon affiliate link, but the book is available from other retailers as well.