4 posts categorized "46 Challenge" Feed

46 Challenge Tip #3: Dates have to happen

This one seems to be so obvious but it amazes me how often people don't seem to get it. Dates have to happen.

Couples that date, I mean really date are far more secure than couples that don't.

Of course, what does it mean to really date? Too many couples go on a date and pick up a fight, or talk about a problem with the kids or a bill. These ideas aren't bad but they can take a date and turn it into a meeting.

Meetings aren't fun. In fact, at our company we talked about the possibility of regular meetings and I asked a simple question; "Who here has ever worked at a place where you were excited about going to a meeting?" No one raised a hand.

When dates become a meeting, they didn't happen.

When dates happen, they need to have a fun agenda. They are great times for reflection, or remembering. They are excellent times to dream about the future. Sometimes, they can be great times to discuss different stressful events, but most family business issues should be dealt with during a different time.

The second way that dates don't happen is because of financial or other stressors. This is one of the worst times to stop doing dates. They need to happen more then because dates are the best way to keep the ground of your relationship fertile for emotional security to grow. As we've discussed before, they don't have to cost much money or even any money. Taking a walk through a park for an hour is a great way to go on a date.

Dates need to happen, even when money is tight because they are the balm for the stress that you are going through.

Another time that dates get cut is because of schedules. Often, this is so the parents can accommodate children's schedule. Once again, this is completely backwards from how what needs to happen. We mistakenly believe that by pouring all of our available resources into our children that they will become healthy.

What will actually make them healthy is a mom and dad that are healthy. And probably a lot less scheduling but that's a post for another day. Dates are recovery times for relationships.

If you want your relationship to be healthy you need to have regular date times.

That's why we started the challenge! So go do something with your spouse. Talk a walk. Lay on a blanket under the stars.

Do something. Anything.

The results will come.

The 46 Challenge Tip #2: Dates have to be adaptive

Dates have to be adaptive. If you have children, this is just a reality of life. You cannot expect life to continue at your pace.

If you don't have children, you still know what I'm talking about. This past week, my wife and I planned our first date for the challenge early in the week.

We were going to go out Friday night to one a cool little section of our city. Have a quiet dinner and walk a little bit.

Then our son developed a fever. The plans we had for our daughters fell through and instead of them all almost being at someone's house, they were all home Friday night.

Que the ominous music. There goes our date, right? Wrong.

We just had to be adaptive. We moved our date night to Sunday. We made different babysitting arrangements.

We were still able to do almost everything that we wanted to get done. We still went on a date and it was a ton of fun. We didn't really do anything crazy. Our son's fever went away so he went with us. We tried a new to us restaurant and then we walked around a little bit and just talked.

It was a fun night. It was a night that we could have given up on because our initial plans took some setbacks. Adaptive dates come from a commitment to dates.

Everyone's life is busy. In our busy lifestyle one of the first areas that I see people make "budget" cuts is in the dating life. Maybe, it's because dates seem so frivolous. There are many other things that seem more important but the truth is that there is nothing more important in the long run than creating fertile ground for emotional security to grow in your relationship.

This will have the longest and best results for every aspect of your family. If you haven't been on a date yet, don't despair. You still have plenty of time to get them in. Make a commitment to yourself, your partner, and your family to get out on a date. The benefits are tremendous.

If you have been on a date, keep it up. Post on my facebook page, www.facebook.com/joemartinocounseling what you've done. How do you adapt your dates? Let me know here or the Facebook page. I want to hear from you.

The 46 Challenge: Tip #1 Dates don't have to be complex

Many people that I talk to agree that a regular dating life is important for the health of their relationship. They also often admit that they don’t go on enough dates and many even tell me that they rarely go on dates.

I think part of that is because dating can be hard to coordinate with children.

And it can be expensive.

You have to pay for the babysitter.

You have to pay for the dinner.

You have to pay for the gas.

Despite what the media tells me, I’m still not seeing much of a recovery economically and it seems to me that one of the things to get cut the fastest is a couples dating budget.

But you don’t need a big budget to go on a date.

If you’re kids are older, you may be able to have one of them do the babysitting while you go for a short walk holding hands.

If you can’t let the kids watch themselves without fear that the entire second floor will be gutted before you get back, you can always wait until the kids go to bed to have your date.

You can explain to them how important it is that they give you “mommy and daddy time.”

If your kids are old enough give them strict instructions to not come see you unless something is wrong in a major way.

Then shut off the phones.

Close the laptops.

Put a movie.

Play a card game.

Play a video game. One couple I once talked to played strip video games. That was usually a win/win night for them.

The point is that dating doesn’t have to be expensive and in fact, you don’t have to leave the house.

It can as simple as sitting on the front porch sipping a drink and talking.

If you go that route, try to avoid talking about bills and those types of things. Talk about each other. Work, the future. What do you dream about. Etc.

The important thing is that you spend time together.

The 46 challenge

So we want to do something fun for the summer. One of the things that we believe is that couples need to date more. So we are challenging you to do the 46 challenge.

The idea is that you will have 4 dates in 6 weeks with your spouse. If you’re willing to do it, be sure to like our Facebook page, found at www.facebook.com/joemartinocounseling.

We’ll have date tips and encouragement there. Everyone who completes the challenge will get a certificate of accomplishment and probably have more sex, which is always a good thing, right?

Plus, you’ll probably improve the overall health of your relationship.

The contest starts next Monday, July 15th and will run until Sunday, August 25th.

Let’s do some dating.

We believe you can do this without spending a lot of money and we’re going to offer tips on how to pull that off. We hope to be emailing you a certificate soon.