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Don’t Date Lame

Don’t Date Lame

Dinner and a movie might have been good dating advice in 2019, but we’re out here dating in 3019 – where things are a little more creative.

Not only is creative dating a very helpful skill when trying to live the virtue of chastity, it’s also a lot more fun. Dating can be full of excitement and adventure, but so many of us settle for lame dates. Seeing a movie, hanging out at home, or focusing more on your phone than your date? 

It’s time to stop dating lame.

The best advice I ever received on how to plan a killer creative date came from a Psychology class I took in college. We were trying to apply practical applications to the psychological principles we’d been learning. I’m not sure how many of my classmates went out to test these theories – but I did. And I’m happily married now. Correlation may not be causation. But it might be. You decide.

Here’s what I learned:

The Best Dates Meet Three Criteria

1. Involve multiple locations

If you spend the whole night sitting on the couch or in a movie theater, the entire evening just runs together and is kind of flat. BUT if you, say, have dinner at Steak ‘n Shake, followed by a walk in the park, before meeting up with some friends to go bowling, each location and separate activity acts as a mini-date – making the whole night more memorable and exciting.

Bonus benefit: if one location is a bust or gets boring, the whole date is not a loss. Try, though, to have the last location on the date be the most fun and exciting (so NOT your parents’ basement… that’s lame).

2. Have some time focused solely on the other person AND have time to intentionally interact with other people.

We all know the purpose of a date is to get to know someone better as we all discern our individual vocations, right? Right! Time focused on the person you are dating is an essential part of any date – but an important part of getting to know someone is also seeing how they interact with others: their friends, their family, your family, your friends…

In my own life, my relationships have only been enriched by inviting my friends into relationship with my wife (before she was my wife – and since she’s become my wife, too) and by spending time with her friends and family as well.

Bonus benefit: sometimes things can get awkward or uncomfortable when you’re spending an evening with someone you’ve just started dating. Having some group time to break up the night can be very helpful. Also, there are some things that you may be tempted to do when you’re alone for a whole evening with someone who’s cute, has a little potential… that you wouldn’t be tempted to do if you’re playing cards with them AND your four closest friends (that would be awkward).

3. Be centered around something one or both of you love.

Finally – and possibly most importantly – a great date should be something you are excited about. I don’t mean just excited to be with the other person (hopefully, that’s a given) but also excited to share something special with them.

You might be passionate about being outdoors, cooking or baking, board games, sports, coin collecting, whatever! Share it with the person you’re dating. Our excitement can be infectious. By sharing an activity that you really love, you give your date a glimpse into your heart (and vice versa).

Bonus benefit: if things are getting really serious, checking out your potential future spouse’s hobbies gives you an idea of how you’ll be spending your future time and money, should you get married someday.

My wife knew ahead of time that new board games would be a regular expense in our house. I knew that she would be baking non-stop. Now, we have a lot of fun playing games together and I got fat… but we both knew what we were getting into.

Seems easy enough, right? Good – because it IS easy. Anyone can have a creative dating life with just a little bit of effort and these three tips. There’s more to life than Netflix in your parents’ basement being the standard for dates… that’s lame. And nobody wants to date lame.

Phill is the lucky husband of Jen and proud father of Simon and Marge. He likes to spend his days playing video games, going to the gym, and working in the family garden - but usually spends them leading retreats for the REAP team instead...which he likes, too.

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