Here’s a fun date night suggestion –
Go to your local book store and go to the self-help section or the relationship section. What a selection you’ll find there. Here a sample of what may be available:
- The Seven Things (Happy) Couples Do by John and Linda Freil
- The Seven Basic Quarrels of Marriage by William Betcher and Robie Macauley
- The Seven Stages of Marriage by Sari Harrar and Rita DeMaria
- The Seven Dumbest Relationship Mistakes Smart People Make by Carolyn Bushong
- The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver
And the following obviously missed the memo about sticking to the number seven if you want to have a successful relationship book:
- The Five Love Needs of Men and Women by Gary and Barbara Rosburg
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- Six Secrets to Lasting Love by Gary and Barbara Rosberg
- Ten Stupid Things Couples Do To Mess Up Their Relationships by Laura Schlessinger
- The Ten Second Kiss by Ellen Kreidman
Then there’s the overachiever who went way beyond:
- 1001 Ways to be Romantic by Gregory Godek
I really like the books that tell me right up front that something’s a secret. Going to have to read that one for sure. Or the one about Ten Stupid Things Couples Do — Only ten? I think us guys can get a lot of benefit out of 1001 ways to be Romantic, mainly because we can usually only come up with three, and the third one is just a slight variation on number two!
For your date night, you and your spouse can browse the various titles. Read the back cover or the inside flap of the books, which usually gives a quick overview of the book. Find three that appeal to you and have your spouse find three. Swap your selections and narrow them down to the top two for each. Then, put all four on the table and together pick the one you feel would benefit you both the most.
Next: Over the next few weeks go through the book together. You can read several chapters by yourselves and take notes and then discuss what you have read, or you can read it together and discuss it as you go. I have found that most books have several real gems, real key ideas that particularly apply to you individually or to you as a couple. Make it your objective to find something that is spot on, something that really resonates with you, that makes you say, “There’s some real truth there. I need to work on that”, or “We need to work on that”.
The objective should be to uncover things that would help you grow as a person or help you grow closer together. Focus on being positive and avoid the “I told you so” trap. We all need to grow and we can grow best when we are supported by a loving spouse.