It’s the Last Day to Vote


Hey guys, in case you haven’t heard, GreatDateSpot.com has been nominated as a finalist for one of the Top-Ten Marriage Blogs of 2010.  This has been such a great honor for GreatDateSpot and has had a HUGE impact on the readership of this blog.  It has also led to some very fun other stuff going on behind-the-scenes that I can’t wait to tell you about.  This truly has been HUGE in the life of this fledgling little blog.

Anyway, with all that said- TODAY, December, 14th, is the last day to cast your vote.  So do me a favor and head over to www.themarryblogger.com and vote for GreatDateSpot.com to be one of the Top Ten Blogs of 2010!

To my readers, thanks for your support over the last year.  It has been tremendous.  I love bumping into you and hearing how what you’re reading is helping or changing things for you in your dating or marriage relationship, and sometimes even in your spiritual life.

As for me, I can’t believe that my first year of marriage is already almost over.  Just yesterday I was looking at somethings to do for our first anniversary which is coming super quick like.  I’m excited to see what Year Number 2 has in store and what new things I’ll be learning.

But in all of that, if you haven’t voted yet, take a moment to do so.  I really appreciate it!

http://www.themarryblogger.com/marriage/the-top-10-marriage-blog-finalists-for-2010/

Weekly Featured DateNight- Shadowbox Live, Holiday Ed.


Shadowbox, Live was one of the very first Weekly Featured DateNights here on GreatDateSpot.com.  But that was for their Halloween Show.  I have to admit, I had never been before, but it sounded cool and made it as a Featured Date.  I think it was a week later that Penny and I actually got to go, and I tell you what…it was one of the funnest (most fun?) things we have done in a while.  Think Saturday Night Live meets a restaurant where your waiters and waitresses are the performers you see on stage (both in the skits and in the band).  With songs ranging from Pearl Jam to the Eagles, and mix in a little raucousness and some PG-13 humor, it was a really fun night.

With all that said, this weekend kicks off the new Christmas show at Shadowbox, Live, Holiday Hoopla, and Penny and I are there tonight!  Can’t wait to see the changes for this show.  That’s what makes Shadowbox Live appear for the second time on this spot- its a new show, new fun!  Hope you guys can join us.  If you get to go, let us know.  we’d love to know your thoughts.

If you need more info about Shadowbox Live, click here.

Merry Christmas and Happy Dating!

Alone in a Relationship


Last week I received a message from an old friend asking if we could get together.  She needed some advice from a “man’s perspective.”  We had the opportunity to get together today and caught up on what was going on with each other.  And coming out of that conversation, there are a ton of thoughts swirling around my head, but one stands out above the rest:: I am so thankful for the rich community that Penny and I not only get to live in today, but that we got to go through our season of dating together as well.

As my friend and I talked, she told me how she was absolutely in love with the man that she is with now.  They’ve been together almost a year, and he is so far and above different than any other man she ever been with before, that she couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.  But there was something that has been bothering her over these last couple of months.  Now that all the warm fuzzies of a new relationship have worn off and they find themselves settling into a rhythm, they are finding the rhythm has turned into a rut.  The more we talked, the more what I was hearing her say beyond anything else was that she knows that he loves her, but she doesn’t often feel it.  That, unfortunately, he has stopped pursuing her.  He loves her, he has committed himself to her (but hasn’t put a ring on it yet, so keep it in perspective), and she should know that.  And as a guy, I really get where he is coming from.  But it doesn’t translate well to her heart.  So she pushes in to try to make him understand that she is feeling a gap, hoping that he will respond.  But what she doesn’t see is that he is responding, in a very guy way.  Occasionally, the way he responds does connect to her heart, but usually it only serves to frustrate her more.

As I listened, I thought back to several times in Penny’s and my dating relationship, and even now that we are married, and all the times that we did something that was frustrating or didn’t seem to connect with each other…and at first I couldn’t think of much, but the more I thought, the more I realized that we have had and continue to have the same issues as my friend and her boyfriend.  But in almost every circumstance, I reached back to sitting in the garage of my LifeGroup leader, Michael (who would later be one of my groomsmen), hashing out what was going on, what was confusing and frustrating.  I thought about my ministry team leader at church, Lorelei, who, as a girl, gave me incredibly great insight into the liv

es and hearts of women and decoded a lot for me.  I thought of a great mutual friend that both Penny and I loved and loved us, Rebekah, who had eyes on us as a couple and wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions, as well as encourage us in the things we were doing right.  And Penny had Megan, her own LifeGroup leader, that I knew she was constantly talking to (Megan would also be in our wedding). And I realized something- Penny and I were surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses of people who had nothing to gain from our relationship, they just loved us enough to love us.

So I asked the question to my friend, “Who do you have in your life that is having eyes for you both individually and as a couple?  Who has permission to slap you upside the head when you’re being stupid, and call the best out of you?”  And her answer… “No one,” she whispered as she shook her head.

You see, this guy hadn’t stopped loving my friend.  He just doesn’t have anyone in his life to hit him upside the head and say, “Hey, how about you not hang out with the boys tonight and go hang out with her.”  She doesn’t have anyone in her life to say, “Hey, you know how he said this thing and it frustrated you, do you hear how actually romantic it is.?”  They are doing this relationship alone.  Sure, they have each other, but they don’t have anyone else with them in the middle of it.

Here’s the thing, we were never meant to do any of this life alone.  We aren’t ring-bearers and most of us aren’t named Frodo.  We are designed and meant to do life- to do relationships, in community, with other people around.  It’s what I was talking about in the 10 Things I’ve Learned About Dating :: #7- Date in Community. You don’t have to be alone.  You won’t be better off for it either.  Get people around you.

So how’s it going with you?  I ask you the same question I asked my friend, Do you have anyone in your life that has eyes for you individually and as a couple?  Who has permission to slap you upside the head and cheer you on at the same time?  Leave a comment and let us know.

(PS- Thanks again to Michael, Megan, Lorelei, Rebekah, Todd, Michael R, Ginny, Brad, Jonny, Elijah, Sarah, Harlan, Mike, Teri, and so so many more who were and are part of the community that Penny and I get to do life with.  You guys rock!)

The Holiday Rush


So here we are, 2 days before Thanksgiving, and in our first year of marriage, Penny and I get the…ahem…privilege of hosting Thanksgiving at our house- including both sets of parents, siblings from each side, a niece, a nephew, and 2 dogs.  Now don’t get me wrong, definitely glad to have everyone coming over.  Yeah, I really am.

But where I could easily post about how to pick which house to go for the holidays and how we are navigating this sticky issue (trust me, one is coming), this post is instead about something else.  Simply put, the term “Holiday Rush” has taken on a new meaning for me this year.  You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged much in the past week or so.  That’s cause it’s been NUTS!!!!

You see, Penny and I are both incredibly busy (like most people) and this weekend we took a little trip out of town- so what that means is that over the last 2 weeks, the house has become somewhat of a mess without our usual weekend pick up.  And to top it all off, everyone is coming tomorrow.  So the “rush” this year- get the dang house clean.  I used to not care, but now its different.

Wish I could tell you more…but the rush is on!  Happy Turkey Day everybody.  See ya on the flip side.  Gotta get back to cleaning.

Her Greatest Desire vs. His Most Desperate Need


If there is anything in my life that is worthy of doing whatever it takes to make a success, it’s for sure my marriage.  That’s why I do the things that I don’t necessarily want to do; they’ve become not a big deal to do it, because I know the one I’m doing it for.  It’s a funny truth about the things that are dear to us- they tend to make sucky things not suck anymore.  Instead they become a joy.  And for me, that’s reading all these self-help books about marriage.  I hate self-help books- I really do.  I prefer fiction or an even an autobiography, but now, I take every opportunity I get to soak up anything information I can on being a better husband.  Whether it’s new books, books on tape, sermon podcasts about marriage, or reading other marriage blogs…I love taking it all in.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post telling you about a book that I was reading that was having a huge impact on my marriage, The Power of a Praying Husband.  Shortly after, Penny and I started a 6 week marriage class called United.  Wouldn’t you know it, as part of the class, we are reading another book that is also having a profound effect on our marriage, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  And this book has highlighted a really basic principle that I don’t think most people get., but I have found to be so true.  It has helped to put words to something instinctual inside me that I don’t think I ever could have defined before, much less even realized how big of a deal it really is to men and women.  And while this principle certainly reveals itself most in the marriage relationship, it truly speaks to the male/female relationship as a whole.  Whether it’s husband/wife, brother/sister, cousins, or even co-workers.

Here’s the principle- what a woman desires most is unconditional love.  What a man desperately needs is unconditional respect.  It’s at the core of who we are as men and women, how we are created and wired…women tend to need most to be loved.  And men tend to need to be respected above all else, even love.  It’s a profound concept, and I must confess, not one that I fully subscribed to at the outset of reading this book.  But as I’ve gotten deeper into it, I am seeing that at the very least, it is true in Penny’s and my life.

I am not an easy person to upset.  It’s really pretty hard to make me angry about something.  But I can tell you, few things set me off faster than feeling unceremoniously, straight up disrespected.  It’s not something I ever would have put words to, or could have made the connection, but once I did, I see it to be all too true.

On the flip side, while I won’t speak for Penny, I can say that I have noticed when I take the necessary steps to let Penny know that she is loved above all else in my life, and when she hears it, that she responds overwhelmingly more positive and with more respect for me than I could have ever dreamt.

In either case though, did you notice that what I was talking about was how we REACT to each other?  Think about it, just about every fight you’ve ever had with your wife, husband, sibling, co-worker, has usually caught you a little off guard, right?  Because all of a sudden, they responded poorly to you.  And then you reacted.  And they reacted some more.  Which made you react…and so on…well my friends, you have just taken a spin  the Crazy Cycle.  Basically it works like this: she disrespected him, so he didn’t act lovingly towards her, which caused her to act more disrespectful towards him, so he certainly couldn’t act lovingly towards a woman who acts like that, and he responds accordingly…and it keeps going.  OK, OK, to be fair, cause it happens this way too- He acted unloving towards her, so she reacted in a disrespectful way, which made him pull away in an unloving manner (guys, here’s a tip, pulling away in a fight, while paramount in guy-code is acting unloving girl-code), and how could she respect him when he does that, and she acts accordingly.

Sound familiar?  Surprised at how accurate it is?  This really should be no surprise that women want love and men need respect…even the Bible says so when it tells husbands to go all out in love for their wives, and for wives to respect their husbands.  Yeah, that’s the actual wording.  It’s also all through the Proverbs as they talk about what it is better to be than to be in an unloving and disrespectful marriage (I think my favorite is, “It is better to live on a corner of the roof than it is to live in a house with a contentious wife”).

So, couples out there…dating or married or even just friends- how are you doing, Men, at loving the women in your lives with an unconditional love?  Ladies, how about it– do you respect the men in your life?  Are you speaking in a language that is clear to the other person, not just you?  I would highly recommend that you pick up this book.  Go through it.  Try it out.

Win a DateNight from GreatDateSpot.com


WIN A DATE

It’s GreatDateSpot.com’s very first giveaway and we’re giving away a GreatDate!

You can win 2 tickets to see the new Harry Potter movie on opening night, Friday November 19. (Click here to see the trailer)

I’ll already declare this movie a GreatDate.  This movie is the beginning of the end of what truly has been a generation defining series.  Sure, we had Lord of the Rings just a few years ago, and we are incredibly blessed to have had both in such a short period, but Lord of the Rings is an old story…Harry Potter has been something that was created and finished all in less than 20 years.

Normally I wouldn’t suggest a movie to be a date, but this is much more than a movie, its an event.  As such, we have secured 2 tickets to opening night…and you can win them!

All you have to do to enter is go to GreatDateSpot’s Facebook Page, suggest the page to all your friends, and leave a comment either on the page or this post that says, “I want to win a date to see Harry Potter and I invited ____ people to like GreatDateSpot.com on Facebook.” Be sure to fill in the blank with how many people you invited.

The winner will be picked Wednesday Afternoon.

Good luck and Happy Dating!

Weekly Featured Date: Take in a Broadway Show


Have you ever had the chance to go the New York City and see a show on Broadway?  I have.  Stomp was my first.  Then Avenue Q.  And Wicked was the most recent.  All of them were great shows.  A Broadway show is more than just a show, its an experience.  And when it is a shared experience between two people, it makes for a great date!  And while I know it may seem similar, but a Broadway Show is very different than simply going to see a movie.

Fortunately for us, we don’t have to travel to New York to see a Broadway show.  With the Lexington Opera House in Lexington, the Proctor and Gamble Hall in Cincinnati, The Norton Center in Danville,  and Whitney Hall in Louisville all serving as locations for  touring Broadway shows (Broadway shows with a traveling component), Broadway is brought to us.

Each of these theaters has a range of Broadway Shows, all of them good.  And you’ll want to plan ahead, be aware of what’s coming up, cause you’ll want to get tickets more than just a week out.  There’s no doubt, these shows can get pricey, so if you’re on a budget, keep an eye out for deals to tickets to these shows.  As such, I have found one for the newest show to come to Lexington, A Chorus Line, where you could win free tickets.  Click this link to Lexgo.com and find out more.  Make it a great date!