Posts Tagged ‘ christian marriage ’

Let Me Hear You


Several months ago, I promised that GreatDateSpot.com would be making a return soon. While we are still toiling away at revamping the site, I have been diligently taking notes on all the new ideas I’ve had over the last 9 months of what would make a good post here. But I thought I’d take a moment and throw this out there to you guys… This is a blog dedicated to encouraging couples and singles in any stage of their relationship to date well- whether your entertaining the idea of starting to date or are already married- we want to do relationships well.

Also- for those of you in the Ohio River Valley area, this is a place to come get ideas for dates.

So what do you want to talk about? What’s your best kept secret for dating? What’s your favorite date spot in the area?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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5 Ways to Navigate The Land Between…in Dating


Have you ever been in that spot with a girl and you aren’t quite ready to ask her out yet, but you definitely like her.  You know that spot… you guys really connect.  She’s easy to talk to.  You enjoy being with her.  The fact that she’s pretty hot doesn’t hurt anything.  But you’re not sure if you’re ready to make the big leap and full on ask her out.  You’re not sure if you like her that much?  Then my friend, you are in the Land Between.

Check out this picture.  What’s going on here?  Are they dating?  Maybe not…they aren’t exactly “next to” each other.  But he definitely looks like he could be “in to” her.  Maybe she’s still figuring it out.  But she’s not making an excuse to leave.  So what’s going on here?  Are they in the Land Between?

Last week I wrote a post about what to do when its time to tell her that you love her.  It was something a good friend of mine was going through and it got me to thinking about when that time came for me and Penny.  Well…this week I was working on a project with a different friend and he was telling me about some time he had recently spent one on one with a girl that he’s been into for a while.  It wasn’t a “date” per-say, but it felt very date-ish.  He’s still not quite ready to ask her out, but he’s definitely interested.  And he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  And I remember that time really well for Penny and I as well.

It really is a sort of Land Between.  What it doesn’t mean is that it’s time for the big “What is this” discussion.  I know it may seem like a good idea to have that Define-The-Relationship discussion at that point, afterall, its a good thing to be on the same page, isn’t it.  Sure it is.  In fact, I’d say that’s exactly what you want- to be on the same page.  To have everything above board and on the table.

We all know the pain of unspoken attraction and the confusion of an ambiguous relationship.  But the problem with those sort of discussions, with these DTR’s at this point, is that it goes beyond getting on the same page and forces both individuals to be in the same place.  And if they aren’t- then awkwardness ensues.

But how does that work.  I mean, look at the progress of relationships, it goes from attraction to dating…right?  Perhaps not.  Let me toss out a step in between, (thus The Land Between) that I think will help out everybody a lot!  It’s a stage that I think naturally exists, but some people want to skip over it all together.  That’s no good.  That stage exists for a reason.  And you want to take full advantage of each stage.  Don’t rush through the stage your on (I’d also say don’t linger either, but that’s another post).

This stage is what I call BEING INTENTIONAL.  So what does Being Intentional look like?  Well, it starts when you find yourself in this stage of- I think I like her, but I’m not sure I’m ready to full on ask her out just yet.  I just want to get to know her better.  It’s a time when you aren’t exclusively dating, but you do hang out a lot, especially in groups of people.  Maybe you’re hanging out with a group of people you wouldn’t otherwise hang out with.  You are really just getting to know each other.  When you go out with a group, you are intentionally in the same car.  You sit near her at the restaurant.  From time to time, you may even go out on a date, but for the most part, its not dating by yourselves.  The whole point is to get to know her to see if she’s someone you want to date.  It’s such a great stage to be on.

And like I said with How to Tell Her I Love You, you need to freakin’ tell her that’s where you are.  Ambiguity in a relationship never serves it well.  But you also want to make it ok for her to not be there at the same time.  That is a rule that will serve you well all throughout your relationship with her.

What does that talk look like with her?  It’s simple- but not easy-

1) Pick neutral ground to tell her. You don’t want her feeling trapped in your territory or feeling like her territory has been invaded.  It needs to be a safe place for her.  Keep it a public place.  You definitely want a place where the two of you can talk by yourselves, but not a place where your cloistered in a small room or car.  For me, it was in the auditorium at church after most people had cleared out but some people were still milling around.

2) Tell her what you like about her. This is a good way to start the conversation.  Is she easy to talk to?  Does she share similar interests?  I remember when my friends asked me what was the biggest attraction factor I had for Penny, my answer was that she was almost as big of a smart a** as I was.  She kept up with me and all my antics.  It was so much fun.  What is it for you?  Tell her specifically.

3) Let her know that you’re interested. Don’t skip this step.  This is the clarifying statement and the whole reason for having this talk in the first place.  Be really clear.  You like hanging out.  You see that there is some attraction and it could possibly one day be something more.  That’s what you’re interested in finding out. You can end this with, “I’d like to be intentional about getting to know you better.”

4) Tell her how you want to Be Intentional.  Tell her what “Being Intentional” looks like to you.  This is where you’ll dispel all doubt about your intentions.  Tell her you want to be intentional about hanging out around her.  Going to the groups she goes to.  Sitting near her.  Being intentional about talking with her.  In other words- taking the actual steps to get to know her better.  Not stalking her, just getting to know her.

5) Get her permission. Now this may sound cheesy, but there may be a boyfriend she hasn’t told you about.  The words are simple- “Is that ok with you?”  She’ll let you know one way or the other.  No harm no foul here, you just didn’t know and never-the-less, you guys still clicked, that’s why you needed to have this conversation.  Maybe she just got out of a relationship.  Or maybe that’s exactly where she is.  This is the part where its really ok for her to NOT be there yet.

So what do you do if she’s not there yet- reassure her that its really ok.  You just wanted to let her know where you were.  You can tell her that you are indeed still interested, and when she is ready, then she can let you know.

The great thing about this is that its a win-win.  Cause if she says that its all good, then great.  This actually begins your pursuit of her.  If not, then you have clarified some things.  If she is flirting with you and shouldn’t be, then this will let her know.  You also haven’t gone to any weird places yet, so you really still can be friends.  And if she does eventually get there, then she’ll know its safe to come back and let you know.

The Land Between- Being Intentional- call it whatever you may, but its a great stage to be in.

Weekly Featured Date:: Bellini’s


A couple of weeks ago, it was my dad’s birthday.  For the first time that I can remember, we surprised Dad by gathering the family here in town and surprising him with dinner at a local steakhouse.  Penny and I also got to celebrate my cousin, Jeremy who recently got engaged!  My cousin Jeremy is a chef, but I’d never actually eaten his food before.  He mentioned that we should come to his restaurant, Bellini’s, located in downtown Lexington.  A couple of days later, my planned DateNight with Penny sort of blew up in my face, and I had to scramble to come up with some new plans (hmmm, perhaps that’ll be a post- what to do when your plans blow up). So we shifted some things, I called my cousin, and he said to come on in.  And we did…

Usually this column is reserved for activities for couples to do on DateNights, but Penny and I had such a great experience at Bellini’s, that it really earned its own spot as a Weekly Featured Date.  Warning- this a pricey date, but the whole experience is one you won’t forget anytime soon.

To start off, Bellini’s is truly a fine dining restaurant.  Which as I’ve come to learn, is a big date in and of itself.  Not just because the price will probably use all of your dating budget for the night, if not a couple of nights; but also because this is a place that you’ll want to dress up for a bit.  I don’t mean a suit and tie, though that wouldn’t be inappropriate, but dressy casual.

Enjoy your drive downtown in Lexington, but as you pull up, take advantage of the Valet parking directly across the street from Bellini’s.  Enter through the martini bar on the left, where you can stop to have a drink first.  The low lighting and red glow of the room certainly sets the high class, romantic atmosphere of the restaurant.  As you enter the dining room, be ready to check your coat with the hostess.

Here’s where the real fun begins…the food.  Bellini’s is an italian restaurant, so I was worried that for a guy who can’t eat pasta right now, there might not be much for me to enjoy there.  Boy was I wrong!  The menu was one of those kinds that had no pictures and lots of foreign words…which always makes me nervous, but I was the hands of my cousin so I relaxed and just went with it.  Penny and I both picked items from the non-pasta side of the menu.  She got the duck, and I got the braised short ribs.  In addition to that, we got a plate of muscles as our appetizer and Chef Jeremy sent out a couple of amuse bouches.

The food was absolutely amazing!  When it came, the presentation was beautiful, I hated to defile it with a fork and knife.  Then the waitress actually explained exactly what we were eating as she set it down.  You know, “Here is the duck breast, simmered with an apple glaze over a carrot puree and blah blah blah.”  Basically all I heard was, “Here is some of the most amazing yummy goodness you’ll ever eat in your life.”  I have to say, I had no clue that my cousin was a great chef!  Upon taking the first bite of her food, Penny melted and mumbled, “Oh my god, this good!”

Anyway, Bellini’s definitely qualifies as a GreatDateSpot.  Go ahead and plan on at least an hour to an hour and half at the restaurant.  When dinner is over, you can add to it just about anything- a walk downtown, some ice cream somewhere, even a movie at home…because you’re date will have been a great one!

 

Weekly Featured Date :: The Double Date


Typically with the Weekly Featured Date segment, I try to highlight a place to go, an activity to do, or sometimes even a restaurant.  But this time I’m pulling out something different.  I’m not even sure what category this would fit into, but considering that I don’t much like categories, I’m really ok with it.

This week’s Weekly Featured Date is simple- do something, anything, go somewhere- but this time- invite another couple along and make it a Double Date.

The whole point of a DateNight in the first place is to give a couple time out from everything else in life to spend together, getting to know each other, and just have fun together.  I know it may seem that when you introduce another couple into the equation, then you lose the intimate aspect and you have to spend all the time together with another couple.  However- think about it- on a double date you get to be a couple, the other couple gets to be a couple, and you get to be a couple together.  I’m not talking about anything dirty here- its just called being a couple in community.

Also, this is great way to take a time out from everything else in life- think of the couples you know- couples at church, couples at work, couples in the neighborhood.  Going out for a Double Date with any of these couples puts you in a different setting and allows you to get to know not only the other couple better, but you get to know your dating partner in a setting with other people.

The Double Date- the hardest part is just finding a couple who’s schedule you can get to mesh with yours.

Gift Idea:: The 12 Daytz of Christmas


I ran across this idea earlier today and I just had to share.  Our friends over at the Dating Divas have come up with a rather unique idea for a Christmas gift this season that could really mean a lot to your spouse or dating partner.  While I’m not a big scrapbooker, I absolutely believe in the idea of PLANNING and getting your date nights scheduled, so much so that its part of The Fifth Commandment of Dating.

Now, generally speaking, I hold to DateNights happening at least once a week and are usually planned by the guy.  For that, I believe this gift idea can be utilized by either Men or Women and here’s how:

MEN:: I realize that sometimes once a week can be tough to go out on the town, especially if you have kids or funds are really tight- or both: to which I say, get creative and make it happen.  But if it can’t, at least once a week, make sure you’re grabbing some couch time for a couple hours and spend that time with the TV off and the kids not around, and be connecting.  Here’s the kicker- those can count as DateNights.  If that’s the situation you find yourself in, then perhaps you would benefit from a Special DateNight once a month- you know, those times when you get a babysitter, save up some cash like you did in high school, and then go out.  So how about for Christmas, you plan out 12 dates, one for each month. -OR- If you already have a weekly DateNight, how about 12 of those become “special” DateNights, and I’ll let you decide what the word “special” means to you in your context.  But You’ll have to go to the Dating Diva’s site how to make the gift.

WOMEN:: It is no easy task to be the one who is always planning out the DateNights (not easy, but still a joy).  How about giving your man the gift of a break, when you step up and take the reigns once a month to plan the DateNights.  There are so many benefits to you planning the DateNights, but mostly it gets you involved in this aspect of the relationship and even gives you a bit more investment.  It would be a great gift.  And again, you’ll have to head over to the Dating Diva’s to see how to make the gift.

Give the gift of Dating this Christmas.  And if you have any ideas how to tweak this or customize this for yourself, be sure to leave a comment and share with the class!

And show some love to our friends at Dating Diva’s by visiting their site : www.thedahlingdatingdivas.blogspot.com

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!

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.