Remember speed dating?
You sit down and try to impress the person on the other side of the table in 30 seconds or less before moving on to the next person.
How effective it actually is depends on each person.
In marriage, we need to go on dates too. Obviously, we aren’t going to go out and meet other people (if you are, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog).
But, we need to make dating a priority and since we’re married, we have plenty of time. One idea for the actual type of date to go on is what I refer to as the Slow Date.
What is the Slow Date?
Going on a slow date simply refers to going out and doing something that puts the attention on you and your spouse – not the activity.
Going to the opera or bungee jumping are great date ideas, but the purpose of the slow date is to take a break from being distracted and really get into each other.
The thinking here is that sometimes it’s really the most simple things in life that bring the most satisfaction. There’s no reason this can’t include dates.
Going on a slow date is low impact. It doesn’t involve much preparation. Because of that, it works well for last minute alone time. It also works well if you don’t have a lot of extra cash for a date!
What Do You Do On a Slow Date?
The actual activity of the slow date isn’t nearly as important as the amount of attention you have on each other. I’m not suggesting you sit and stare into each others eyes all night. I am suggesting that what you actually do shouldn’t become the focus.
Simple ideas for slow dates include having a picnic at a park, walking on the beach, watching the sunset, sitting on your porch with some lemonade, and so forth.
I hope you can see what I’m getting at now that the actual activity doesn’t really matter. You should set time apart and it should be intentional but it doesn’t have to be a big deal.
Having a Relationship Inventory
A big part of a slow date is what my wife and I refer to as a “relationship inventory”. It’s part of an old inside joke that’s weaved its way into our everyday lingo.
The relationship inventory really just refers to discussing some matters that need solid attention. It paves the way for open communication.
This could include work and money matters. It could involve discussing projects around the house. It could include choosing your next vacation destination!
It could even involve talking about the kids. A lot of marital dating advice says not to talk about the kids on dates.
I’ve found in my own marriage that we really like talking about our kids on our dates. For starters, we really like our kids! So it’s fun for us to talk about them.
Additionally, we like discussing the fun things they’re doing as well as what to do about certain challenges they’re facing.
Try the Slow Date
As you can tell, the slow date might not be the most glamorous of date ideas. It’s not meant to be! Its primary function is to allow for you to spend time with your spouse in a distraction-free way.
Unlike the speed date where you’re trying to impress the other person in 30 seconds, the slow date involves methodically allowing time to resolve the everyday challenges in life in a positive way.
Making forward progress in your marriage is the number one goal here. Great communication and spending quality time together allow this to happen.
The slow date is a great way to become more mindful of your spouse and grow closer to each other.
Give it a whirl!