Last week, we went on a date out to dinner, but that was the only typical part of the night. It was a bit unusual, and it was definitely one of our more serious dates.
After we ate, we planned to linger for a while to write in journals we brought along. We spent about 30 minutes writing a list about the other. We listed what we loved about the other, areas where they are incredibly talented, and the best and most admirable traits about the other. It wasn’t an all-inclusive “what I like about you” list (i.e. your eyes, your smile), but instead we constructed lists of the most profound and meaningful things we notice about the other’s life.
After writing for almost 30 minutes, we each took about 30 minutes to share with each other and explain what we had written. There’s nothing special about the time frame–I just mention it to give you an idea of how deep we were going and the considerable amount of time that is sometimes needed for genuine encouragement.
This night was important for us in many ways:
- First of all, it was great for me to have a large amount of time set aside to offer specific and purposeful encouragement to my husband. Words of affirmation is one of Ben’s most needed love languages. And, as life goes, opposites attract, and affirmation is the one I am least likely to give — an area in which I will constantly need to grow. Sometimes I need time set aside like this to help me focus.
- Second, the time was just what we needed to reevaluate our purpose. It’s good to get in the practice of assessing life every 6 months or so and see where your dreams and goals align with reality. It was also invaluable to see our talents through the eyes of the one who knows us best and realize what we have to offer the world as well as what talents we can further develop.
- Third, this date night brought us so close together. Through some really meaningful conversation and time to dream, we left dinner that night feeling really connected as a couple at a deep emotional level.