Make Your Next Date Memorable

Couples at all stages may sometimes struggle with date ideas.  Whether you are a long-term, committed couple looking to change up your date routine, or a fresh couple looking for some new ideas, we have provided a list of fun, cheap dates that are bound to spark the butterflies.

According to Larson & Arp’s book, $10 Great Dates, a worthwhile date has a couple common elements: quality time together, time away from your regular routine, a shared activity, and conversation.  All of these date ideas will provide you with the foundation to make your date something memorable. Read More

Why it’s important to CARE

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In our last post we talked about the “expectation filter” and how unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations have a tendency to change our perception of, and possibly even be detrimental to, our relationship.

However, wouldn’t it be somewhat of an unrealistic expectation in itself to think that we would never set expectations for our relationship or our partner?

The fact is, having expectations can be a good thing. Expectations not only create accountability and establish boundaries, but they can also inspire us to be better people, if not for ourselves then for our partner.

So then what’s the problem? Shouldn’t that mean that the more epic our expectations, the greater our opportunity for growth? Well, not necessarily. Read More

The Expectation Filter

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Let’s say there’s going to be a party.

Expectation A: You’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, building it up to epic proportions in your mind. All of your friends are going to be there, you’ll get to wear that new outfit, and it’s at that new, trendy place in town so the food, drinks, and ambience will be fantastic!

Let’s say there’s going to be a party.

Expectation B: You’ve been dreading it for weeks, wishing you could come up with a plausible excuse to get out of it. You probably won’t know anyone, you have nothing to wear, and it’s at that new, trendy place in town so it will probably be crowded, expensive, and parking will be terrible.

Reality: So the party was last night. Some of your friends were there, but a few didn’t make it. No one seemed too preoccupied with attire—some people dressed up and some didn’t. You were a few minutes late trying to find a parking spot, but you found one relatively close by. The food and drinks were moderately priced and relatively tasty, but nothing exceptional.

Based on the two sets of expectations above, how do you think you’d feel about the party at the end of the night? Read More

Check In – Part 3: Conversation Inspiration

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Last night was rough. Work ran late, traffic was bad, dinner was overcooked, kids didn’t want to take their baths or go to bed, and then finally, after all of that, my husband and I sat down for our Wednesday night “check in” and we just stared at each other.

I set aside time at the end of my (hectic) day for what should have been an effortless (and rewarding) talk with my husband, and yet we both felt like it was another draining task that needed to be completed before we could finally get rest.

If this situation sounds familiar – you’re in luck! Read More

Check In – Part 2: $20,000 vs. $20

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You know what? Weddings are expensive. The beautiful venue, delicious food, trendy entertainment, stunning dress, personalized invitations, crafty decorations, photographer with the perfect eye, adorable favors, so on and so forth, it adds up. I spent just over $20,000 on my (small) wedding years ago and comparing that to others, turns out it was inexpensive! Wedding websites like theknot.com suggest the average cost of a wedding to be just over $31,000. Regardless of your financial situation, that’s a lot of money to spend on one day.

Assuming you spent a decent amount on your wedding, let me ask you – how much money have you invested in your marriage since your wedding? Read More

You’re in this together

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We know that family of origin has a huge effect on how you spend your holidays. For couples, it is a time often filled with obligations and assumptions based on the traditions that you grew up with. For example, in my family Christmas Day has always been the “big” day, while Christmas Eve is more low-key. In my husband’s family, the opposite is true. In my family, we exchange gifts, but it’s not the “main event.” With my in-laws, the living room turns into a sea of presents and wrapping paper; it’s a pretty big deal.

It is assumed we will spend these respective days with our respective families and that we will follow the gift-giving guidelines of each. There is also a sense of obligation to make sure that we are spending adequate amounts of time with each side. It can get overwhelming sometimes. Although we do not have children yet, I know that the complications of these dynamics will multiply when that time comes. Couples with kids or those who are remarried: I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

While there is not a universal set of rules to help you navigate complicated family dynamics and holiday-induced stress, here are three tips to help you and your partner remember that you’re in this together. Read More

Relationship Rx: Gratitude

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gratitude 

noun grat·i·tude \ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\: a feeling of appreciation or thanks

While Merriam-Webster’s definition of gratitude is pretty clear and encompassing, I think we all might feel gratitude in slightly different ways. To me, gratitude differs from appreciation in that I can appreciate a good book, a dry sense of humor, or a killer pair of shoes. However, I am grateful for the things (and people) that I feel I don’t entirely deserve.

Whatever your personal definition of the word, recent studies have found that gratitude may be a key factor in making your relationship last. What if we could replace annoyance, anger, or resentment with feelings of gratitude instead? Read More