Dating for Dummies: How to talk to your spouse on a date
Kevin EastKevin East is the President of The Mentoring Alliance - a ministry dedicated to mobilizing godly people into the lives of kids and families, to provide tangible help and eternal hope. You can find more articles written by Kevin at his blog, "Following to Lead". Connect with him on Twitter at @kevinteast.
- 2012 May 31
Bad dates with your spouse are almost as bad as not going on dates at all. Men, we often have the best of intentions when we go out to dinner with our wives. We might even follow up dinner with coffee. Chances are, though, that the conversation never goes deeper than a pithy overview of the week's activities.
Maybe you are different than me, but all too often, that is the summation of dates for Steph and I. I've found lately that our dates have become overrun by the mundane. We have laid down our intimate conversations and replaced them with overviews and calendar adjustments.
I've told Steph before that I'm not the best at leading us to intimacy in conversation. Like the typical guy, I just don't know the right questions to ask that lead to deeper, richer times of sharing our souls with each other.
As I understand it, there are 4 basic levels of communication. They are:
Level 1 - Facts
Level 2 - Opinions
Level 3 - Beliefs
Level 4 - Hopes and Dreams
I think as men, we settle for Level 1 communication 90% of the time, especially on dates. We nod, grunt and do our best to keep our eyes off the TV screens behind our wives. All the while, our wives dream of men that would be willing to fight for something better.
Last week, I took Steph on a similar date to dinner and then to Starbucks. But, different than most of our dates in the past, I came prepared. After sitting down with our coffees, I pulled out a list of questions for us to talk through. It ended up being one of our best dates in a while.
The questions for men to ask their wives came from this post, and the questions for wives to ask their husbands came from this post. I took all 20 questions, printed them off on a sheet of paper, and stored them away in my pocket - ready ammunition to combat my pathetic ability to lead conversations to meaningful places.
Out of all the questions, we ended up talking through just a few of them. One by one we traded asking them. Here are the questions she ended up asking me, in the order she asked them:
1. How can I make your time when you come home from work more restful and relaxing?
2. What is the best way to approach you if I feel our schedule is out of control?
3. What is your desired expectation for physical intimacy?
4. How can I spiritually encourage you?
My questions for her were somewhat similar. They were:
1. What can I do to help relieve the stress of life's responsibilities?
2. What can I do to make you feel loved and appreciated by me?
3. What are some things I can do to help encourage you, spiritually?
Going through a longer list of questions was helpful. It allowed us to pick the ones we wanted to ask, but leave the ones that weren't quite right for that moment for another day.
Men, our wives want us to lead them. By preparing for a date with my wife, it really took the pressure off the moment in trying to get to know her a little better. Take these questions. Have a great convo with your wife. You'll both be glad you did.
Any other ideas of what can make dates with your spouse all the better?
If you liked this post, check out Kevin's personal blog, Following to Lead, where he regularly writes on following, leading, fostering and family.