Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ain't Love Grand?

by Julie Coulter Bellon

In honor of the fact that August is Romance Awareness Month, and my wedding anniversary is next week, I thought I would give you some fun and inexpensive ideas for dating your spouse. (Some could probably be used if you are still looking for that special someone.)

My husband and I have a date with each other every week and we have done that ever since we were poor starving university students. Sometimes I think it's needed even more now that we are the parents of six children and lead very busy lives. Taking a break just to be together is so important. President Hinckley has stated that a strong marriage is built on faith, respect, prayer and participating together in wholesome recreational activities. So, today, in honor of August being Romance Awareness Month, I am going to share with you some of my favorite dates or "wholesome recreational activities" that we have been counseled to do and, if you try one, hopefully it will make you aware of some romance in your life!

1. Take a blanket and go to the canyon, park, temple grounds, or even the back yard and look for constellations and views or just talk about hopes, dreams, or goals.
2. Take a look at specific dates and events in our journals and see what the other person was doing at the same time.
3. Go to the library and browse for books, videos, or CD's. Pick a book to read together and get two copies. Julie Coulter Bellon's books are especially good for this—-romance for the wife, adventure for the husband. (Shameless plug, I know.)
4. Go to the Dollar Movies.
5. Make a dinner and eat with no plates or utensils. Feed your spouse. (Spaghetti works well)
6. Invite your spouse home for a special lunch. Recreate your honeymoon spot.
7. Make a tape of favorite songs back to back (even silly songs) and have a private dance.
8. Take a Community Education class together. Many classes are offered like ballroom dance, hair cutting, massage therapy etc.
9. Have a snowball fight, build snow forts or snowmen, have a snow sculpture contest with another couple.
10. Fill your spouse's car with helium balloons that have a message in them. This is a great way to ask him out on a date.
11. Go bowling.
12. Go to the zoo.
13. Take a fun photo shoot of each other. Together you can make a scrapbook page out of it.
14. Go to a museum, then out for an ice cream.
15. Go on a Valentine Scavenger Hunt and end up at a hotel. (Scavenge your valentine's gifts i.e. sparkling cider etc.)
16. Rent some old romantic moves i.e. Casablanca, Crazy from the Heart, etc.
17. Have a game night with adult and children's games.
18. Give your husband a shave and let him give you a facial.
19. Go to the cemetery and look at old tombstones.
20. Go to the temple and have dinner in the cafeteria after or before your session.
21. Watch the sunset from a park or lake. Feed the seagulls or ducks nearby.
22. Go to a fun center and play air hockey, video games, shoot a round basketball, mini-golf, bumper boats, or drive the race cars.
23. Go to a card store and read greeting cards. Show each other the ones you would give.
24. Go to a dinner theater and watch a musical or dramatic play.
25. Go to the planetarium.
26. Go to a park and swing on the swings or slide on the slide.
27. Have a "This is your Life" date and invite over old friends, roommates etc. to recreate your spouse's life.
28. Take a tour of a candy factory. Sample some of the goodies.
29. Have a hay ride. Or horse-drawn carriage ride.
30. Have dumb T-shirts made and wear them out together. "Bellon's have more fun"
31. Go to a genealogy library. Try to look up your family name.
32. Go hiking together.
33. Go fishing together.
34. Be a tourist and go to the tourist-y spots in your area.
35. Play tennis together, even if its your own brand of tennis.
36. Go horseback riding.
37. Fly kites together
38. Browse in a used book store. You never know what treasures you'll find!
39. Rent a tandem bike. Lots of times you can rent them at an outdoor equipment store.
40. Record a rhyme—or romantic poem and leave it on his/her answering machine
41. Plan your dream house interior, then window shop for the items.
42. Have a pancake shape making contest.
43. Have couple scripture study, (there are great study guides in bookstores.) and have couple goals you are working on. Make Heavenly Father part of your marriage and have couple prayer each night.

Dating makes marriage fun!


At 8/03/2006 1:47 PM, Anonymous Marnie Pehrson said...

Wow! That's an impressive list, Julie! Sounds like there's a lot of romance going on at the Bellon househould!

One that you forgot was buy some movie munchies (Junior Mints, Goobers, Mike & Ike's, Bottlecaps, or whatever you like), rent DVD's of 24 and watch a couple episode's back-to-back... Don't try 4 at a time or you'll have a tension headache. :)

We try to have a date night too... although we aren't extremely consistent. My husband's a personal chef, so one of the things he likes to do is try out new restaurants in town. We've found a few good ones that way, but most of the time I'm disappointed because he cooks better food than they do! :)

We also like to find B&B's to visit ... of course that's more of a long weekend than a date night idea. If you can get away without kids once a year, it really helps keep the romance in a marriage.

At 8/04/2006 1:42 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

What fun ideas, Julie! You should write a dating book. No! I take it back. Get back to work on that next novel. I love your romantic adventures too much to share you with the non-fiction shelves.

Only you would know it's Romance Awareness Month. Fortunately for me, my husband never misses one of your blogs.

At 8/04/2006 4:56 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Bellons have more fun -- that's really cute!

At 8/04/2006 5:53 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Marnie, we like to try new restaurants, too. Thanks for reminding me of that one!

Kerry, do you mean to say that everyone doesn't know that August is Romance Awareness Month? I found out about it from the Deseret Book website. (Maybe you don't go there since you're a Covenant author? Just kidding. Truly, I was kidding.)

#18 date is my favorite I think. You don't know how much fun that one can really be.

Tristi, not a lot of people get that one unless you know how to properly pronounce my last name. Obviously you do! Thanks!


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