Work on a relationship never stops. Either you keep building it together or you drift apart, slowly and steadily growing and changing in different directions until you do not know the person you are with. Though our formal “courtship” is complete, we do not want to get complacent and drift. There is so much to learn still about one another and so much deeper in love to fall.
But schedules are busy and life is messy and if you don’t add some intentionality to it you will inevitably end up slowly fizzling out. That is the basic premise of Eight Dates. Eight Dates is a book by the Gottmans (John and Julie, along with their friends Doug and Rachel Abrams) who founded the Gottman institute in Seattle. They are renowned relationship experts who have spent over 40 years studying love, relationships and marriage. The book Eight Dates is a compilation of stories and activities from research they have done in order to help promote deeper stronger relationships. The beauty and magic of this book is not the insight (which is fantastic) but the platform it provides. Divided into “dates” each topic has a story and explanation about a topic that is important to relationships and then a series of exercises and questions for couples to engage with each other.
We have decided to take this as the template for our next phase of courtship. The idea is that we never stop learning about one another. Our key principles remain the same: respect, vulnerability, humor, and above all love. As we embark on this next phase I am excited to grow and learn. Diving deep and getting real is hard and uncomfortable, but I believe it is worth it and I could not ask for a better partner for the journey.
I love you with all my heart. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me.