The One with the Wednesdate
Someone once told me, "I'd just love to read your thoughts on marriage and being engaged and what it really looks like to plan a wedding."
So why not? These are my deepest thoughts on engagement, my insight to planning the most expensive party of my life, and my true love for true love with Kip Tyler.
Please note these are my personal opinions. They are not meant to harm any reader, to put down another's values, or to show-off in any way. These opinions are meant to be transparent and honest about a real wedding to celebrate a real marriage.
About four months after Ty and I started dating we realized we weren't getting enough God time. We found ourselves valuing one another above our relationships with Him so we decided to fix it together.
In college, Wednesday afternoons were the only time we were both free so we reserved the after-class time for one another. We'd go to one of our favorite spots close to both of our apartments, and dive into a bible study for couples. After finishing each week's lesson, we'd do a date activity like take photos at a state park we hadn't visited before or go putt-putt golfing.
Fast-forward a couple years, add full-time work hours, subtract that specific bible study and you have Wednesdate: one night of the week reserving all of our time for one another. What do we do for Wednesdates? Easy — anything. Bowling, trying new restaurants, trying new dive bars, exploring new parks, playing putt-putt, kayaking, fishing, going for runs (more like going for walks), and my absolute favorite is doing absolutely nothing. The nights were we stay in, make dinner, drink a new beer, and watch House of Cards. Sometimes Ty will bring over ice cream for an added bonus, but most nights it's just talking and sometimes not talking. Just enjoying one another's presence.
Because we've enjoyed so many good things about our date night, we've listed below our top reasons why every couple should have a Wednesdate, or a Thursdate, or any other weekdate for that matter!
Don't feel guilty
We both like to get housework done on Mondays and spend time with friends on Tuesdays. Ty likes to partake in golf league and I like to fill my time with random activities on Thursdays. On the weekends we travel, go to concerts, or go out as a group with all of our friends. (See more on blending friend groups in upcoming blogs.) Because we know we're guaranteed to have uninterrupted time together on Wednesday evenings, we feel no guilt or jealousy because of the other person's independent plans throughout the week.
Ty and I would love to be together every night but we decided to live separately until marriage so with that we're taking the opportunity to develop ourselves into our own perfect partner. Why would Ty want to be with me if I don't even want to be with me?
Ask the tough questions
When do you hope to get married? When do you want to have kids? How is your relationship with your family? What do you fear in new relationships? How many people have you dated before me?
Setting a consistent time and place for discussion over dinner or a fun activity has allowed us to really dig for the skeletons hidden in our closets. Ty knows me better than I know myself and he's therefore able to hold me better accountable at reaching my goals. One time we even tried setting five hard goals to reach every day for 15 days. I mean things like do at least a 40 minute workout, only eat healthy, don't cuss, journal after a devotion, AND shower. Do you have any idea how hard that is!? If you do all of that every day I give you credit because it's nearly impossible for me to fit it all in.
I digress. The point is Wednesdates while dating gave us a day to ask the tough questions and now while engaged they allow us to answer the tough wedding questions. I once read a blog that encouraged couples to set a time limit for wedding talk so you don't forget who you are as a couple. Wednesdates are totally our time but only for a couple hours, then it's back to House of Cards and Kerri's shrimp tacos.
One-on-one time and a little taste of marriage
Wednesdates have been amazing for our relationship. It's a time in the middle of the week where we can get away from work and other stresses just to have a fun evening together. The one-on-one time gives us the opportunity to catch up and share details about our work day that otherwise might be breezed over or only sent in a text message. Don't get me wrong, texting is a great way to keep in contact but sometimes you just gotta save that funny story about your students for face-to-face conversation.
Wednesdates also allow us get out of the house to experience new things, cook new and interesting meals, and have a lot of laughs. While we've grown over the last few years both separately and together, a lot of that growth is due to our time on Wednesdays. Maybe my favorite thing is that it's given us a small taste of married life — it's not all about those super expensive new places or experiences, sometimes it's just Campbell's tomato soup, burnt grilled cheese, and an episode of House of Cards. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. In fact I highly recommend every couple pick one day of the week and just make it about you. Do what you enjoy and try new things, you never know what unexpected activity you'll discover that you both like.
We have to admit this whole date idea was really inspired by Peyton and Jesse Smith. Dating during the time that Peyton mentored me, Peyton and Jesse reserved Friday evenings for one another. Now they're married! Like Ty said, it's about finding what works for you and sticking to it. We haven't missed a date night since that one bible study lunch almost three years ago.
*insert sappy heart eyes emoji here*