Written by Aaron & April Jacob
"Let's do lunch."
It's a phrase you say all the time. You say it to your old college friend who is passing through town for the weekend, to your team at work, and even to your sister, kids, neighbor, dad, mom, cousin, and everyone else in between.
However, when was the last time you told your spouse, "Let's do lunch."
Yes, when was the last time you and your spouse went on a lunch date?
We are HUGE proponents of the lunch date. It isn't just for business meetings, first dates, or time to catch up with friends.
No, lunch dates are IDEAL for married couples.
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Let's break this down a little and talk about lunch dates and about why they can be so powerful in helping you and your spouse to nurture your marriage.
What is a lunch date?
A lunch date is just what it sounds like - meeting up with your spouse (aka, best friend) for lunch. To eat, talk, catch up, and connect. To simply have intentional time and space together in the course of a day or a week.
How do you implement a lunch date?
Just like everything else here at Nurturing Marriage, the key to success will be intentionality. Don't let anything get in the way of your lunch dates!
Now, lunch dates shouldn't replace more intentional weekly/bi-weekly date nights, but they should enhance them.
When lunch dates become an extra way to spend time and space with your one true love, then they really become powerful in preventing marital drift and in nurturing connection and friendship.
To make this a powerful ritual, you may want to choose a certain day of the week and block out a regular time for a lunch date. Or perhaps your schedule doesn't allow for that and you need to be more flexible and spontaneous. That works too. Just make sure lunch dates happen on the regular.
Here are few examples of what a lunch date could look like -
The Newlyweds - She has a busy schedule but he works from home. He packs a picnic, stops by her office, and they picnic outside her office on the lawn. Short, sweet, romantic, and simple.
The Working Couple - They both have corporate jobs 45 minutes apart. He texts her to meet him halfway at 1:00pm for a lunch at their favorite burger joint. It's totally chill, totally fast, and totally fun.
The Parents of Young Kids - She calls a friend and asks for a babysitting swap. She drops the kids off and meets up with her husband for an hour lunch at a local market. (Other great options include drop-in daycare or just bringing the kids along!)
The Parents of Teenagers - It's summer and the kids are out of school. He tells his teenage son to be responsible and make sure no one dies while they are gone. The dad leaves for a date with his beautiful wife and the son knows that his parents care about their marriage and prioritize each other (plus, who doesn't love a little time when the parentals are gone!).
The Almost Empty Nesters - Tuesdays and Fridays are regular lunch dates. These two simply make it happen. She picks the place Tuesday and he picks the place Friday. The food is fabulous, but the conversation is even better.
The Retirees - Although they eat lunch together every day, Saturdays have become their brunch/lunch date. Without fail, every Saturday they end up at the same red-roofed restaurant on the corner. They always ask for the window seat in the back. They know the waiters and waitresses by name. They always order grilled cheese and tomato soup - with ice cream sundaes at the end. Their lunch dates usually last two hours. They chit-chat about life, reminisce, people watch, and happily eat in silence. This ritual has become a part of who they are as a couple and has provided them with a sense of culture, community, and connection in their marriage.
How can you ensure your lunch date is successful?
Your lunch date is successful if it happens.
Just make it happen, friends. The power is in the doing.
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Also, it never hurts to make sure you find good food, put your phones away, and open up and share.
Whatever you do, try not to skip your lunch dates (re-arrange your schedule or re-schedule with your spouse)! Also, try and keep them positive. Lunch dates aren't a time for evaluating your relationship. They are a time to put more into your relationship.
Lunch dates are also a fabulous time to practice good etiquette, to flirt, and to continue dating your spouse.
Why lunch dates?
Lunch dates can become a way to change things up, to see each other more often in the course of your busy lives together, and to continually nurture your friendship.
Lunch dates can become a powerful ritual that you both look forward to, a break from the rigors of work and life, and a simple way to create happy and positive memories.
Every marriage needs more nurturing, and a simple lunch date can go far in adding more "nurturing" to a marriage.
So, go ask your spouse out to lunch and make this ritual one that will strengthen your friendship week by week and month by month. You've got this.
**If your schedules ABSOLUTELY make it impossible to ever "lunch" together, then make a ritual out of a breakfast date or a late-night milkshake date, or an "eat at the same time via Skype date.". Just be intentional, and it will all work out.
Photo Credit: Bryan Striegler Photography
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“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.”
- Fawn Weaver
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