Spread the love


Eric and I are nearing the end of our exploration of Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, Doug Abrams, and Rachel Carlton Abrams. Over the past few weeks, we’ve given you an over-the-shoulder view of our experience walking through each of the eight dates: Trust & Commitment, Addressing Conflict, Sex & Intimacy, Work & Money, Family, and Fun & Adventure. Date #7 is all about growth and spirituality. Here we go!


This date is one Eric and I really loved, and it led to some really wonderful conversations between the two of us. 


We did it on a day when we’d set aside some time to really rest. This “rest” thing is something we, admittedly, aren’t good at! At many different times in our life together, we have tried to incorporate a Sabbath of some sort. But in our busy society, rest and Sabbath seem to have been left in the dust. Add to the mix the fact that Eric and I are “doers” by nature, and it’s darn near impossible to actually take time to rest and recover. 


But I suppose that is one of our greatest “growth edges.” And we’re always growing, aren’t we?


This chapter is about growth, but it is also about creating rituals that create shared meaning in your life. It includes things we already do well like celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, as well as small things like never leaving the house without saying, “I love you” and sharing a meaningful kiss. 


So on this date, Eric and I took time to think of new rituals we could incorporate to make our day of rest more meaningful. We talked through the obstacles and brainstormed some ideas about how we could carve out time for rest, journaling, and contemplation. We talked about who would do what for this ritual, how long we would attempt to “rest,” and then how we would end our time of rest. We discussed how to encourage each other when we don’t honor this commitment and what would need to change in our lives to be more consistent. 


As you can see, a lot goes into making meaningful change, growth, and spiritual intentionality happen in our lives. If we don’t take time to talk and set some goals and intentions, we can’t expect growth to just magically happen. Like anything, it takes planning and a sense of purpose. But it’s so rewarding!


As the Gottmans so perfectly sum it up on their website:

“The only constant in a relationship is change. The key is how each person in the relationship accommodates the growth of the other partner. Relationships can be more than just two individuals coming together — they can be stories of transformation and great contribution and meaning to the world.”


We have just one date left to go before we wrap up this series, but it’s not too late to join us! Discover what Eight Dates can do for your relationship! You can get the book and/or download the summary of each date here.

Happy dating!