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This week, Eric and I get to wrap up our exploration of Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, Doug Abrams, and Rachel Carlton Abrams. One by one, we’ve done the dates and brought you along for the ride, so to speak, so you can hopefully learn a bit from our firsthand experiences. If you’d like a recap of each of the first seven dates, you’ll find them here: Trust & Commitment, Addressing Conflict, Sex & Intimacy, Work & Money, Family, Fun & Adventure, and Growth & Spirituality. Date #8 wraps it all up with Dreams. Let’s jump in!


This is a subject that is near and dear to us. Eric and I really love talking about our individual dreams and dreaming together. All of this ties right into another of our favorite topics: legacy! We often reflect on the question, What kind of legacy will we leave behind? Eric and I believe very strongly that the success of your relationship and having a deep understanding of your legacy are intricately connected. Dreams are part of that. 


This eighth and final date is meant to take place somewhere that is beautiful, like a date early in the morning as you watch the sunrise or in the evening as you take in a sunset — or maybe on a rooftop with a blanket, as you watch the stars and share your dreams with one another! It’s meant to be romantic (and dreamy!), so as I plan this date, I’m going to suggest Eric and I get up really early in the morning and go to the highest point in Portland and watch the sunrise together as we share our dreams!


This morning, I read one of Tara Mohr’s (a mentor of mine) blog post about how some people feel a lack of significance in their life because they haven’t made a “dent in the universe!” She sort of scoffed at the notion that we could, as mere mortals, make any sort of “dent” in the universe! And I tend to agree with her; sometimes, we can get a little bit down on ourselves because we haven’t made a huge impact or created something that will change the trajectory of our culture.


But what we need to remember is that our significance is tied to how we have loved and how we have demonstrated love to others through our relationship, especially our relationship with our spouse. 


I’m paraphrasing here, but she went on to explain that in her own life, “every time you see me being patient, you have experienced my granddaddy and his beautiful patience, teaching me how to drive. Or when you sit with me in counseling and you experience my empathy, you get a glimpse of my mom and her ability to listen and love well.” 


We carry the legacy of others with us in the way we interact with the people in our lives. 


To that end, during this date, each of you will grab a sheet of paper and draw three concentric circles. In each circle, write down a dream of yours. The innermost circle should hold the dream that is closest to your heart. 


As you share these dreams with your partner, you can give them an idea of what these dreams mean to you — and, perhaps, whether they relate to your childhood in any way. There’s a beautiful list of questions in the book that you can use to explore your partner’s dreams more deeply.


As I wrote my dreams, I overlaid my mentor’s words about the legacy of love, and I realized that my greatest dream is to see love ripple through my family into future generations. It starts with me and Eric. Already, we’re seeing this happen in our children and grandchildren, and it’s been one of the greatest joys of my life to see this unfold before my eyes.


Of all the Eight Dates, this conversation and this date might be the most important of all of them. It feels deeply powerful and, in our experience, helps bring significance and meaning to your relationship. 


As you do the prep work for this date, let your mind go. Don’t let anything limit your dreams! Then, as you listen to your partner’s dreams, don’t limit the possibilities for them either! Hearing your partner’s dreams and helping them come true is one of the greatest ways you can love one another. 

Case in point: our recent trip to Europe. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to make a trip like this happen, and Eric helped make it come true for me. It was incredible, especially with the timing of it happening right after my mom passed away. Our time together in Europe gave us a chance to have conversations like these over and over, and it definitely solidified our commitment to making each other‘s dreams come true!


Walking through these eight dates has been such a wonderful experience for me and Eric, and we hope it’s been inspiring to you, too! Discover what Eight Dates can do for your relationship. You can get the book and/or download the summary of each date here.


Thanks for joining us!