I chose to review this book through the Moody Publishers Blogger Review Program because my husband and I have just recently decided to make a point of going on more dates – at the very least, we’ve committed to going on one monthly date.
I also chose the book because I saw “GARY CHAPMAN” splashed across the cover of the book, and I am a huge fan of the Love Language books by Chapman. I was a bit surprised to find that the book is NOT written by Chapman, but instead by a bloke named Randy Southern. Chapman only wrote the intro. Southern isn’t even mentioned on the cover, you only see his name on the inside cover. Kind of lame and misleading in my opinion – but regardless of the marketing trickery, I would still have been interested in this book from the title and concept along. So anyway! On with the review!
About the Book
Book description from Amazon.com:
We know we should do it. We talk about it and acknowledge the benefits; yet most couples find praying together is somewhat awkward, intimidating, or something we lack the time for. It’s time to experience a breath of fresh air… in prayer.
52 Uncommon Dates ignites a prayerful and playful connection in a way that feels natural for couples to schedule and relate to real life. Fun, creative, and spiritually engaging, this powerful resource will revive the relational, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your relationship, one date at a time.
My Thoughts on the Book
First the good about the book: I like the layout. Each date starts with a Bible verse, details on the date, conversation starters for the date, and ideas for how to incorporate your spouse’s love language into the date followed by a bunch of Bible verses and questions to consider concerning the date. I love when books like this have a solid format to follow, and the Bible verses and prayer suggestions give the dates a lot of depth and purpose.
Now the meh: I found that some dates were not so uncommon and really rather bland – for instance, “go to a restaurant neither of you have visited before”. And some were not what I would classify as a date in the least – for instance, “invite your in-laws out for an outing”. Others were just downright outlandish and borderline unreasonable – for instance, “invite the local fire department over for pancakes” and “throw a block party”. And still others were not dates at all, but rather month or year long endeavors – like, “train for a half marathon”.
And finally, the bad: I found these year long “date nights” to be especially annoying since the introduction boasts that the 52 dates offer “a full year of dates if you go on one date a week”. Realistically, if you were to go on these dates, you could not possibly do one a week. Since I get giddy over checking off challenges in these types of books, having an unrealistic challenge set out for me is just irksome.
And of the dates that weren’t unrealistic, my husband and I had already done more than half of them on our own in the past. Things like, “go to swap meets”, “go geocaching”, “visit old cemeteries”, “watch a sunrise”, “go for a joyride”, “take a factory tour”, “take a picnic in the park” and “play in a playground”.. Either my husband and I are masters at unique and uncommon date ideas, or these weren’t all that unusual or uncommon.
Overall: For me personally, this book is less 52 Uncommon Dates and more, “30 to 40ish Random Dates That You May Have Already Done, Plus A Dozen More That Are Just Unrealistic”. But that said, the few dates that were uncommon, unique, reasonable and realistic that my husband and I haven’t yet tried were fun, imaginative and worth trying!
While it’s not going to be the constantly referenced source of inspiration I’d hoped it would be, I still plan on using it for the next few months of dates Jonathan and I go on.
I would really only recommend this book to a newer couple, or a couple that haven’t done much beyond the traditional dinner and a movie dates.
[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me initiating contact and incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]
What is the most uncommon date YOU have been on? Share below!