52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple’s Adventure Guide for Praying, Playing, and Staying Together

52dates copy
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!

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

37 thoughts on “52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple’s Adventure Guide for Praying, Playing, and Staying Together

  • 13 April, 2015 at 5:02 am
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    Hmmm. Very interesting. We just signed up to do a class at a local church that is much like this. They actually provide childcare while you go out on your date, after they offer you 30 minutes talk about a marriage tool. We live fifty bagillion miles away from family, so we are pretty pumped about dating again. We go on dates maybe 6 or 7 times per year. Yeah. I know. That sounds sad. Such is the life of the constantly moving all over the country types. Meanwhile, our part of Cali is starting to turn brown again. 🙁 Is yours?

    • 13 April, 2015 at 4:39 pm
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      Now THAT sounds awesome.. the cost of child care is honestly our biggest hurdle when it comes to date nights. I was looking into MOPS at a local church because I’d heard that they provide something similar.. ugh! Something as simple as “go on a date” shouldn’t require months of advance planning, amiright?! lol

  • 13 April, 2015 at 1:27 pm
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    Great review! This sounds like a book that looks more useful and fun than it actually is. I have done most of those dates too! And I would not invite the local firemen over for pancakes lol!

    xo,
    Jessica
    http://www.fortheloveofbubbly.com

    • 13 April, 2015 at 4:40 pm
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      Yeah, I read some of these chapters with a seriously raised eyebrow.. I’m all up for a challenge, but REALLY?? lol!

  • 13 April, 2015 at 2:47 pm
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    Thanks Gingi for another very realistic book review. I totally agree that once a week date night ain’t gonna happen, not when babysitting costs start at $10 bucks an hour! We went to a movie, that’s the most wild date we went on, Ha. And we usually take the kids. That’s just how boring I am.

    • 13 April, 2015 at 4:41 pm
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      Hubby and I used to go on TONS of dates, so we’re really feeling the date drought. But with babysitting being so costly, we’re kind of stuck! I’m seriously aching for some kids free dates and SOON…

  • 13 April, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    That does sound like a good concept, maybe a good starting point to get some ideas…

    I want to have some more date nights

    the only thing I can think of right now – is my old boss gave me some tickets to a whale watch and we went on that – I think we were still dating, not married – and it was cool 🙂

    • 13 April, 2015 at 4:42 pm
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      Now THAT is cool.. I’ve only been whale watching once, and I got some AMAZING photos.. it’s something I’ve been dying to do again! <3

    • 13 April, 2015 at 4:42 pm
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      Right!?!?!?

  • 13 April, 2015 at 3:49 pm
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    Great review! I laughed a lot on this one. But, yes, get out with your husband at least once a month – especially with the baby. So important for connecting and great conversation.

    • 13 April, 2015 at 4:46 pm
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      Yes, it’s quickly becoming a priority!! For the first time in ages we have quit being sickeningly romantic! *gasp* Gotta get on top of that…

  • 13 April, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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    My husband and I are super boring. We mostly stay in and watch TV, invite friends over for dinner parties and games, or go out for drinks from time to time. Any time we want to do something more exciting, we make it a family affair and bring our daughter. Even then, we stick to typical things like picnics, bike rides, carnivals, beach days and camping.

    I bet a book like this would be good for us!

    • 13 April, 2015 at 5:26 pm
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      Haha, that doesn’t sound boring at all!! <3

  • 13 April, 2015 at 6:00 pm
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    Invite the fire department over for pancakes? Lol! That sounds great for me, but my husband would not be happy at all. 😉

    Training for a marathon together does sound romantic to me. My hubby and I work out together often and I love running with him. It gives us an hour of just us, no phones, no music, no other people, it’s the best way to have a great conversation.

    Thanks for the review my friend. You and your husband should definitely carve out at least two dates a month, and no talking about the kids! 🙂

  • 13 April, 2015 at 7:14 pm
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    My husband and I are lucky if we managed one date night a month. LOL! But even back when we’re dating, we love a good home cooked meal and a movie. I guess we’re just one of those boring couples. LOL!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  • 13 April, 2015 at 8:28 pm
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    Invite your in-laws out for an outing?? Um, what?? Some other good ideas though, but I know that there is now way that 52 alone dates a year would happen. My husband and I are lucky to slip one in a month and that is an optimistic goal for us!

    • 13 April, 2015 at 9:13 pm
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      Yeah, the book lost me with the in law suggestion. 😉

      • 14 April, 2015 at 2:15 am
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        HA! Or if by in-laws, they meant HIS in-laws. I can deal with my own parents.

  • 13 April, 2015 at 10:44 pm
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    I love the idea… but i have to agree that it is unlikely that you’d be able to keep up the pace of doing this every week. It’s more of a “pull the book off the shelf and get some ideas” kind of a thing.

  • 13 April, 2015 at 11:00 pm
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    We aren’t very creative with our dates – we should be now that our boys are older. I think it is especially to date and take time for ourselves now that we are so close to becoming just a couple again!!!

    • 14 April, 2015 at 1:27 pm
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      Yeah, I’d imagine that’s just as big a transition as having children the first time!!

  • 14 April, 2015 at 2:14 am
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    That’s weird that they hid the author’s name. Misleading!
    We are big on uncommon dates! We went down the street to see Bruce Hornsby play live. We had front row seats.
    After that, we got ice cream.

    • 14 April, 2015 at 1:30 pm
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      Yeah, I hate when authors names are tucked away.. but giving a big name as decoy is just misleading. Bad Christian publishing company! BAD!

  • 14 April, 2015 at 11:54 am
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    I love your opening when you say “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.”

    That is such a good idea to have your shared time together, and it needn’t be a glamorous meal, visit to the cinema, it could be just a lovely walk together, picnic together. Have fun ……

    All the best Jan

    • 14 April, 2015 at 1:31 pm
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      Yeah, for our first date, we’re planning a simple little hike on a local trail. ^_^

  • 14 April, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    I one day hope to go on an elephant safari date with my hubs, but it’s gonna take a lot of convincing!

  • 14 April, 2015 at 11:32 pm
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    Thanks for the excellent review. My honey and I aren’t a new couple, but we tend to go on the same dates when we do go out (but we usually enjoy them, so maybe there’s something to be said for our lack of creativity…).

  • 15 April, 2015 at 9:30 am
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    First I don’t like when someone lures you in to buy something with someone else’s name… and second if training for a marathon in one… that would take up most of your time, when would you have time for other dates… lol

    I do think when you are dating or married, it is super important to take time together doing new things or just spending alone time together reconnecting… good review Gingi xox

    • 15 April, 2015 at 1:54 pm
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      Yeah, the misdirection in authors was enough to put me in a bad mood for the book, haha. And yes, I absolutely agree, it is SO important!!

  • 12 March, 2016 at 3:34 am
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    This is awesome life style, like fashion model. You are beautiful. I like what your style. Regards: Brian Keo

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