I recently agreed to review a book written by a fellow Oklahoma blogger, Cassie Celestain: Creating True Agape—20 At-Home Dates designed to cultivate communication, intimacy and growth.
Although this book is designed for younger couples, I thought I could provide some insight as an ... well ... older couple. Yes, it pains me to say that as I still consider myself to be young (well, youngish), but I've also been married for 23 years this August. So, there's that. Might need to embrace that old-married idea.
First, I feel compelled to provide definition for "Agape" because I'm more familiar with the adverb version (defined as "with the mouth wide open") and not as familiar with the noun version, as it's used here, defined as "unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, and thoughtful love." This is important to a marriage and Celestain gets that. I love that she's branded herself with the idea of promoting that connection.
I met and married my husband within a 6-month time frame. Like, closer to 5 months. But what we did before we married is talk a lot, about what was important to us. Religion, kids, family, money, future—all the things. When we met, we knew it was time to have those talks with that person because it was just right.
There are many reasons why at-home date nights are a thing—for us, it was when we were too broke to go out when we were first married, having kids later. It's a great time to build intimacy as a couple and do some heavy lifting by talking about the big issues.
Some great ideas in this book include discussing your ideal date or vacation (if money and time were no object), exercising together or planning a service project together. The date ideas in this book help build the kind of intimacy that is so important to a long-lasting marriage; but yeah, there's also a chapter that deals with that other part of intimacy, also important to a long-lasting marriage.
Interested in a copy? Visit TrueAgape to check out Celestain's blog and through the end of April, the Creating True Agape ebook is available at half price. It's a great reminder of what makes a happy, long-lasting and connected marriage.