Marriage is Not Hard

Maybe Jenni and I are just weird, and maybe we’re naïve, since we’ve only been married 10 years, but we feel like marriage isn’t hard. WeddingMarriage is not tough. Life is tough. Life stinks sometimes. It can be excruciatingly painful and hard, but marriage is one of the best systems for dealing with the difficulty life presents. Having someone to talk to, to lean on, to reach out to, to serve, to help, to confide in, to love, to cry with, to hold, makes life manageable.

Even the genuine differences of opinion, and different views on various topics aren’t difficult in marriage. Pride and selfishness are hard, and cause problems, but pride isn’t marriage, and selfishness isn’t marriage. Those things hurt marriage, damaging our best system for dealing with the difficulties of life.

Life is hard. Sin is hard. Pride and selfishness are hard, with or without marriage. Marriage is not hard.

What I’m talking about is less intended as a statement of “fact,” and more of a statement of perspective. And while words alone do nothing to dramatically change the day to day experiences of life in an extremely challenging and cruel world, a change in the way we see the world around us can. What I’m promoting is a paradigm shift: an entirely different way of viewing marriage.

I see marriage as a perfect ideal. Marriage is selfless, kind, generous, loving, patient, empowering, binding, synergistic, and even exalting. Marriage is something that goes well beyond the simple addition of two individuals entering a life-long partnership. It’s the essence that takes that initial partnership and turns it into the germinating seeds of divine companionship. Marriage, as an institution, ordained of God, is perfect. It lifts, it deepens, and it expands. It has no flaws, and it always pulls people together.

People, on the other hand, are flawed. People are imperfect. People are emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and physically unstable in countless ways. We’re mortals living on a very, very mortal world. Life on this earth is intended to be hard. It’s intended to be infuriatingly challenging, almost to the point of impossible, for one simple reason. We are the direct offspring of God. No simple life would suffice to teach embryonic deities the essential lessons to become all that our Father intends us to be. Life, in all its stages, was never intended to be easy.

God sends us here because He knows what we have the power to become. He has given us the tools necessary to become like He is. There’s a reason that the family is central to God’s plan. It’s not just a way of keeping us organized. It’s not just a way of saving us from loneliness. Marriage is an exalting organization. It’s an endowment of power, the very seed of exaltation. There’s a reason that the sealing covenant is called the covenant of exaltation. Marriage, most especially temple marriage, actually begins that process.

And yet, in all of this, we’re still imperfect, flawed, mortal beings. But we’re learning. We’re growing. We’re failing (a LOT), and if we’re taking the right approach, we’re learning from our failures and becoming better. That process is hard. It’s really hard. But it’s not the exalting powers and gifts given by God that make it so hard. It’s the imperfect, flawed, mortal parts of ourselves that make it hard.

I don’t deny that life as a married person is hard. Life as an anything is hard. But marriage itself—that ennobling, binding, wondrous blessing that strengthens us as a couple and as a family to endure the crosses of life—is not hard. It’s wonderful, liberating, and joyful.

The problems arrive when I act against my marriage. When I am selfish, when I am prideful, when I forget to exercise the power God has bestowed upon me in order to bless, strengthen, and love my wife, I am being a problem. And at those times, I need to change. I can’t act against what I know is right without hurting my marriage, and marriage is the very embodiment of everything I know to be right.

That’s why I can never blame marriage for any of life’s problems. Marriage lifts. Sin pulls down. Marriage exalts. Pride and selfishness damn.

When I find that I’m not measuring up, I don’t blame my marriage, and I don’t blame my wife. I try hard not to allow myself to get too discouraged with myself, either. And the simple way to avoid discouragement is to change—to humble myself, apologize, and change my behavior. I know I won’t be perfect in this life, but the journey is so empowering and ennobling that I can’t give it up, I can’t stop. And I certainly won’t ever throw away one of the best tools available for making that happen for both me and my wife. We’re in this for the long run. We’re in it forever. It’s not eternity or bust, it’s just eternity.

And we’re going to make it work, together.

I Am Not a “Manly” Man

I have a confession to make. I’m no manly man. I’m sure this confession is no surprise to those who know me well, but others have Manlya hard time accepting the fact.

 

Point 1: Ixnay on watching sports.

I hate football (I wouldn’t want to play it, let alone watch it). I would rather sit in a silent room with the lights off than sit in a room with sports playing on a screen. By FAR. Blegh. No thanks. That pretty much goes for all sports, but football is at the top of my never-want-to-watch list. Don’t get me wrong, I love physical activity. Don’t challenge me to a dance-off unless you want to lose. I even enjoy a number of sports. But NOT football, and NOT watching someone else have all the fun.

 

Point 2: I’m no handyman.

Sure, I’m comfortable with power-drill or hammer, but don’t ask me to use it to fix stuff. I usually make things much worse when I try.

I’m constantly visiting the hardware store, but not for the reason you might think. I try so hard to avoid the associates. Not that I don’t think they can help. No doubt they could point me exactly where I need to go. But they always ask that dreaded, satanic question, “So, what are you working on?” DAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

Don’t get me wrong. I totally get their intent. They’re being nice, and it’s a very nice question to ask a manly man.

Ahem…” I start, “Well, see… it’s a… well, it’s kind of a…” and finally, recognizing I’m cornered, and can only make it worse by drawing out the moment, say, “A Marimba—it’s like an African Xylophone,” or “A three-octave pentatonic Native American pan flute,” or, “A didgeridoo with a rainstick embedded inside it.”

Their eyes glaze over, and while they’re deciding whether my words are something that can responded to, I slip away and purchase my supplies.

 

Point 3: Asking directions

I will GLADLY ask directions. From. Anyone. Still, I do so love my navigation app. Oh, blessed Android!

 

Point 4: I’m domestic

I enjoy cooking, I do laundry, dishes, clean the bathroom, and grocery shop. And not because I’m “helping” my wife. It’s my job, and I do it. I chose those tasks, and I do them—usually cheerfully. I would FAR rather do dishes, mop the floor, AND scrub all the counters than even open the hood of a car. Which brings me to the next point.

 

Point 5: I hate cars

There aren’t many things I hate, really. But I’ve mentioned watching sports, home-repair, and explaining my projects to hardware store assistance, but cars—especially fixing cars, tops the lot. If I had to choose between scrubbing the putrescent floors of a hog farm and fixing a car, hand me the scrubber. I long for the day when transporters are invented so I don’t have to get into those ridiculous driving machines again.

And if you ever get in a conversation with me about cars, don’t be surprised if I offer to talk about a more pleasant topic, such as what I discovered in my child’s vomit.

 

Point 6: I’m a jabber-mouth

I talk. A lot. Just not about cars, football, and home-improvement projects. Actually, I find women a lot more interesting to talk to than men, because they actually talk about interesting things, like gardening, books, child-psychology, cooking, and relationships. If you’re ever in a conversation with me, and you find me a little quiet, it’s either because I’m being genuinely shy, or you’re trying to talk about manly subjects.

 

Point 7: I LOVE Kids

I’ve always adored kids. The younger the better. I tried for years to get a job working in a day care, but the most common reason they’d give for turning me down was that, straight and simple, I’m a guy. So I got married and grew my own day care.

The Funnest calling I ever had (and the one I would have most enjoyed doing until the day I died) was teaching the Sunbeams.

And yes, I willingly change my kids’ diapers.

Book Review: Marriage 101 for Men: Why Taking Out the Trash Is a Turn On, by Sherri Mills

Sherri Mills

Okay guys, listen up. Sherri Mills has a book out for you and I highly suggest you read it. I don’t care if you’re happily married, unhappily married, or not yet married, you REALLY ought to read Sherri’s book, called, “Marriage 101 for Men.”

 

Now if you’re like I used to be, whenever you do a load of dishes, you tend to think you’re helping your wife. Or when you do a load of laundry–perhaps even the KIDS’ laundry, you think you’re being such a good help.

 

If you do, you’re most likely wrong.

 

Sherri explains this FAR better than I do, but doing housework is about fair distribution, and especially about ownership! You don’t do dishes because it helps your wife–you do dishes because it’s YOUR job. You need to take ownership of it and do it your way. Make your wife proud! But this isn’t a one-way thing. Sherri also does a fabulous job teaching you how to help your wife understand that she doesn’t need to control the parts of housework that are yours.

 

Anyway, Sherri’s done a great job helping every husband understand what his wife is experiencing, and empowering him to become the hero he wants to be for his wife.

 

Just read the book. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Date Ideas: Zero-Cost Dates (freeeeee!)

Everyone likes free dates. And there are a number of ways to make them unique and fun. Here are just a few such ideas.

Playground

Go to a local playground. Swing, slide, play tag or lava monster. You may even want to do a bunch of kid-like activities. If you’re in a group date, play duck-duck-goose, or if it’s a big group, Red Rover. You could even play make believe, like the slide platform is a spaceship, and you’re landing on a planet. The key to making these kinds of activities incredibly fun is to get totally into it. Really play it up.

Board Games

Good ol’ board games. They don’t cost a think, and they’re just fun. Get out some favorite boardgames, make popcorn, and have fun!

Live Video/Blog Your Date

If you’ve ever seen a live-tweeted event, or live videoed event, they’re fun to see, and they can be a blast to do. Pre-arrange with your date and bring a video camera, or just bring phones to tweet everything that’s going on. Make a hashtag for it, too. #BobMaryDate

Newspaper Story

Open a random newspaper, and without reading any of the words, start inventing a story based on the picture. Pretend that all the pictures in the paper are a continuation of the same story. See if you can make it to the end of the paper with one continuous story.

Start a Blog or Facebook Page Together

If you have a similar interest or hobby, start a blog together about it. If you’re good friends already, share links to it on your social networks. If you’re both shy, keep it anonymous, so only the two of you know about it. It might be fun to use it to send messages back and forth. Only the two of you will know who you both are. People bumping into it will find it quite interesting.

Try to Beat a World Record

Get a Guinness Book of World Records from the library and look through it together to try to find a record you think you could work together to beat. Then try to beat it.

Foxtail Catch

Put a tennis ball in the end of a long sock, or in a closed end windsock (or you can just tie thick yarn around the ball), and play catch. Foxtails are fun even if you can’t throw or catch well.

Volunteer at a Day Care for a Day

Ask a local day care if you can volunteer to work together for a day. This can be way fun, and help you get to know you’re date’s interest in and skill-level with children.

Video-Conference

If the money issue includes one of gas for a semi distance relationship, plan a video-conference call. If you’re not sure what to talk about, you can share fun youtube videos and picture with each other, or play a LAN game. If the sound isn’t syncing, make fun of the fact by trying to sing in harmony together, or play a game where you try to make it seem to an outsider that it’s right on (by replying before he’s quite done speaking, or laughing at potential jokes.

Find the Weirdest thing in a store

This is a favorite of mine. If your in a group date, go to a store (grocery stores work great for this) and split into couples to see which can find the strangest thing in the store. Then meet back together after five or ten minutes to compare findings. If you’re on a single date, just go together to see the weirdest thing you can find together. Did you know common grocery stores carry pickled watermelon rinds and electric nose-hair clippers? Yeah, I’ve played this game on a lot of dates.

Date Ideas: Youth Dance Dates

Youth dances, including high-school proms, certainly aren’t typical dates, and shouldn’t be considered such. And it shouldn’t be expected that to ask someone out for an ordinary date, you need balloons or a fog machine, but if you’re looking for some fun ask-out or respond ideas or a unique approach to the date for your special youth dance, here are a few ideas:

Costume Date

Decide on a theme, like a favorite movie or book, and dress up as if you were characters from that story. Plan the activities around that theme. A Harry Potter theme might have food from cauldrons and you might dress in wizard robes. Choose a theme based on something you both enjoy.

Sidewalk Chalk

Trace yourself in chalk on your date’s driveway, with a message, “Going to Prom with you would be to die for!” and post “Yes on one stone and “no” on another, with instructions to take the rock with the appropriate answer to school.

Oh, and make sure the rock with the “no” is a massive boulder, so they can’t turn you down. If you’re responding, you could just do the outline bit.

Five Course Meal at Different Locations

On your date, go to five different places for a five-course meal. The appetizer at one place, the soup at another, a salad at the third, a main course at the fourth, and desert at the fifth.

Make a Cake

Frost a cardboard box to look like a cake, with the frosted message, “I have a question for you (inside)”

Then when they try to cut the “cake” they’ll open the box. Have chocolate dipped mini containers or plastic easter eggs with a message, “Will you go with me to the dance?”

Then when they go to eat a chocolate, they’ll discover the containers, in which will be some fun trinkets (maybe jewelry or little toys), and a message with your name, so they know who’s asking. This could be altered slightly to make it a response.

Cardboard Cutout

Get a life-size photo of yourself (two posterboard photos might be enough if the photo is of you on your knee), and tape a quote bubble to it saying, “(Name,) will you go to the dance with me?”

Then stick it on their doorstep and doorbell ditch. Or, if you’re responding, have the quote say your response.

Color Theme Date

Pick a color (maybe your date’s favorite) and base everything around that color. Dress head-to-toe in that color, eat food of that color, drive in a car of that color, and have all the decorations in that color.

Write on the Back of a Puzzle

Write a message, asking your date to the dance, on the back of a finished puzzle. Then break it up again and have it delivered to the person. They’ll have to put the puzzle together to read the message. This works for responding to an invitation as well.

Silly String the Question to His/Her Lawn

Write your question on their front lawn with silly string. If you want to, include something like, “You drive me silly!” This works for ask or answer.

Peanut Answer

If you’re answering an invitation, get a bag of peanuts and a cleaned out two-liter pop bottle. Crack open a few peanuts carefully, and replace the nuts with small messages that say things like, “What’s crackin? Keep trying!” and “Going nuts yet? Keep going!” and one that says, “I’d be nuts to say no! Yes, I’ll go with you to the dance.” Lightly glue the shells closed again.

When you pack the peanuts in the bottle, put the response nut in early, so it will be toward the bottom of the bottle. With the small neck, only one or two peanuts can pass through at a time. Drop the other teaser messages in halfway and quarter to the top.

Shredded Paper

Shred or cut up a bunch of papers and either write a message on one of the shreddings (or two or three, in case they can’t find the one), or write one word on each of the shreddings with a number on the back of each, designating the order they go in.

Have the person’s family or friends spread them all over her bedroom, or in her car or locker.

This works for answering, too.

Date Ideas: X-travagant (and X-pensive) Dates

I suppose there is a place for extravagant dates, and if you really want one, here are a few unique ideas for those with a little extra money (okay, a lot of extra money).

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Come on, you know you’ve always wanted to! If you’re going extravagant anyway, why not now?

Skydiving

Just think what you’ll learn about both yourself and your date!

Disneyland

If you’re within a few hundred miles of Disneyland, Disney World, Six-Flags, or Lagoon, start your date bright and early and go until late. A guaranteed blast.

The Most Expensive Restaurant in Town

Find out which restaurant in your town is the most extravagant, and take your date to it. Chances are, she’s never been there either.

Buy a Couple Remote Control Airplanes or Helicopters

Get some remote-control planes or choppers and go to a park or parking lot and have a ball! If your phone is light enough, connect it to one, so you can video the experience. If that works, use Skype and start a call on your date’s phone, so you can watch the flight live in action.

Rent a Limo

The quintessential extravagant date. Whether you’re going to a restaurant, play, dance, or whatever, take the long scenic route so you can hang out in the limo longer.

Paragliding

Google to find out if there are places to paraglide. If you need some kind of training, take it together, then go fly together.

Helicopter ride

Speaking of flying, why not Google to find out how you can get a helicopter ride with your date?

Fly Somewhere and Back

Still speaking of flying, there are probably lots of places within 700 miles (average of about three states) that you could go to with a simple two hour flight each way. Take an all day trip to somewhere your date’s always wanted to go, with a return flight in the evening.

Go to a Big Concert

Find out who your date’s favorite band is, and buy tickets. If you have to fly to get there, do it, as long as a return flight is available the same day after the concert.

Date Ideas: Working-Together Dates

One of the great ways to learn about compatibility is to do dates that see how well you work together. Here are a few ideas:

Cook Dinner Together

You’ve probably heard the term, “Too many cooks in the kitchen.” Cooking together is something married people usually do together a lot, and if the relationship is good, it’s a fun experience.

Do Chores Together

If one of you has some things that need to get done, do it together. Learning how each other prefers to work can be incredibly insightful.

Detective Date

Try to solve a mystery together. There are mysteries all around. If nothing comes to mind, ask a parent about a family history mystery, or check the recent papers or library billboard for a recent minor crime or missing animal. Try to sleuth out the mystery together. The bigger the mystery, the less likely you are to be able to solve it in one date. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get very far, just use it as an excuse to go out again!

Plant a Tree

Plant a tree together in one of your yards or in a local park or garden.

Mine Field

Set something on the far side of a room, and then crumple a bunch of paper and throw it about randomly. Then take turns being blindfolded and trying to get to the thing on the other side of the room. The other person can only help with verbal instructions.

Fix Something

If one of you has a car, computer, or piece of furniture that’s broken or not functioning properly, work on fixing it together.

Build a Balloon Tower

Get a pack of balloons (the bigger the better—both size and numbers), and using only balloons and tape, build a tower as high as you can. Try to reach the ceiling. Oh, and no using walls or other objects for support!

Do a Puzzle Together

Set a timer and put a puzzle together as fast as possible. Puzzles can be a great casual date, but timing yourselves can turn it into a great problem-solving-together date.

Gift Shop Together

If one of you knows someone who’s having a birthday soon—or if Christmas is coming, shop for a gift together. It’s best if both of you know the person, but even if only one of you knows the person, talk about what the person likes so you can work together to find the best gift for him/her.

Silent Date

When you ask your date out, have an activity in mind, but tell them that the trick will be that neither of you can say a single word the entire date. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s a fabulous exercise in communication, since it all has to be nonverbal. If you’re going to a restaurant or movie, you may want to have a small notebook or sticky notes on hand to place your order.

Date Ideas: Values-Identifying Dates

Most people’s values are easy to identify over a long dating period, but sometimes they can be harder to recognize in just one or two dates. Ultimately, it’s going to be hard to find out your date’s feelings on an issue if you don’t talk about it. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to go on dates that will promote talking about such sensitive and vital topics. If you’d like to learn more about your date’s values, try some of these ideas to find out her feelings about media, morality, modesty, unselfishness, worthiness, material possession, and family values.

Go to a Movie Theater and Rate Movies by Preference

If you’re already going to a movie anyway, while you’re waiting in line, or waiting to be let in the theater, get out a notepad and make two lists: one for your date, and one for you. Then, list all the movies playing in the theater in the order of which you would most likely watch. When you’re finished, talk about your lists. Which are at the top, and which are at the bottom. Discuss with your date why they put them in the order they did.

Go to a Fireside Together

This works especially well if the topic is standards, values, or integrity. After the fireside, talk about what was said.

$1,000,000

Ask your date what he would do if he was given a million dollars, and then talk about what you would do with it. Get as detailed as possible.

Kindness Contest

Challenge your date to a kindness contest. Whatever your activity, any time one of you does something kind for someone else (it can’t be to one of the two of you), that person gets a point. It can be a smile or wave, it can be opening the door for someone, it can be a compliment or show of gratitude. You can (and should) show kindness to each other as well, but those won’t count for the contest.

Where’s the Line?” Game

If you are good friends with your date, or you have really good communication with your date, play the game, “Where’s the Line?”

Talk about different scenarios to see where you feel that a person has crossed the line. For example,

“You’re trying to fix your car, and your two-year-old nephew comes out and wants to help. He keeps getting into dangerous situations, so you ask him to go back inside the house. He doesn’t go, but continues to play in a way that could get him hurt. You swear at him and tell him if he doesn’t go back in, he’ll be in big trouble. He continues to ignore you until you finally take him inside, give him a spanking, and put him in his room. Did you cross the line? Where? What would be the better approach?”

or…

“You’re on a date and take a drive to see the sunset. After eating a packed dinner, you cuddle until it gets dark, and then make-out for an hour. You end up falling asleep and wake up around three in the morning. Did you cross the line? Where? What should you have done?”

This works best if you’re taking a walk, a drive, or doing something that encourages conversation (see Talking Dates)

Go Shopping Together

Sometimes shopping for clothes together (even if it’s only window shopping) can be a great way to find out your date’s attitude toward modesty. What kinds of things would she wear if they could afford it? What kinds of things does he suggest you try?

Do Baptisms for the Dead

Invite him to go with you to do baptisms for the dead, or any other temple ordinance. If your date has an active temple recommend, you already know quite a bit about him.

Swap Wards

One week, go together to your ward. See how comfortable she acts, and how well she participates. She may be shy, but you should be able to tell from her actions if she is comfortable being at church. The next week, go together to her ward. See how the people react to her. Do they know her? Is she as much a stranger as you are?

What Would You Do Different?

We all want to do some things different than our parents, and we all have things that we like about what our parents did. Do you want to react the same way your parents would? Talk about those things. Introduce the discussion this way, and then take turns picking topics. For example:

“When you came home with a bad grade: different, or the same?”

Then talk about how each of your parents reacted, and whether you hope to react the same.

“Child discipline: different, or the same?”

Then discuss how your parents disciplined you, and whether you want to use the same methods.

“Purchasing styles: different or the same?”

“How they celebrated birthdays: different or the same?”

“Their attitudes about pets: different or the same?”

Most Valuable Possession Discussion

Ask your date, “If you and your family suddenly had to permanently leave your home and take only one thing with you, what would you bring?”

Then talk about what your response would be.

Date Ideas: Unselfish (Service Oriented) Dates

Read Stories to Kids at a Children’s Hospital

Most children’s hospitals have a system for having people come and read stories or play with the children in the hospital. Call your local hospital to see if you can bring a friend to volunteer.

Volunteer At An Animal Shelter

As long as your date isn’t allergic to animals, this can be a fun one.

Wash Your Date’s Parents’ Car

You want to leave a good impression anyway, right?

Get Snow Shovels and Clean Up Town

If it has snowed recently, this can be a fun way to work together. Clean any sidewalks or driveways that haven’t been done yet. Sidewalks are usually about two shovels wide anyway, so you don’t have to separate.

Serve Food at a Homeless Shelter

If you really want to impress your date, go a time or two before inviting your date, so the workers and visitors remember you, and greet you when you show up with your date.

Make Donation Packets

Many humanitarian organizations have lists of hygiene, toy, or blanket packets needed in various parts of the world.

Visit a Friend or Loved One in the Hospital

If you or your date know someone in the hospital, go together to visit them. If they’re feeling up to it, play a board or card game with them.

Service Scavenger Hunt

Get a group date together, and make a list of small acts of kindness, then do a “scavenger hunt” and race to get through them all. Include things like:

Smile at a stranger

Open the door for someone (your date doesn’t count).

Offer someone your change after a small purchase.

Tip someone for something.

Get a child to laugh.

Adopt a Highway

You don’t even have to make it official. Just get a couple garbage bags and walk together down a highway picking up litter.

Make Get-Well Cards

Get some stationary or scrap-booking material and make get well cards. Send them to anyone you know who’s sick, hospitalized, or merely has a flu.

Date Ideas: Talking Dates (Conversational)

Sometimes a relationship could have great potential, but you don’t seem to do much talking. “We never talk!” some complain. It could be that your dates don’t involve activities that are very conducive to talking. Try some of these conversational dates, see if they help.

Go for a Drive

Nothing like being trapped together in a small for a while space to encourage conversation, and with a great view, too!

Watch the sunrise or sunset together

Swing by the store and get muffins and orange juice, then go watch the sunrise. Or stop at take out to eat while watching the sunset.

Climb a Tree

Climb a tree together and hang out there for an hour or two. Not only does it make for great conversation, but there’s usually a cool view up there.

Skip Rocks in a Lake or Pond

Find a lake or large body of water to skip rocks in. If you don’t know how, have your date teach you. See who can get the most skips.

Have a Picnic

Most cities have a park, and most country areas have hills or forests that make for great picnic areas. If you want it to last a little longer, pack the picnic ingredients instead of ready food so you’ll be making the food while together talking.

Take Your Date’s Dog(s) for a Walk

If you run out of things to talk about, hey, there’s always the dog.

Play, “Would You Rather?”

Think of two equally extreme situations, and take turns asking each other which they would rather do. It can be related to pain, ethics, fear, or discomfort. For example, “Would you rather die by freezing to death or burning in a fire?” or “Would you rather eat a ball of lint the size of a basketball, or eat a ball of horsehair the size of a baseball” or “Would you rather betray your mother to save a city, or passively allow the destruction of a city to be loyal to your mother?”

Play, “What’s Your Favorite Smarty?”

This is a game where you ask your date a question, and instruct them not to answer, but you try to guess how she would answer. Then she tells you if your right or gives you the correct answer. Every time you get a right answer, you get a point. Then switch. Have her ask you a question, but then guess the answer, and you tell her if she’s right. See who can get the most right answers.

Play, “What would you do if…”

This one’s kind of like “Would you rather,” but the idea is to find out what your date would do in a given situation. For example: “What would you do if there was an earthquake right now?” or, “What would you do if you saw tiny child driving a car?” or, “What would you do if an alien ship swooped down from the sky and put a spotlight on you?”

Compare your responses with his. See what you can learn about each others personalities from the differences and similarities in your reactions.

Study a Hot Topic Together

Get some newspapers, mobile devices, or computers, and study a hot topic together. What’s something big on everyone’s mind right now? See how each other feels about the issue, and see if you can find some things to give you a different perspective.