Abstract Family


Ten Great Dates Before You Say "I Do",
By David and Claudia Arp & Curt and Natelle Brown

My book review

Ten Great Dates cover

This is a popular and useful marriage and relationship education book, which was recommended to me from two different sources The book is not about suggestions of where to go on dates. (Another book Dating for Dummies by Dr. Joy Browne is much better for that, as are lots of articles on eHarmony.com.) Instead, it is a well-organized program for things that couple should be sure to discuss while dating but before getting married.

Each of the ten “date night” discussions is about topics such as communications, finances, relationships with families of origin, plans for children, etc. . There are a few pages of discussion about these topics – very easy to read – and then a few questions that each member of the couple should ask the other.

So often, couples “fall in love” perhaps while in a physical relationship, and never discuss these basic practical matters. Within a couple of years – maybe after having children – the differences become apparent, and divorce might result. But the “10 Great Dates” program is an extremely simple way to avoid that – far better for couples to break up after a couple of dates than after they have children who are depending on them. Also, this is a great way to improve communications skills at an early stage. The book is short and easy reading, and is well worth the time.

Some of the same ground is covered in premarital inventories such as Prepare/Enrich. But some couples might prefer to just buy a book and do it themselves, rather than having a third-party facilitator. It won't hurt to do both.

One of the two couples has a Christian orientation, but you certainly don't need to be Christian for this program to make sense.

Five years after the start of my divorce, now I'm in a relationship again. My girlfriend and I have gone through the 10 Great Dates program and found it very useful. Highly recommended!