Last year I very quietly read, and (tried to) implement(ed) the Love Dare and the Respect Dare. At the same time.
They aren’t written by the same authors, but their 40-dare systems allow for integration, somewhat. So it worked…ish. I think most people that read these books operate like this is a “one time thing” because each dare gets more challenging than the next. They are geared towards a happy marriage, creating one, fixing one or preventing undue stress. I don’t consider myself to be a marriage expert by any means, but lately I have found odd trinkets of advice come out of my mouth. Brent and I are constantly talking about and trying to improve our marriage, and we can both humbly admit that we have said and done things to each other that were far less than what we’d expect from ourselves.
My goals this year include learning more about myself and expanding my consulting/teaching aspects of my job. I firmly believe that one cannot give what one does not have, so I have decided to take the Love Dare and the Respect Dare journeys again, only this time slower, and one at a time. I am starting with the Love Dare.
I would like to integrate each dare for a series of days, for three reasons:
1) I sometimes fail, (like I did with this first dare when I tried it, oh, 4 days ago!)
2) I don’t want to forget the progress. I want to make these 40 dares more like 40 habits, so I think I will decide on a number of days to practice each dare.
3) I need time to process the impact of each dare before moving on to the next one.
Dare #1 – Based on the principle that love is patient, my challenge for the next 3 days is to demonstrate patience by not saying anything negative to Brent.
When most of us hear “love is patient” I bet our minds wander to the popular bible verse from 1 Corinthians. Although that is a great verse, and I’m sure our friends at Hallmark must have made just a fortune on artsy “I’m sorry” cards with it, the premise behind my dare is to pause for a moment so I can fully listen to what Brent is trying to say to me without interrupting. I feel like mastering this will make my thoughts wise, my emotions more controlled, and my marriage stronger.
If anyone chooses to join me on this journey – welcome. Reach out to me if you wish, I would love it! Here is my first bit of encouragement: Few of us do patience well, and NONE of us do it naturally. What this means is that this “unnatural” calm is something we need to work at, to allow those around us to fail without feeling shame from us. There is nothing more rewarding than actively giving someone more time than they need to correct a mistake, and visibly avoiding an argument. Trust me, it’s exhilarating! Too often we feel the need to lash out, or give our spouse the gears. I bet all of us feel bad afterward, even just a little bit. Take this dare with me, and try extending extra patience to your significant other.