A feeling of joy, giddiness, and euphoric love arrives on hearing the statement, “Let’s plan a date night and spend quality time together!” Whether the words are texted or received on a post-it note, uttered face-to-face or through a Skype session, the response does not require thought. Of course, the three-lettered answer is stated in capital letters or screamed in great excitement! We love time with our significant other, and a chance to openly express thoughts and banter with ideas. It often is the one reason we fell in love; yet, the unexpected happens. Our attempts to understand and communicate clearly often lead to conflict and frustration, and, sometimes, separation. Jean Brewer, of the Forsyth Chapter organization “Better Marriage,” understands that relationships can be challenging; yet, she would like to offer dating and married couples the chance to receive an irrefutable gift. Quite simply, the gift combines a date night with free child care, dinner for a nominal fee, meeting new local couples, and gaining practical tools to improve your relationship. How could any couple say, “No”?
Better Marriages has been termed a premier national organization, not only for couples who want to take charge of their relationship, but also to live happily ever after. In Winston-Salem, on Tuesday, September 12th at Trinity United Methodist Church, dating and married couples can gather together to participate in the invitation and gift of date night.
You will meet Joe and Jamie Blankenship, who assist couples in appreciating why they enjoy their significant other. Joe says, “We present the information from a standpoint that if you are going to have a worthwhile relationship, we can offer a layer of practicality as an experienced married couple. We were influenced by the strength of a Great Aunt’s and Uncle’s marriage, and we wanted to discover how to strengthen [ours] and grow old, together. We hope couples will join us for an occasional date night to strengthen their investment in one another.”
The experience begins with an informal gathering of new and old friends, making introductions before sitting down. A lead couple, such as Joe and Jamie Blankenship, will begin by presenting an unscripted dialogue. Joe may encourage thought by starting with, “When my parents would argue, my dad would stand up.” And, Jamie may recall that her parents never argued in front of her. The question would then be posed, “How do we argue?” Joe and Jamie, to guide the dialogue, would share how one person would leave the room, while the other would stomp and demand to resolve the situation. The couples are then invited to analyze their patterns by exchanging ideas and talking together. Joe shares, “We talk about our experiences and invite couples to partake in the dialogue. Many of the practices, from [whoever] in our family cut the Thanksgiving turkey to who took responsibility for the finances and household tasks, were learned through witnessing a past relationship. By learning strategies, we can be saved…a lot of pain and agony, and discover how to strengthen and build our own relationship.”
Priscilla Hunt, Executive Director of Better Marriages, states, “Today’s couples need hope, but hope isn’t enough. They also need relational skills, encouragement, and support. Better Marriages is for couples who want to take control of their relationships. Through resources, programs, and events, Better Marriages empowers couples to do just that.” Thousands of charter members, including our Winston-Salem community members, Jean Brewer and Joe and Jamie Blankenship, share similar words about “Better Marriages.” They say, “I absolutely love this organization,” and “I feel it has helped my relationship with my best friend.” Be the next couple to say, “Better Marriages has given us hope to beat the odds….”
A Date Night with Friends Invitation will take place on September 12th, 2017 at Trinity United Methodist Church at 3819 Country Club Road, Winston Salem. Dinner begins at 6 pm, for a small fee, and child care is available. Please RSVP by contacting Jean Brewer at (336) 978-8611. The gathering starts at 7 pm. Additional information can be found through www.bettermarriages.org.