Yup. One of the first things you should do when you get engaged is to — Book your own Engagement Loveshop. No, I don’t mean go to a love-shop, though that could be spicy. I mean ‘Loveshop’ as in ‘Workshop’. But Loveshop sound much more fun.
Here’s what you do to create your own Loveshop / Workshop just for the two of you.
Your first task is to agree to spend one day together once a month doing working on your relationship and preparing for your marriage. It should be a full day, e.g. beginning at 10 am and finishing at 6 pm. Yes, you can take a break for lunch. And you can wear your pajamas, for all I care! You need to decide on the day. YOU NEED TO BOOK IT!
Here’s the thing: No phones, no TV, no texting, no distractions. You can’t bail because you were up too late the night before. In case you’re wondering, there is a good reason for creating a firm structure like this. Being disciplined about it shows that you’re willing to make time for important things together. It also demonstrates that you will step up to the plate when the going gets tough (and believe me it will). Dedicating this time means you matter to each other.
If your engagement is a YEAR long, awesome! You will have 12 days to explore, discover, and plan for marriage. Think about how much time and research goes into planning a month long trip. Since marriage will be a life long journey, twelve days of planning sounds like a good start to me! If you are getting married in 4 months, you might want to book 2 days a month for the next four months. SOONER… book a weekend – STAT! (And eek, you might actually want to get going on planning that wedding!)
Topic for your First Workshop — Assumptions & Expectations
We all have expectations that we’ve been carrying around since childhood about what married couples do and do not do. What a Wife does and doesn’t…How a Husband should and should not behave. If you don’t start talking about these things now, when they happen both of you will be surprised! This is a fantastic topic for your first Engagement Workshop, which you booked into your calendar yesterday. Right?
Ready set go: Separately, write down a list of your assumptions around ‘should and should not’ behaviours. Brainstorm. Some will be serious, e.g. boyfriends can go to a strip club but Husbands shouldn’t. Others will be fun or even humorous, e.g. a Wife should never call her Husband ‘Daddy’. Who knows? Sit down and read them to each other. Be forewarned, some may be difficult or you may disagree. Keep your curious mind and seek to understand.
You have the rest of the day to talk them through. Use a 2-minute timer for the difficult ones. The person who is explaining can talk uninterrupted while the timer is running. The other person must listen until they are done before asking questions. If conversations get heated, use that timer… over and over!
You can also talk about things like:
- What are your expectations of each other when one of you is sick? What kind of care/babying/fussing/food?
- What are assumptions around family and couple rituals around significant holidays? Christmas, Hanukah, Diwali, etc.
If you liked this tip, stay tuned this week when Modern Celebrant’s Michele Davidson will share tips to help you thrive during your engagement and learn tools to create an emotionally fulfilling marriage.
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