Couples plan ahead to make dates a priority

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College students everywhere are famous for living for the weekend. The Cure seemed to have it right when they said, “I don’t care if Monday’s blue, Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too, Thursday I don’t care about you. It’s Friday, I’m in love.”

Some may find themselves on a Friday night, maybe even in love, with no ideas of what to do.

Camille Whiting, a BYU graduate now living in Mesa, Ariz., started a dating blog with her husband, Jacob, dedicated to documenting their weekly dates to help other couples find creative date ideas.

“When we started the blog, I didn’t think anyone would read it but our moms honestly,” Whiting said. “I started realizing that more people were reading it and more people were interested in it than just us.”

Previously, the couple had taken a marriage class from a former bishop and his wife. The bishop counseled the couple to plan and actually write their date nights in a calendar. He and his wife warned the class that if they did not prioritize and plan ahead, other things would take their time and they wouldn’t have time for each other.

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The Whitings
“I think life is really busy and really stressful, and when you get married, it’s easy to become roommates or business partners,” Whiting said. “Unless you organize it and set aside a budget for it, it doesn’t happen and you start losing your friendship and the spark that you had when you first got married. It’s important to keep love alive.”

Caitlin Mortensen, a senior studying elementary education, said she and her husband, Isaac, try to follow this same advice.

“[Dating] keeps the spark alive and keeps us falling even more and more in love when we spend time together doing the things we love as a couple,” Mortensen said. “It provides conversation, which helps communication in a marriage. Dating helps two people get to know each other. I don’t know everything about Isaac, so we will keep dating to continue to grow closer to each other.”

Now that she lives away from Provo, Whiting suggested a few dates she and her husband would go on if they had the chance to revisit.

1. Ride the sky lift in the summer/fall at Sundance or Park City
This offers a romantic way to see the breathtaking mountains in a new way, and it’s only about $11 per person.
2. Play arcade games at nickelcade
Can $5-10 provide more fun?  Trust us, even girls enjoy the old-school arcade games.  This is one of the cheapest places you’ll find to do this- do it while you’re still in Utah.
3. Pack a picnic dinner and go hiking
You may not always have the mountains, and trust us, you’ll miss them.  Plan a romantic dinner hiking Y Mountain, Timpanogos, AF Canyon, etc.  It’s a free date, and food and a flashlight can create one amazing memory in a gorgeous location.
4. Hit up Comedy Sports
Improv comedy will always yield a unique experience full of laughs.  It can be hard to find clean, legitimately fun humor in many cities, take advantage of this great date.
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The Whitings
5. Visit the BYU Museum of Art
General admission is free, which is impossible to beat.  There are some amazing special exhibits that come and change often, and the cafe is sure to please any foodie.  Even the non-art lovers will find some truly unique conversations inspired by art and thoughts on art.
6. Hale Center Theatre
This unique theater offers a 360 style stage which makes all seats great.  Christmas Carol is amazing, but we’ve never seen a bad play.
7. Go country line dancing at The Center
There’s nothing like borrowing a cowboy hat, learning some moves, burning some calories and laughing at awkward moments of line dancing.  This can get pricey in other places, Provo is ideal for this activity.
8. Visit the Hare Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork
You can visit any time, and you’ll learn a lot and experience what a great guy Caru Das is.  They constantly have festivals with great food and cultural experiences.  Tours are free with a couple dollar donation being the norm.  This is a must before anyone leaves Provo.
9. The Alpine Slide
Sitting on a cart and going down 3,000 feet of slide leads to one adventurous date that isn’t duplicated anywhere else.
10. The Olympic Park
2002 was a magical time, I was lucky to be a student then.  Viewing how and where athletes train for the Olympics is pretty special, and one pretty amazing date. It may cost a little more, but you can even ride a bobsled on an Olympic track.
11. Watch a BYU Men’s Volleyball game
All sporting events can make great dates, but have you noticed the men’s team is consistently one of the top in the nation?  Grab a date, go to this inexpensive experience, and enjoy cheering on the Cougars.

12. Attend any theater or musical production on BYU campus
You’ll miss how talented musically almost everyone is on campus when you graduate.  The plays are the best of the best and the music programs are phenomenal.  Culturally enlighten yourself and your date with these experiences.
Mortensen also suggested simple, spur-of-the-moment dates such as Slurpees at 7-Eleven, walks down Center Street or going on a bike ride.
No matter what day of the week it is, or whether someone is going on a first date or the 182nd date, Provo is the perfect place to keep the love alive.
Check out fridaywereinlove.blogspot.com for more great date ideas from the Whitings.
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