Valentines Day Dreaming…
Everybody wants to make Valentine’s Day extra special… right?
Why not go on a “Dream Date?”
Now, I’m not talking about dropping big bucks on limo and expensive meal… (although if you want to go that route… have at it!)
What I’m talking about is a date where you and your snoogie bear dream together.
Give yourself permission to dream… together.
Dreaming together can draw you closer… help you to get to know each other better… and be a way to celebrate each other. Plus, it will help you to break free from some of the “regular life stuff” topics and make this date extra special.
Here are some tips on how to bring the awesome to your “Dream Date.”
My wife absolutely loves to cook and she’s really good at it too. But if I want to create a safe and fun space for her to dream, I need to get her away from our kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong. She loves our kitchen… but… over time, we all tend to build up conditioned responses to certain locations. In addition to being the place where my wife has fun experimenting with new recipes and food choices, the kitchen is also the place where our calendar is, where our bill file is, and where she’s reminded of all the people she feels responsibility for.
So… that’s not always the best place for big dreaming.
Instead, we want to go somewhere that is:
- Free from reminders of other obligations in your life (work, chores, school, etc.)
A great Dream Date spot could be a favorite coffee house, an art museum or a fun restaurant — anywhere that’s inspiring and gets you out of your regular routine.
To go along with choosing a intentional space for dreaming, you also want to create some protected time for dreaming.
Dedicate a set amount of time (start with a specific amount (ie. 1 or 2 hours) where you’ll ONLY talk about your big dreams. No work talk. No schedule talk. No family talk. Just dreaming.
Having that protected time helps you focus and relax, knowing you have plenty of space to explore.
Opening Up… and Dreaming BIG
The best way to guide an honest dream discussion is to simply start with curiosity.
To get the conversation flowing, ask open-ended questions, such as:
- What are some cool things you’d like to do or try?
- Where are a few places you’d like to visit in the world?
- If we won the lottery tomorrow and money was no object, what are some things you would do?
- What are a few things you’d like to experience or accomplish in the next 5 years?
The key to getting your partner to open up is to show that you’re really listening to his/her responses. Instead of jumping in to add to their response, keep the focus on your THEM.
Simply say, “I love it. Tell me more about that.” Then listen!
Or, “That’s awesome. How long have you been thinking about that?” Yup… keep listening.
Or… “That’s great. What excites you the most about that?”
Of course… put these types of responses in your own words. But ask some follow up questions… to show that you’re engaged and fully present.
During your date, you’re dreaming together. You’re listening without judgment. You’re creating a safe space to dream with reckless abandon.
The one thing you DON’T want to do is to filter your S.O.’s dream through your current reality.
Let’s say you want to go take a cooking class in a remote Italian village. You’ve heard about people spending a week learning from a local chef, using local produce and exploring local markets. You’re dying to get away and try something new. It’s on your Bucket List. And you’re nervous but excited when you tell your partner about it.
How would it feel if he/she immediately poo-pooed it and/or told you all the reasons that’s an unrealistic dream right now?
Total dream-killer, right?
Instead, how would it feel if your partner said, “Wow, that’s an awesome dream. I love it! Tell me more about it.”
At the Big Dream Gathering, we’re not big on making crazy leaps of faith and throwing common sense out the window. We’re not about deciding to take trip around the world on a whim and just throwing it on the credit card.
We’re big fans of dreaming big.
But we’re also ALL about making good decisions.
We know you are too… even on your Dream Date.
So as you’re dreaming BIG with our snookims… it’s important to remember the concept of recognizing “different seasons.”
Although it might not make good financial sense to hop on a plane and take that Italian cooking class tomorrow… that’s okay!
That doesn’t make it a bad dream.
It just may not be the right season for it.
Someday you’re gonna make your own pasta in the Italian hills. It may not be right away.
During your Dream Date, let each other dream without worrying about whether it’s the right season.
Don’t worry about whether it’s realistic right now.
Support the “what” and the “why” of your partner’s dreams.
You can PLAN and talk about the “how” and the “when” another time.
Let’s get REAL
To wrap up your Dream Date… create a “Together Dream List.”
At the top, write down a few of your favorite dreams. Make sure both of you list at least one to two.
Then at the bottom, write down a few things you’d like to do together to move forward on a few of these dreams. Talk about some small but significant steps you could take.
For example, if one of your dreams is to take that Italian cooking class… think about things you could do together to get started that wouldn’t take much time or much money.
- Buy an Italian cookbook and commit to trying a new recipe each week
- Watch a documentary on traveling in Italy
- Open a special bank account to start saving for the trip
- Sign up for a night class on cooking
- Ask around to see if you know anyone who’s traveled to Italy and learn from their experience
Make a commitment to continue to explore the dreams and keep taking small but significant steps together.
Know that making a plan and taking action on those dreams is a separate conversation. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now! Just give yourself permission to dream… together.
Get some dreams down on paper and put the “Dream Together List” in a special place when you get home.
Bonus tip for an extra dreamy Dream Date
Want one last tip?
It’s one more thing to NOT do on this Dream Date!
Don’t post about your Dream Date on social media WHILE you’re ON your Dream Date.
Go ahead and take pictures of your food. Take selfies that are as adorbs as a puppy in a little red wagon.
But don’t post anything until the next day.
If you post during your Dream Date, you know you’re gonna be tempted to check and see how many red hearts and blue thumbs you get. That’s not protected time. That’s distracted time.
Actually enjoy your Dream Date.
Be IN it. Be fully present. You’ve got all the time in the world to post about it later.
Don’t have a significant other to dream with?
No problemo, amigo!
This exercise doesn’t require a romantic partner. You can totally dream with a friend, a family member, a coworker, a neighbor…anybody you want to draw closer to.
So have at it! Same approach… just less kissy kissy face.
Hope this helps!
And hey… leave a comment. Let us know how your DREAM DATE goes. Share a little of how you created some intentional space and some protected time. I’d love to hear from YOU!
PS – Speaking of dreaming… my new book, “Dream Job Redefined – The New Rules for Creating a Career that Matters and Doing Work You Love” was just released. It’s a practical guide to help you to find or design a dream job that satisfies you on every level. Plus, it’s jam-packed with stories and strategies to help!