Competition does a couple good, assuming they are on the same side. ~smile~ Eric and I sometimes hammer this point: Married couples are on the same team! If you are preparing to marry your sweetheart, it is time to start (or continue) thinking like a team! ~smile~
So, sharpen your teammate skills by competing together. What is your game? Tennis? Basketball? Maybe you prefer card games? Get together with some friends and enjoy some friendly competition.
Getting together with other people is good for couples. We don’t need to spend all our time alone with our sweeties. Spending too much time with one person can make us lose touch with all the other special people in our lives. Plus, it will help you form good corporate relational habits to spending time with other couples before marriage to continue after marriage. If God has blessed you with friends and family, cherish them and don’t leave them as soon as you meet someone who makes your heart flutter.
If you spend all your time with the same person, you may get a little tired of him or her. Sure, it may seem impossible to tire of this wonderful dream now; but, give it some time and you will find yourself longing for a night out apart with the girls or guys. Bring some friends into your fun time, at least on occasion. You can still connect with your sweetie in the presence of others.
Spending time with friends also gives you more insight into how your sweetie interacts with other people. She may be soft as silk to you, but how does she treat your friends? He may lose graciously to you in a card game, but does he throw a fit and pout when he loses to others?
So, organize a little competition. Have a game night. Invite friends out for some invigorating activity where you and your sweetie can sharpen your teammate skills. ~smile~
Find Other Ways to Work as a Team
Maybe you and your sweetie can team up and clean a widow’s yard. That may not sound like much of a date, but it will bless someone and give you and your sweetie a chance to work together. So much of marriage is work, and it is good to know that you are marrying someone who works well with you, and vice versa.
One day when we were dating, Eric had me over to his apartment to help him with a project. I remember him telling me that he wanted to see how well we worked together. Or, maybe he just wanted to see how well I worked. ~smile~
Perhaps you two can train for a 5k or half marathon. Though you would not necessarily be competing as a team, you would be able to train together and see each other through to the finish line – which such a race can be a metaphor for life and marriage. ~smile~
You and your sweetie may not be extremely competitive people, and that’s okay. If you want to organize a football game in your backyard and crush your competition with your sweetheart by your side, that is great! If you’d rather work on a project together, or play a causal two-on-two card game with some friends, that’s fine too! Just pick something that gets you and your sweetie in the team spirit.
Some Personal Exposure
I have struggled with the idea of competition in marriage. Eric is a smart guy who thinks quickly on his feet, but I have to have time to think, process, and decide on an answer. His swiftness of thought led me to feel less intelligent. Growing up, I thought I was pretty smart, but after being with my sweet brainiac for a while, I began to question my own intelligence.
So, I found myself competing against him. I would think of talents I have which he doesn’t have. He told me repeatedly that we were on the same team, but that wasn’t enough for my pride. I wanted to be better than him in numerous areas so I could feel equally valuable in our marriage. But, competing against him only hurt us as a couple.
It is still a struggle, but slowly I am learning to be his teammate and not his competitor. I wish I had learned to be his teammate before we got married!
What competition/teammate building dates sound good to you? Sports? Games? Projects? Trust exercises? Whatever you choose, connect with your sweetie as you work on building a strong team together! Your future marriage will be so much stronger if you and your spouse remain a united force!
Do you and your sweetie compete with each other or against each other?