I Did The Love Dare

After seeing the movie Fireproof with my wife recently, I wanted to do the love dare in it for my wife.  I put the book on my hold list at the library.  I couldn’t publish this until after the whole 40 days, because my wife reads this blog and I wanted it to be a surprise.  Here are some notes on what happened, but since I don’t want to ruin the book (or infringe on copyrights!), I won’t list the dares here.  (Update: the book’s web site actually has the full list.)  You just need to pick up your own copy. 

In the movie, all that stood in the way of their perfect romance was their fading feelings.  Real life is more complicated.  Just in the last forty days, some of the things that made it harder for me to do this included: a kid got sick and threw up seven times in one morning, my wife and I were taken to court (where we did not do well), I got sick (twice–once during the first week of the dare, and again during the last week), our refrigerator broke down and got repaired, work and other responsibilities kept us apart all day and up very late, the lock on my car door broke (and the dealer didn’t even fix it right!), the battery in our van died, and a motley assortment of other irritations, distractions, and adversities made their merry way into the path of my earnest scheduling.  In short, life happened. 

So it was hard at times, but I think my wife appreciated it, so it was absolutely worth it. 

My only frame of reference for ideas was the character in the movie, and at times I felt a little bad that my gestures weren’t as dramatic as his.  I guess that’s to be expected: my life isn’t scripted, nor does it have a movie studio’s budget.  I, alas, do not have twenty grand stashed away for a boat that I can dip into to help make her dream come true. 

Days 1-5 (May 20 -May 24)

Day 1: The day I picked this up from the library was one of the hardest, most discouraging days of work I had all year.  I wanted to complain about it and dump it all on my wife, but I took the injunction to not be negative as literally as I could, and held my tongue.  At least for today!

Day 2: foot rub

Day 3: Star Trek glass from Burger King.  We’re awesome. 

Days 6-10 (May 25 -May 29)

Days 6 and 7: I wrote my private notes here in a draft and just deleted them for publication.  This was neither easy nor fun. 

Day 8: I used a candle lighter to burn a printout of my notes in the bathroom.  Lame.  I hate not having a real fireplace. 

Days 11-15 (May 30-June 3)

Day 11: Did the dishes from yesterday before going to work.

Day 12: For today’s dare, I agreed to go on a vacation that I’ve been sullenly resisting for years.  (Update: a few days later, however, she decided that she doesn’t want to go this year after all.  I had nothing to do with it.  Free brownie points!)  (Updated update: never mind.  It looks like we’re going after all.  Oh well.)

Day 13: By today, she was wondering out loud where all these new questions and topics of conversation were coming from. 

Days 16-20 (June 4-June 8)

Day 18: I flipped through a couple of her cook books for a minute and figured I’d just make something up instead.  I was in the mood for something light and Mediterranean-feeling, which she also likes, so here’s what I did:

Boiled a bunch of pasta (I used organic wheat stuff from Trader Joe’s), then added a tbsp. each of lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, and a pinch of garlic.  I added a can of diced tomatoes seasoned with basil, a can of olives, and a cup each of cheddar and mozzarella.  This made about seven servings–I was shooting for two.  When we had leftovers, she added some garlic and onion salt, and it was much improved. 

When I asked about making a meal, she said, “Where are you getting all this lately?  Does that Fireproof movie have a web site with a list of that stuff or something?”

Days 21-25 (June 9-13)

Day 21: The book was due back to the library and I couldn’t renew it because other people had it on hold, so I typed up a list of the rest of the dares and worked off of that from now on.  Today’s dare about Bible reading suggested a daily chapter of Proverbs, which is easy because since I read about that idea in the Duggar family’s 20 and Counting! a few months ago, I’ve been trying it and it’s becoming a pretty good habit.

Day 23: These dares have certainly made for some interesting conversations between us.

Day 24: I started writing the “Restraining Desire” post on this blog for today’s dare.

Days 26-30 (June 14-18)

Day 28: Today is my wife’s birthday.  When she opened her presents, I got the camera to take pictures.  This has nothing to do with the dare (for today, I went without something I wanted to do to spend time with her), but I don’t think I’ve ever thought to take pictures on my own before.  I’ve been interested in how this “love dare” might be improving my mindset, and I think I do see myself becoming more consistently thoughtful towards her.  Of course, just about any thoughtfulness would be an improvement.

Day 29: folded laundry

Days 31-35 (June 19-23)

Days 33-34: These subjects are getting harder to work into normal conversation…

Day 35: We discussed married couples we know who could inspire us.  We tended to admire those who were most affectionate with each other. 

Days 36-40 (June 24-28)

Day 36: We agreed to do the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month, each day starting July 1.

Day 38: Over dinner tonight, I looked at my wife and she looked at me, then, reading my thoughts, she asked, “So, do you have a question for me tonight?”  I did indeed.  And a European vacation is an ambitious goal.  I don’t have a full written plan just today, but I’ll work on it.

Day 39: I did today’s the way I did one other dare: I wrote a mushy note inside a romantic greeting card and hid it somewhere in the house where I knew she’d run across it during the day. 

Day 40: First thing this morning, I gave my bride the “wedding vows” I’d written.  Then I told her that I’d been doing the love dare, and today was day 40. 

Then she smiled at me with her beautiful blue eyes.

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7 comments on “I Did The Love Dare

  1. Amazing! While Google-ing The Love Dare, I ran across your link. This is excactly what I was hoping to see. Real people who put 100% into the dares and improved their marriages. Thank you so much.

  2. HaiJai, thanks for your thanks! The real credit, though, goes to the wonderful people who thought of this exercise in the first place. But glad you liked my experience!

  3. Fireproof is an amazing movie! I wanted to do the love dare on my wife but as I was reading through the book I realized that I had already been doing 90% of the tasks in it. So I just gave it back to my sis in law. Should I still make the attempt??

  4. I guess it depends on whether or not it would be meaningful to her if you did. Try reading The Five Love Languages next.

  5. hi there. Very admirable and sweet you took the initiative to work on your marriage and incorporate the love dare. Do you mind if i ask you a few questions? are you both religious? My husband is not in the same place spiritually as I am, and I often find myself like Caleb in the movie ready to give up. I got to day 11 and we got into a huge fight and I gave up on the dare. I have reattempted it several times and each time I quit thinking “its not worth it.”

  6. Anna, do you think the fact that you dont think the effort is worth it may be some of your problems in your marrige? Honestly this book and the movie is about grace and mercy which God gave us thats the point if your husband is unloveable all the more reason you should love him and show him grace because “when we were yet sinners Christ loved us” thats the whole point of the love dare and the movie dont yu remember the part where caleb and his dad were talking and his dad walked over to the cross and he realized that his wife was only doing to him what he had been doing to God all along? Thats whats wrong with marriges today people forget how unlovable they were when God saved them in fact thats whats wrong with the whole world! If you are in fact saved there was a place in your life when you were not and God showed you mercey he loved you and He died for you when you were still a sinner! So your attitude is backwards and I am not trying to be mean but to get forgivness you must first give it to be shown such grace and then refuse to show grace is a bit counter productive and I am trying to be nice by saying it that way! If you are a Christian and you are losing your marrige it should be worth whatever you have to do to save it because let me tell you something we are in a war and the enemy wants to destroy your marrige , by you saying “its not worth it ” is just giving your marrige over to him, why not hand him your children too? Why not just give up all together and forget that He (Jesus ) died for you? DO NOT GIVE UP! It is worth it! Marrige was estalished by God! Let me tel you something I know to be tru! If your husband is not saved then the best thing you can do for him is be faithfult o the things of God live an upright life whether he does or not pray for him daily , let him see you attending church and reading your bible, it wont hurt for him to hear you pray either. Take a stand and be faithfult o God no matter what! ANd PRAY PRAY PRAY for your husband! I PROMISE HE WILL COME AROUND .. How can I promise something like that right? well I can because its a promise really directly from God himself! It says in the bible the wife santifys the husband! So if you will be faithful to God and live upright your husband will for sure come around maybe not in your time and maybe not the way you want him to but he will for sure! And I have proof because it happend to me I got saved and I did what I had to fdo to please God and my husband was a terrible man he was mean and told me if I would quit going to church things would be ok between us but I didnt I held on to God and now he is a faithful memeber of the church I attend but most important he loves the lord and loves me and treats me right! IT IS WORTH IT! I hope you see this I see that your post is 2 years old I am sad for you dont ever give up on your marrige give it to God He can and will save it

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