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The Mystery Date

Date night just got a lot more interesting.

This may not be news to you, but yes, relationships can become routine.You always want to keep things growing and changing; you want to avoid predictability. In some ways, routine is inevitable. In others, it's up to the couple in question. Stef and I get a lot of inquiries from readers seeking guidance and advice. It's kinda funny, because in no way do Stephanie and I have it “figured out.”

Dave's def. right. But one thing we always do is have fun. It doesn't matter what the situation, where we are or what we're going through, we always laugh with each other. Sometimes it takes effort, but most of the time it doesn’t.

We do have one routine that ironically keeps things fresh and fun: the Mystery Date.

The Mystery Date took off in LA. We were a bit more adventurous then, so Dave started it. It was a Saturday night. We got in the car, he put a blindfold over my eyes, and an hour later, I found myself at a drive-in theater! We were so Danny and Sandy! (Minus the black-leather outfits.)

The Mystery Date is something that EVERY couple should incorporate into their relationship. Here’s how it works: One half of the couple chooses, plans and organizes the date. They provide the other half with only the vital information:

1. What time to be ready to be out the door

2. How long they should free their schedule

3. How to dress appropriately

And that's it! Here’s an example: For one mystery date, I took Stef to a live taping of The Jerry Springer Show. Jerry films in Stamford, Connecticut, about an hour's drive from New York. All I told her was, "Be ready at 10:30 a.m. (12 noon taping), dress casual, and bring a bathing suit." The bathing suit part was a red herring to throw her off the scent.

No words can describe the Jerry experience. It was complete anarchy! We got totally caught up in chanting, "Jerry! Jerry!" I was all smiles all day. It's a great memory, and it was so much fun! And definitely different than your average Saturday night out. And Jerry hit on me!!

Mystery Dates are always fun for the person kept in the dark because they're trying to figure out where you're going and what you're doing. It's also fun for the planner because they're controlling the whole thing. And you just alternate who does the planning. Once a month is more than enough. It can be as simple as a movie you've both been wanting to see or as extravagant as a vacation -- hence the mystery.

While we aren't perfect, I think we've got the date thing down. Would you consider planning a mystery date? Have you ever?

-- Stephanie and Dave