Dating: couples keep it spontaneous

Dating Stage. Every Tuesday, Kaeley Scruggs and Aaron Olsen, who are both sophomores studying international studies, go to the BYU-Idaho Center together to look at the paintings.

They said they love their tradition, but they also love to try new things together as well. The couple has tried new activities such as slacklining, making survival bracelets and doing things with outdoor activities.

“Try new things you haven’t done before and do them together,” Olsen said, “When you do, it gives you something to talk about. I think you would get bored in a relationship and it could become stagnant if you don’t keep having adventures together.”

Kaeley and Aaron met in their Chinese class a year ago and started dating in the fall.

“I think [to stay spontaneous] couples need to keep each other in mind when the other person least expects it,” Scruggs said, “homework and being busy can be really distracting and take away from any kind of relationship; if you don’t take the time for the people that matter nothing can come of the relationships you have with them.”

According to an article from Psychology Today, throughout all stages of relationships, spontaneity is essential, and it can lead to a fulfilling love live.

“It will probably be a little harder [to be spontaneous] later on because in the beginning there is more of that excitement and you go out of your way to do lots of the little things,” Olsen said, “later, it seems like it would be easier to get distracted with life in general like work, school, family and friends. It’s all about taking the time to make the effort.”

Long-Distance Dating. Another couple is trying to be spontaneous through letters and pictures, while balancing a spiritual side of their relationship as well. Lacey Larson, a junior studying communication, and her boyfriend, Bryan Bennion, a sophomore studying communication, plan to get engaged when he returns from his mission in Roseville, California in six months.

Larson said that keeping things spontaneous in a long-distance relationship with a missionary can be challenging, especially when she is limited to writing letters and sending packages.

“Sometimes I like to bring up silly memories that we have had together in my letters. One time I wrote about a memory we had going to the river and eating burritos,” Larson said.

Larson said that Bennion is good at being inventive with what he does for holidays and her birthday.

“For one birthday he sent me gobs of my favorite candy and recorded himself singing happy birthday with one of the families in his area.”

Larson said that even in a long-distance relationship it is important to not let things become routine.

“Some things can be routine like giving them a new scripture each week, but shake it up enough so it doesn’t feel like routine. And don’t chain yourself to the mailbox. Have an adventure while they’re gone so you have something to tell them about,” Larson said.

Engaged. Other couples have moved beyond the dating stage and are learning to balance spontaneity with wedding plans.

Brittany Blankinship, a senior studying animal science, and her fiance Brandon Bailey, a junior studying mechanical engineering, plan on getting married on Aug. 19.

“One of the best ways [to be spontaneous] is to go outside of your box. Learn to love what the other person loves and that you may not enjoy at first,” Bailey said, “Forget about yourself and think about them sometimes. If you don’t already love what they do, learn to love it to strengthen your relationship.”

Blankinship said she has been dancing since she was five years old and she said it is something that defines her and takes up a lot of her time.

“Brandon thought it was silly and feminine at first, but he knew it was important to me. It [dancing] has brought us together because he made it one of his hobbies too,” Blankinship said.

Bailey has been taking at least one dance class every semester since he started going to BYU-Idaho.

“The way I see it, dancing is something so important to her, so it should be important to me as well,” Bailey said.

Another engaged couple, Isabelle Deal a sophomore studying animal science, and Jonathan Worden, a freshman studying communication, are getting married on Mar. 15.

“Our relationship feels more spontaneous when we don’t expect anything from each other, we just enjoy one another. A lot of people expect their significant others to do nice things for them all the time. If you try not to expect it, it’s more special when it happens,” Deal said.

Worden said the simple fact that they are interested in each other helps keep things exciting.

“I don’t know how we could have gotten to this point had things not been interesting. I find her interesting and hopefully she finds me unpredictable,” Worden said.

Newlywed Stage. For couples in the newly married stage of their relationship, the distractions associated with adjusting to married life can complicate spontaneity and cause tension or pressure in the relationship, according to www.marriagetoday.com.

Cassandra DeWitt, a senior studying music education, and Cameron DeWitt, a sophomore studying economics, got married in Salt Lake City on Dec. 20 of last year.

“I think that people generally think that being newlyweds is new and exciting, but later on the romance can die. As we go through trials, I hope we will have more reasons to love each other and more inside jokes. We’ve promised each other not to let it die no matter how busy we get,” Cassandra DeWitt said.

Cassandra DeWitt said that her husband keeps their relationship spontaneous by writing her letters and leaving them in random places for her to find and by taking her on dates every week.

“In the future I see ourselves doing a lot of the same things if finances allow it. The effect of a date isn’t always in proportion with the money you spend. It shouldn’t matter what you do as long as you spend the time together,” Cameron DeWitt said.

Married Stage. Jenny Webb, a Ricks alumna, has been married to her husband Phil for 20 years.

“It’s hard 20 years into a relationship to be as spontaneous as we were when we were younger. When we were younger we would have picnics on the living room floor, we’d crash other ward’s dance parties, we’d rent tandem bikes…Now with two teens and a preteen our version of spontaneous is who is driving for a carpool and which sporting event we are going to … We just have to think a little harder about being spontaneous,” Webb said.

Webb said she and her husband still go on a date once a week. She said that he still surprises her with “just because” flowers and leaves her notes taped inside cabinets or in books she is reading.

“Phil still takes my breath away; we may not be as young in age, but we still feel young. We continually tell ourselves that the best is yet to come; even though what we have now is great, its only getting better,” Webb said.

Webb said that one of the most important things she and her husband do to keep their marriage strong is to make sure they never take one another for granted.

“We choose each other every day.  We choose each other over our egos, our hobbies, our distractions, our obligations. Great marriages don’t just happen, they are a daily choice,” Webb said.

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