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longwood gardens christmas

The day after thanksgiving, Rob and I went to Longwood Gardens in PA with some friends. They had their Christmas theme up already, and we had a magical time filled with lights and poinsettias. If you’re thinking of going to Longwood Gardens, it’s best to come early and stay until night time, especially this Christmas season. There are tons of places to walk to and look at, activities to go to, and food to eat. You wouldn’t want to just pay for half the day. You will have to walk a lot outside, so wear comfortable shoes and cozy outerwear during the winter! I saw a lot of women wearing high heels with bare legs, and I’m not sure how they survived the hike and the cold. So, do prepare!

longwood gardens christmas

Trying not to stare at the sun longwood gardens christmas
What God has joined together, let not man separate – Mark 10:9

longwood gardens christmas

Rob running in the background to do a photo bomb after he learned about what it was. The rest of the night, we all dared each other to do the deed at least once. I think I won the most successful photo bomb with two unsuspecting victims in one shot. ;-)

longwood gardens christmas

This floor was made from green and red apples! Start bobbing!

longwood gardens christmas

Don’t drink it!

longwood gardens christmas

Love birds behind a bamboo cage

longwood gardens christmas ymca pose

This was our attempt to do a YMCA totem pole!

longwood gardens christmas

Beautiful bloody trees

Currently listening to: Haim-The Wire

The  couple with us on our trip have been dating for about a year now, and together we’ve grown to be really good friends. Not only is it fun to go on double dates with another couple, but I believe it’s really important for couples, especially non-married ones to have a relationship with married peers (that would be Rob and I) as they date. And why? So we can scold them if we find them making out!

Upsides of dating as a group:

  • - If ever you don’t end up with the same person later, you will feel like you’ve gained friends and have not wasted your time
  • - You get to learn from others’ experiences
  • - You keep yourselves from being isolated and anti social
  • - You get to know your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s world. Their environment, family, and friends help you understand your mate better.
  • - The way your boyfriend or girlfriend acts in different situations and people determines how he or she will act towards you
  • - Keeps you from doing anything you will regret later

The dating couple only get to see each other once in a while, because the guy lives in another state—as did Rob when we were dating! We know exactly how hard it is to keep our hands off of each other during times we actually got to be physically there. It is our belief that saving some things for marriage makes married life a whole lot better! So, having friends to be able to hang out with when your boyfriend or girlfriend is around is very suitable for this kind of “accountability.” Thankfully, the couple believes in this too and welcomes our help and company. That kind of dedication is very rare these days! Rob and I surely had our struggles and mistakes in the past, but I am glad that we were able to save at least the most important thing for one another—our virginity.

Some people may see this sex-before-marriage practice as prudish and self righteous, but a lot of the people who do practice it know how much control sex has in their lives. It is not because they do not know or like sexuality, it is because they know and like it very well. Much like a person in an AA meeting knows alcohol, a person purposely abstaining from sex before marriage could mean they are breaking free from their addiction to sex. I recommend that you think about this before you judge anyone when they abstain from sex.

Do you like hanging out with other couples? Do you have any fun ideas to do with other couples?

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4 Responses to “Christmas in a Garden & The Upsides of Dating As A Group”

  1. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    I wish I did LOADS of group dating when I was younger. We did it a little bit here and there, but we are alone far far far too often. It is fun going on group dates. Now I never even get to go on a normal date at all though. haha. Oh well. That’s okay! We just like being together.
    These pictures are so cute and I like the one of you all in a row.

  2. Rachel Dahl

    Hi Victoria!

    Rob and I were alone way too often too. We lived in two different states, and we had very limited time together when he came over because of how strict my parents were, so we got into plenty of tempting situations. I wish that hadn’t happened. Well, when Rob and I come over and you guys have the kids asleep… that’s sort of like a group date in a way!

  3. Julia

    I definitely agree about the upside of making new friends when dating in a group. It is also good exposure to different movies, music, interests, careers, sports, perspectives, and world views. Too much growth and fun opportunities to miss out on!

  4. Rachel Dahl

    Hi Julia! :)

    You found my blog! Haha. It’s awesome that we get to grow with each other and learn from not only our similarities but also our differences. Watching movies and playing board games are a lot of fun to do with you guys!

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