Eight Dates Book Summary By John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, Doug Abrams and Rachel Carlton Abrams

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Eight Dates (2019) is a book for couples all along the relationship spectrum: from those who have recently met and fallen in love to long-term married couples.

It provides them with eight themed dates to go on, designed to help foster better conversations and uncover the innermost needs, thoughts and desires of their partners.

The authors of this book believe that quality conversations are the most important ingredient in any successful relationship.

Each of these eight recommended dates provide a different opportunity for couples to engage in rich dialogue with each other – although it doesn't just have to be done on these specific dates; you can use the wisdom gleaned from them to create unforgettable experiences on any date you share with your partner.

Eight Dates Book Summary

Book Name: Eight Dates (Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love)

Author(s): John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, Doug Abrams and Rachel Carlton Abrams

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 22 Minutes

Categories: Sex & Relationships

Author Bio

The author of Eight Dates, Dr.

John M.

Gottman is a highly esteemed name in the field of psychology.

He has been a research scientist, clinician and award-winning public speaker over the course of his four decade career.

With such incredible expertise, it's no surprise that he continues to be held in high esteem when it comes to his knowledge surrounding divorce prediction and marital stability.

His experience as a mental health professional and researcher have seen him authored numerous books on topics related to strengthening relationships and marriages as well as gaining insight into what leads to divorce.

Such deep knowledge and unique insight has allowed him to craft exceptional advice based on solid scientific evidence which can be found in Eight Dates - yet another remarkable publication by Dr.

John M.


8 Date Ideas For Couples That Will Create A Lasting Bond


Do you long to have a love-filled relationship with your partner? Would you like to know the secrets to keeping the spark alive in your relationship? With just eight dates, you can get closer to your sweetheart and uncover the secrets of long-lasting relationships.

Eight Dates is an easy-to-read book that outlines eight different dates that couples should go on in order to discover and discuss topics relevant to their relationship.

You’ll learn why fighting can be a positive part of a relationship, how experiences from childhood relate to current relationships, and even why only one third of parents find as much happiness after having children.

Each date discussed in the book focuses on an area for couples to learn about each other and understand more about themselves.

To fully benefit from this book, make sure you read it together with your partner so that both of you are on the same page for date night.

How To Rekindle Trust And Commitment In A Relationship Through Conversation

Trust and commitment are the cornerstones of any successful, long-term relationship.

Without trust you have no reliable foundation upon which to build your partnership, and without commitment you will find it hard to keep your relationship alive.

This is why it’s so important to have an open dialogue about what trust and commitment mean to both of you in your relationship.

Nourishing these two elements in a healthy way can help ensure that your bond remains strong and durable for years to come.

As discussed in the book ‘Eight Dates’, one of the first dates should be about trust and commitment.

Beforehand, consider what has been done previously that has helped build trust between you two, as well as how you each express commitment in different ways.

On date night, take some time to talk openly with each other about these topics – ask questions like “What can I do differently to prove my commitment?” or “What does trust look like for us?”.

It’s a great way for both of you to learn more about each other and build connectedness in your relationship.

Strengthen Your Relationship With A Conflict Date

Conflict is an inevitable part of any relationship, so it’s important to know how to handle it correctly.

If done responsibly and respectfully, fighting can be a productive way for couples to express their needs, understand each other better, and even enhance their bond.

On the flip side, if not managed properly, arguing can turn into nasty feuds which end up causing irreversible damage to the relationship.

One of the best ways to ensure that your conflict is done in a healthy manner is through date number two: centering on resolving difficulties.

Start by making separate lists of all the differences between you – whether it be concerning drugs or cleanliness – and brainstorm potential solutions or common ground you can agree on.

Then take your conversation elsewhere where you won’t be interrupted – either in the house or off-site – and start discussions one point at a time.

It’s likely that during this second date you might bump into another argument.

But rather than dwelling on what went wrong, focus on how you both felt in that moment and why it happened in the first place – this will give you insight as how to avoid such clashes in future when faced with similar issues.

Finally, come up with strategies for how each of you will react differently should a quarrel take place again; identifying what constitutes as an inappropriate action helps set boundaries for these types of situations going forward.

Talking About Sex: An Essential Date For Couples To Spice Up Their Relationship

Talking About Sex

Talking about sex and intimacy might be a difficult subject for some couples, but it is absolutely necessary to talk about them.

Research shows that couples who openly discuss their sex life are more likely to have better sex and the women in these couples even enjoy more frequent orgasms.

When asked to have this kind of conversation, many couples may feel uncomfortable due to the different backgrounds they come from.

For instance, one partner may have had a family that spoke openly about sex, while the other’s father would’ve passed out at the mention of such topics.

In order to make this date as successful as possible, it’s important to plan ahead and create a comfortable atmosphere.

A romantic dinner at a restaurant or secluded beach cove is an ideal setting and wearing something sexy can set the mood just right.

After providing questions that facilitate conversation between both partners, honesty and openness should be maintained in order for the couple to share what turns them on and which types of sexual activities they want to try but never felt brave enough to ask their partner for.

Remembering to be specific, such as pinpointing where your body enjoys being touched or which sexual acts you prefer, is essential before enjoying a successful sex and intimacy date.

The Fourth Date: Striking A Balance Between Work And Money For A Lasting Relationship

When it comes to maintaining a happy and lasting relationship, couples should take time to talk about the amount of labor each party is contributing, both in terms of paid and unpaid work.

A study by Pew Research found that discussing this issue was one of the most important factors for a long-term marriage.

But talking about issues related to work and money isn’t always easy—it’s often where disagreements crop up.

Trevor and Adam from Eight Dates found this out when their different ideas about spending clashed.

While Trevor wanted to spend his livelihood inherited from Adam’s father on traveling, Adam wanted to save it instead due to his poor upbringing.

This illustrates why couples should discuss their respective family histories with regards to money before bringing up any future plans.

It’s an essential step in navigating the dynamics between household labor, earning paychecks and managing finances both efficiently and equally in a partnership.

Ultimately, negotiating the financial side of relationships can be difficult but resolving these issues is integral for all successful relationships.

Take A Date Night To Talk About Family: Prioritize Intimacy And Ask About Your Partner’S Family Plans For The Future

Decisions regarding family and children are serious matters and need to be discussed extensively by all couples.

Even if you and your partner have already decided against having children, it’s still important to take the time to talk openly about these issues in order to better understand each other’s perspectives.

Every couple should find a date night devoted to talking about these issues, whether they’re considering having kids or not.

By discussing these topics openly and honestly, couples will be able to avoid any negativity, marital unhappiness or conflict that may arise from neglecting such an essential topic.

For parents-to-be, this is even more important because of the potential costs associated with raising a child, as well as the impact it can have on their relationship.

Research conducted by John Gottman showed a 67% decrease in marital happiness for couples who had a child within four years of marriage – an issue which does not typically come back until after their offspring has left the family home!

In order to ensure that couples make well informed decisions when it comes to family planning, both partners should take part in the process of pregnancy and birth.

Not only will both sides be more aware of what’s going on but also statistics show that there is less chance of conflict if fathers are involved at every stage.

Additionally, families should make sure they prioritize their relationships with one another – no matter how stressful it gets – by doing regular date nights or simply keeping up honest dialogue between them both.

It’s Time To Have Fun And Adventure With Your Partner


Playing and adventuring together is an incredibly important part of any successful relationship.

Not only does it help to add fun and excitement to a relationship, but it also give couples the chance to get back in touch with each other and strengthen their bond.

Howard Markman, director of the University of Denver’s Centre for Marital and Family Studies, has been studying the fun that couples have since 1996 and he’s seen time and time again how important play is for keeping relationships strong.

Couples that play together are happier couples.

It can be hard to remember when life gets busy, but having some fun – both alone or together – is essential for maintaining a healthy connection between two people.

Thinking through all possible activities you could do with your partner – things you haven’t done in a long time or haven’t ever tried – can really kindle the fires of creativity in your relationship!

Finally, don’t just plan a date – make sure you build quality conversation into it too!

Ask each other questions about why adventure is so important to you as well as what experiences over the years have helped unite you both even more.

By talking about these things, couples have an opportunity to grow closer together than ever before.

Change Is Inevitable In Relationships, But It Can Lead To Growth And Fulfillment With The Right Partner

Growth is constant in every relationship and finding spiritual meaning can be a part of that.

Take the example of Erica and Jake, who showed that it’s possible to support each other through life-altering decisions and changes – even if it means downsizing their lifestyle.

The seventh date in Eight Dates focuses on growth and spirituality.

One great exercise to try before the date is to figure out any shared goals you have with your partner, as well as what they consider sacred or how they find inner peace when times are tough.

You can also bring an object which honors your partner with you on this date.

It’s important to remember that growing as individuals and together doesn’t have to mean compromising lifestyle or sacrificing ambition.

Just like Erica and Jake found a balance between their dreams (and sometimes sacrifices) for their collective good, so can couples everywhere by rediscovering each other regularly through meaningful conversations about growth and change – including the spiritual kind!

Honor Your Partner’s Dreams: How You Can Make Both Of Your Dreams Come True

Partner’s Dreams

Honoring your partner’s dreams is essential in creating a lasting and loving relationship.

Doug and Rachel of Eight Dates perfectly demonstrate this.

When Doug wanted to pursue his dream of exploring his roots in Israel, Rachel had mixed emotions: sadness at his leaving, but understanding that it was an important part of his life journey.

Similarly, when Rachel decided to move away for medical school, Doug made the selfless decision to leave behind his own dreams in New York so he could be by her side.

By choosing each other’s aspirations over their own, the couple showed how much they cared for one another.

Ultimately, honoring each other’s dreams is key to creating a strong bond between two people–one that will last through a lifetime of love and happiness.

Therefore, if you want your relationship with your partner to go the distance, always prioritize their goals first and make sure that you both work together towards achieving them.

Wrap Up

The final takeaway from the book Eight Dates is that communication is crucial for any relationship.

Whether you’re in a long-term partnership or still in date mode, having regular, meaningful conversations can help to strengthen your connection.

The book offers eight conversations as a roadmap for healthy communication: enjoy each other’s company; learn how to work through conflict; talk about difficult topics like children; and most importantly, discuss your partner’s dreams and how you can help make them come true.

In order for the conversation to be successful, your partner must feel like you are actively engaged in what they are saying.

Turn off your cell phone, make eye contact and ask follow up questions to show that you are genuinely listening.

Together with regular check-ins and an open dialogue between both partners, this will ensure open and honest communication in every relationship!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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