Couples who attend classes together, stay together

spauff@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 12, 2012 

Nathan and Allison Setka’s date nights don’t revolve around dinner and a movie. Instead, the couple goes to yoga class.

“We were just one day looking for a date idea that didn’t involve food,” Allison said. They signed up for Art of Yoga’s Detox workshop, a class that combines yoga with a healthy diet program.

Nathan said his wife likes exercise focused on rehabilitation, while his workouts tend be more aggressive. The yoga classes combine fitness and meditation.

“It’s very therapeutic, especially after an intense workout,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”

Allison said the class gives her and Nathan a chance to spend time together.

“We’re both working professionals, we have three kids. It’s something for him and me to do together,” she said.

Allison, who works as a marriage and family therapist, said she thinks activities, like a date night or taking a class together, can improve a couples’ relationship.

“Anything you can do outside of the ordinary, anything you can do with your spouse that reminds you of why you are a couple in the first place is good,” she said.

Patrick Lesher and Hazel Hall, who have been dating for two years, said they signed up for the yoga detox class because they were looking for another way to exercise.

Patrick said they motivate each other to keep going to classes, and they grocery-shop for healthy meals together.

“It’s a lot more relaxing than going to the gym,” Hazel said of the class. “We always talk about how good we feel afterwards.”

Melissa and David Moore, who have been married for 18 years, recently decided to take cooking classes at Dinner Divas for their date night.

“We generally go to dinner and a movie, so I was thrilled to see a new date night possibility,” she wrote in an email. “It was my idea, but my husband is very excited about it!” Moore does most of the cooking in their house right now, but her husband “makes a mean lasagna,” she said. The couple also golfs and mountain bikes together and Melissa said she thinks their relationship has gotten stronger since they share interests and hobbies.

Bev and Wren Harris have been married nearly half a century. They grew up together and eloped to Isabella, Ga., when she was 16 and he was 18. They ran a small business, selling and repairing two-way radios for 18 years.

“We do our whole lives together,” Bev said. Now, they take classes together through the Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning at the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center at Columbus State University. The program offers classes in a variety of subjects, including creative writing, current events, history and art to people ages 55 and older.

“It’s a very good way to socialize and get to know people,” Bev said.

When the couple took a creative writing course together, Wren said, they would read each other’s writing and offer help with assignments. They said the classes were a great way for couples to stay in tune with each other.

“We’ve been married nearly 50 years and there’s never been a year that we didn’t find out something about each other,” Wren said.

Sara Pauff, 706-320-4469

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