’10 Great Dates’ creators teach Holloman couples to have fun

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The creators of "10 Great Dates," Mr. and Mrs. David and Claudia Arp, are here at the Friendliest Place on Earth March 16-17 to teach couples how to have fun and identify skills to build upon their relationship. 

"It is a fun, male-friendly, researched-based marriage education program disguised as 10 great dates," said Mrs. Arp. "It puts the fun element back into the relationship." 

The northern Virginia couple have been marriage educators for 30 years and came up with the idea for a fun marriage education program when they were living in Vienna, Austria, and wanted to find a format that would work for couples in the United States. 

"We have a problem in America with divorce rates," said Chaplain (Capt.) Matthew Glaros, 49th Fighter Wing chaplain. "The civilian divorce rate in America is 50 percent and 75 percent in the Air Force itself." 

The Holloman chapel is the first stateside Air Force base chapel facilitating the "10 Great Dates" marriage education program. 

"The first five dates are to prepare couples for separation, teaching them to communicate and make the marriage a priority," said Mrs. Arp. "The last five dates help reconnect a couple after a separation, building a creative love life and help them get back into a normal routine." 

Mr. Arp believes all the skills in a marriage education program can be taught, but will not be applied in a relationship if there is not a fun element involved. 

"Each date teaches a skill which is the theme of the date," said Mr. Arp. "Couples don't realize they are being taught and it's a fun way to build the relationship." 

The couple said more than 60,000 people have participated in their program, either through the seminars or the "teach-out-of-the-box" method through the book and DVD of the same title. Their books are published in many different languages and cultures across the world, to include the Spanish version coming out this summer. 

The six-hour seminar Mr. and Mrs. Arp are holding at Holloman will help reconnect Holloman couples by teaching communication skills, help process anger and manage conflict, discuss problems productively and learn to encourage and appreciate each other. 

The Holloman chapel-facilitated "10 Great Dates" will be productive in making Holloman couples a large part of showing the world that Holloman is the Friendliest Place on Earth.