When your Values drive experiences, you’re on the right track.

We are all different, aren’t we? Unique identities with diverse upbringing, all coming together. There’s every chance you’ll share life with¬†people who, outwardly, are quite dissimilar compared to you – and it might even be in your own marriage! ūüėČ

So how do you find things to do together that you’ll both enjoy – even if you’re so different?

Choose to do things which you both value and let your Values drive experiences.

Mapping your experiences to your Values

If you know what you value as a couple, you¬†can come together so both will¬†enjoy (most) any activity. It’s all in how you frame the experience.

How does that happen?

It’s not about both of you needing to love a specific activity – like running, or opera or learning a new language or¬†enjoying restaurants, fishing, or renovating¬†your home… it’s what the activity represents to you. What do you value about the activity?

Consider these Values:

  • responsibiity
  • communication
  • sociability
  • mastery
  • innovation

Each of these Values (and many more – I just chose five) could be found in all five of activities above. It’s not about the activity. It’s about the Values that show up in the activity! When your Values drive experiences it’ll show up.

Husbands and wives who look deeply into their likes and dislikes – what they value and what they don’t value – can come to enjoy (almost) any acitivity together. Really! They just need to understand their own, differentiating Values!

How it works for us when Values drive experiences…

Rob and Lori at Seaons52 in Raleigh - Values Drive ExperiencesWhen we were invited to a new restaurant in Raleigh for a complimentary meal, we didn’t know what to expect. Their website says¬†

Seasons 52 is a celebration of what‚Äôs good now. Seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients at their peak of freshness.”

Rob and I talked a bit about the opportunity, and we had a sense that it might map to our own differentiating Values as couple. We love to discover new things, so having a new menu every season seemed like it would fit our 3rd Differentiating Value of Discovery. Values drive experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh!

So we went – it was a Tuesday at lunch.

This Seasons52 just opened at the beginning of April 2017 at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh NC, so this restaurant is new to everyone, including the servers!

There are over forty Seasons52 throughtout the USA, and are a division of Darden which also owns Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, etc. The General Manager has worked with Seasons52 for more than seven years, and has opened locations around the country.

He talked of how the company is invested in providing learning opportunities. His recent learning experience is as a sommelier (wine expert).This is especially useful at Seasons52 because of their desire to present all the favorite varieties of wines, that includes 6 new options which may be famous someday! (See? Discovery!)

What makes Seasons52 unique?

When we asked for one word to describe the restaurant, the sales manager. Cam, said, “Fresh”. It was fun to find out later that their Values as a restaurant are mapped to the acronym “FRESHNESS”

Values in Action

Seasons52 Raleigh lobbyRob and I delight to find companies where people are living the Values the company states.  (Not just as a static plaque on the wall.) This was true in our experience at Seasons52 in Raleigh at Crabtree Valley Mall where the team lets their values drive experiences.

So… what happened? (Yeah – you’re wondering, right?)

Friendly & Responsive: We were warmly greeted at the front of the restaurant, and seated immediately. I’m a larger person, (I like to say that I’m a “person of size” ūüėČ ) so seating can be a challenge in some restaurants. Where they seated us was perfect for me! We were at¬†a half booth – Rob had a chair, which he prefers, and I sat¬†on the¬†bench. The table shifted to make me comfortable!

Rob at Seasons52 in Raleigh

Effortless Service and Hospitality: I can image that someone with a disability would be right at home with many choices of where and how to sit. There weren’t any stairs and the doorways and ailses were wide. Even the bathrooms included a “family” bathroom along with a Mens and Ladies option with easy access for everyone. The manager explained that this new restaurant has a unique decor with different seating options in comparison to other Seasons52 which have mostly standalone tables and chairs. It felt intimate and comfortable, yet upscale.

Lori at Seasons52 Raleigh

To the right side of the restaurant was the bar and booths. Seasons52 carries a plethora of wine from which to choose, and more than 30 local spirits and a great variety of craft beer options. To the left (where we sat) were tables, and chairs, booths and half booths, along with two private dining rooms/areas.

seasons52 decor

Yes. There’s the option of two private rooms available for groups which can be configured as needed. One of them has AV equipment hidden in the cabinets if needed for meetings. I’m going to be thrilled to recommend Seasons52 in Raleigh for anyone needing a board meeting venue, or wedding shower, anniversary or special birthday!

But, it wasn’t just the ambience and comfort that impressed us – it was the food also…

Because the food was ah-mazing!

Fresh. Unique. New each season. The food was served and displayed with care. When we sat down, our server was so helpful. She explained the menu and options in detail, and answered any questions we had.

Rob and I had decided ahead of time Рafter looking at their online menu Рthat we would let our server decide what we should eat. Oh, my. That was the best choice! 

We started our adventure as Executive Chef Bryan Florence came to our table with a little amuse-bouche (single serving appetizer) of lobster with a bed of handmade guacamole, and other delectable ingredients. So pretty! (I must admit we weren’t sure we if we should eat it off the spoon… or use our fork… or… ¬†now there’s something to research). There was even a tiny little triangle wedge of lime. (Another Value: Detailed)

seasons52 raleigh little amuse bouche

Next, Haley, our server, brought us one of Seasons52 Flatbread options: All Natural Pepperoni with roasted Roma tomatoes, mozerella and basil pesto. ¬†This is one of Rob’s favorite combination of flavors. She couldn’t have chosen better. (Thanks Haley!)

It was huge! ¬†Rob and I started imagining that it would be a hoot to get together with a group of couples and order all the choices and share! Hmmmm… anyone game?

(Having couple-friends in the middle of marriage is important – we¬†talked about that in our first mid-marriage video . If you don’t have any/many couple friends, we have some suggestions for you in that post.)

Then came the appetizer: six Lump Crab, Roasted Shrimp, and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms


What a special combination of flavors Рwe were quickly realizing that one gift from the menu at Seasons52 in Raleigh is the pairing of flavors to make something new!

Combining ingredients to create something new.

What happened next was extraordinary. It was a gift from Haley and Chef Bryan. Three servers came with plates and plates of food for us to try, including an asparagus soup that Rob had his eye on…

seasons52 raleigh servers

Carmelized Sea Scallops on a bed of lemon rissoto, english peas & roasted asparagus.

sea scallops Seasons 52 Raleigh

aged cheddar, pickled red onion, horseradish crema, au jus dip

This handheld sandwich that you dip into the au jus (broth) surprised Rob greatly – he admitted that he would never order this by himself. (mostly becuase he thinks/thought he didn’t like horseradish). Yet this was one of his favorite of all the food we ate!


At Seasons52 in Raleigh you can trust the combinations of flavors to be so special that you’ll love what you didn’t believe you could…

seasons52 raleigh handheld sandwich - Values drive experiences

sauté of vegetables, Yukon mash, balsamic demi-glace

Lamb at Seasons52 Raleigh - Values Drive Experiences

pico de gallo, salsa verde, cilantro sour cream

seasons52 raleigh mahi mahi Tacos - Values Drive Experiences

And Dessert!

These are the Mini Indulgences – Haley, our server said, “No meal is complete without one of these.” We chose the Mocha Macciato.

mini indulgence dessert at Seasons52 in Raleigh Values Drive Experiences

And you could have rolled us out of the restaurant! WOW!

We didn’t eat the rest of the day. What an experience!

Make Seasons52 work for you…

You might think you don’t like seafood (or some other food) – our experience at this restaurant has demonstrated we need¬†to encourage you to TRY it!¬†Try seafood or your “I don’t like..” in a combination with something else – the Chef and his helpers are experts at making the sum of the grouping of ingredients into a special experience. Trust them. Being in the middle of marriage you can get stuck… try something new and fresh!

You might think this kind of meal is beyond your budget.¬†Lunchtime is a good option. Or try Happy Hour from 4-6:30 Mondays to Thursday. The selection of small plates for $5 each will be a delight you can afford. Fast food does not need to be your only choice on a budget! The middle of marriage has lots of costs – your kids are growing up, you want to do things for them – but you and your spouse are important too! Make time for each other, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Celebrate the good stuff in your life. Here’s a place to celebrate.

You might think you’ll feel out of place in this environment.¬†The team at Seasons52 in Raleigh are kind people and they’re going to welcome you. They’ll make your dining adventure something to talk about for a long, long time! Take photos. It’s important to have good memories to talk about¬†and this will be one.

Can you relate with any of Seasons52’s Values?

FRESHNESS: Friendly РResponsive РEffortless РService РHospitality РNew РEvery РSingle РShift!

What would you try that you’ve never had before… Check their menu HERE and leave a comment! ūüôā

Full Disclosure – we were given this complimentary experience with the understanding that I’d share our experience with you.