Can I set default dates in a date field to anything besides current date?

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I'd like to be able to set the default date to a date 3 weeks from the date in another field by default, but then be able to write over it later.

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If the records are being created by a form and not in Grid edit, you can use Form Rules.  Make a formula date field called [Today plus 3 weeks] to be the formula

Todays() + Weeks(3)

Then a form rule

When [My date field] is (blank)

Change {My date field] to the value in the field [Today plus 3 weeks]