“Couples who play together stay together,” says Gail Saltz, MD at iVillage. She talks about a new study from the University of Denver, showing that couples who have more fun time together also report more marital satisfaction and good feelings about their partner.
Now this probably seems obvious to you, but the ironic part is that so many couples are working very hard to be able to afford some fun… and yet they don’t make any time to actually do that. Another recent study found that couples are spending less time together than ever. It’s no wonder that, between trying to make a living these days, being an involved parent, and juggling various other obligations, “couple time” is hard to come by.
But all work and no play may lead to real marital disaster. And besides being a tragedy in itself, it’s going to costs a whole lot of money to fix, which most couples can afford even less.
Making Time for Fun
Problem #1 is that men and women seem to have different definitions of fun (stating the obvious, again?!) For men, “play” means a shared activity, like going to a game or playing ball together. Women define play by getting together with a close friend and having an intimate conversation. If a couple is actually going to have fun together, each one needs to understand what the other is looking for, and attempt to meld those two wishes together.
Watching TV or going to a movie does NOT qualify as having fun together. Although you are doing something with the other person, they are really solitary experiences. Fun is best achieved through doing something new and even somewhat exciting! This builds great memories and a history of good times shared.
So try something you haven’t done before with your mate, even if that means stretching slightly beyond your comfort zone. (A bike ride on a new path, going to a shop where you can paint ceramics, taking a couples dance class, trying a new restaurant…) When time is short try cooking a new dish together (or even an old favorite) while talking, or just going to the coffee shop for a quick cup.
For some ideas, check out Cheap Date Ideas at Marie Claire.
Do you and your partner take time to have fun together? What type of things do you enjoy doing as a couple? Please leave a comment with your thoughts and ideas!