As I have said, healthy happy relationships do not just happen, we need healthy habits and habits require effort. One of the habits every relationship needs is the habit of having fun.
Your relationship should only be serious 25% of the time while the rest of the time should be lighthearted and fun. Life is difficult enough as it is. When we choose to engage someone, it should be someone who lightens our load rather than adds to it. Healthy relationships always have more comedy than drama!
Think about when you and your partner first met. You probably spent a significant amount of time in fun activities intending to keep them alive forever. When relationships begin, fun is more natural and effortless, but over time it becomes easier to take things for granted. Also, things get in the way of having fun such as kids, household chores, long work hours and everyday challenges.
Having fun has many benefits:
– fun produces pleasure
– fun increases bonding and relationship satisfaction
– fun promotes spontaneity when life seems to predictable
– fun promotes intimacy
– fun enhances the sense of friendship between partners
… and in the final analysis, fun may be the greatest influence on overall marital satisfaction.
So, just how do we add more fun to our lives and into our relationship? Here are some simple suggestions:
Give yourself permission to be a kid again.
You may discover that you and your partner are fun impaired. Many people have barriers to having fun. Resistance comes up for different reasons.
– Perhaps it is due to our society’s lack of adult role models for playing and having fun together.
– Maybe one or both partners have prohibitions carried over from previous experiences.
– Many people inhibit high energy play, possibly because such a strong expression of our basic life energy frightens them.
– Some people see having fun is not being dignified and some believe that having fun is unproductive.
– Many say that there just is no time.
Protect fun from conflict and resentment. Agree ahead of time to focus on having fun during the activity and discuss important issues and conflicts at another time.
Focus on teamwork instead of being competitive and having to win, and be open to trying new things. Sometimes our idea of fun is different than your partner’s idea of fun. Find out what your partner enjoys doing for fun and why.
Schedule some fun. Agree on a date and time and put it in your calendar.
Make having fun more of a priority. Take advantage of simple and mundane moments during the day. Here are some examples of playful and high-energy fun:
– Having a pillow fight
– Tossing water balloons
– Dancing to energizing music
– Telling jokes
– Eating ice cream cones
– Riding/racing bikes
– Cooking a meal together
– Playing a board game
If engaging in fun activities with your partner seems difficult, then consciously go against your resistance. Experiment with play! This will develop new neural pathways in your brain to carry pleasure. Remember, the principle behind transforming your relationship is that if we don’t act, will never feel different.
Sooner or later, bringing exuberant fun to your relationship begins to shake up your partner’s brain so they see you as someone who brings joy. When this happens, a new neural pathway has been created!