You can achieve relationship happiness in many ways, but did you ever think about the role being quirky or playful plays in how successful you and your partner are at keeping your union thriving?
If not, you may be surprised to learn that being quirky or silly with your guy can help guarantee a longer, more fulfilling relationship.
On quirky, playful habits
Playfulness and doing fun, quirky things stimulates vitality, creativity, optimism and deeper love, says Dr. Sheri Meyers, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Chatting or Cheating: How to Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love, and Affair-Proof Your Relationship. “Play produces an environment for easy connection, communication, teamwork and deepening intimacy,” she explains. We’re sharing a few quirky things happy couples do as a way to keep the romance alive and continually boost their bond.
Celebrate more than just anniversaries
What’s life without some celebrations? You may already celebrate your wedding anniversary and birthdays, but happy couples don’t just stop at that. They find ways to celebrate every aspect of their relationship — even when it sounds silly. “It’s less about extravagant outings and more about the little, everyday things they did together,” affirms Meyers. “In fact, being satisfied with everyday activities played the biggest role in couples feeling satisfied with their marriages.”
“My partner and I celebrate silly things like the anniversary of the day we got a cat, the date we went on our first vacation and even the day we moved in together. I know it sounds strange but always having little things to look forward to can really perk up a long week. We don’t do gifts, but we might try a new place for a beer, order from a new takeout place, or one of us will bring home a treat, like cupcakes to celebrate.” Tonya, Fort Meyers, Florida
Act like kids
Why do kids get to have all the fun? Inject some excitement into your relationship by adopting a more carefree spirit. “Just like children need play to help them de-stress, learn and be happy; adults too need play to help them relax, be at their best and feel more energized, present and loving,” agrees Meyers.
“For as long as I can remember, my husband and I have had a tendency to act a bit immature at times. We’ll chase each other around the house, get in tickle fights, wrestle and play practical jokes on each other. I find that getting silly together helps us blow off steam after a long week and helps us keep our relationship interesting and fun.” Melissa, Montreal, Canada
Leave funny love notes
Grocery lists and vague to-dos scrawled across napkins aren’t exactly fun or spontaneous. Keep your guy on his toes by leaving notes where he’ll least expect them. They could be funny, silly or just plain weird — but no matter what you write (or draw), he’ll know you were thinking about him.
“At least a few times a week, I try to slip a note into my husband’s laptop bag. It’s never mushy or cutesy, but I’ll refer to a funny thing that happened, or draw a funny picture. I know he looks forward to getting them and that my notes make him smile.” Taryn, Las Angeles, California
Try new things
Boredom can set in in any situation, be it work, a fitness routine and even your diet. So it makes sense that your relationship might also be at risk for falling into a rut if you don’t try new things from time to time. “Without a quirky, silly or fun element to your relationship, it’s so easy to fall into a routine and get bored. Play promotes spontaneity when life seems routine and decreases boredom,” explains Meyers. “Learning something new together, trying a new or different activity that we wouldn’t normally do, giving ourselves permission to be playful and silly, gets us out of the same-old, life is routine mindsets and into our heart and body.”
“When we first started dating, I was pretty timid and didn’t really react well to trying things I wasn’t comfortable with. But my boyfriend is really adventurous, so since we’ve been together, we make it a point to try something new and fun at least once a month. So far this year we’ve been indoor rock climbing, took an improv comedy class and are learning to bake French macarons. It’s so much fun.” Danielle, Detroit, Michigan
Give silly gifts
Relationships should never be based on gifts, but we all know it’s fun to give and get presents. But before you grab that generic box of chocolates, think about how you can make gift giving more interesting as a way to spice up your relationship.
“I may be the only woman that feels this way, but I think flowers are boring and I know my husband would never want a tie or cuff links. So we’ve made a habit of giving each other really silly, out-there gifts for every occasion, from birthdays to Christmas. One year he got me a life size stuffed pony for Valentine’s Day, which was pretty awesome and hilarious.” Sophie, Ottawa, Canada
Create quirky inside jokes
Every couple has inside jokes or shared memories of funny things that happen throughout the course of their relationship. Take advantage of those moments that mean something to just the two of you and make them ongoing jokes and an opportunity to laugh together.
“One Thanksgiving, my great aunt, who’s almost 96, said the most inappropriate thing at the dinner table that no one else reacted to, but my boyfriend and me. He caught my eye and we both started giggling despite all the dirty looks my mom was giving us. Now every time there’s a lull in conversation, one of us repeats what my great aunt said and we start laughing all over again. I wish I could tell you, but it’s kind of rude.” Ashley, Austin, Texas