Stress can turn even the most loving couples into sleep-deprived zombies who can barely grunt at each other, let alone go out and have a good time. If you can’t remember the last time you and your significant other shared a laugh, here are simple ways to have more fun together.
Ruts are normal. Nearly all couples face them at one time or another, explains Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After. Most of us don’t evaluate or even notice when our other relationships — friendships, siblings, parents — get into ruts, but we constantly evaluate the health of our romantic relationships. “It’s important to notice a rut, because it’s often the first symptom that you are growing apart,” Bowman says. “But ruts are not terminal, and they can actually be quickly overcome.” Stay out of a rut by having more fun!
Here are a few ways to boost your fun factor:
Laughter is referred to as “the best medicine” for a reason: It makes you feel good. When stress and fatigue take over, though, you might tend to tune out anything funny your partner says or does. Get your laugh back. Rent or go see a comedy or invite another couple over to play a game such as Cranium that incorporates laugh-inducing activities such as charades.
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Try not to take everything so seriously. By committing to relax, you’ll be much more likely to have a good time no matter what you do, even if things go wrong. The restaurant lost your reservation? The other couple cancelled? So what? Take it in stride and have fun despite setbacks.
Do something new.
Sometimes, all you need to do to have more fun is try something new together. Take a class, join a co-ed sports team or hit the road for a weekend away to somewhere you’ve never been. The change of pace will shake things up and put your daily concerns on hold, making room for newfound fun.
Bowman also suggests continuting to date. “As relationships develop… both people stop trying to woo one another — and that can quickly turn into a rut,” she explains. She suggests reserving one night a week that’s just for you: “Make a big deal out of it. Spend this night plugged into each other and unplugged from other distractions in your life.”
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Change your routine.
Often, fun comes from spontaneity. Rather than doing things by rote, do something every week that you wouldn’t normally do. Many people see change as a stressor, Bowman says, but it’s often just what a relationship needs to feel new. It doesn’t have to be extreme (a new job, baby, house); it can be as simple as one of you taking up a new hobby, eating out at a different place, or trying a cuisine together that you swear you don’t like. “If you are open to new experiences, you will have more to experience with one another — and a lot more to talk about as a result,” she says.