Love Happy: Keeping relationships fun
Welcome to Love Happy, where we help you successfully navigate the ups and downs of relationship life and share simple tips for keeping love fun, fresh and on track. In this installment, we look at how to keep a long term relationship interesting.
Boredom busting strategies
Every couple needs to have a plan in place to keep things interesting. You can't expect love to be super-exciting all the time (well, maybe if you're Brad and Angelina), but since we all can't be jet-setting movie stars with an ever-growing brood of babies to keep us on our toes, having a strategy is important. Take a look at some of the things that have worked for me and my guy.
Keep a close circle of friends
This is a tricky one because obviously you want to make sure you're also spending quality time alone, but having a close circle of friends that the two of you see regularly is a great way to bust boredom. It can be very easy once you start living together to get so wrapped up in your life together that you no longer make time to see your friends, but the trick is to find a balance between twosome time and time spent with friends.
Why it's important: First of all, spending time with your friends is fun, and the more fun you're having as a couple, the better off your relationship will be. Second, the more people you see, the broader your perspective will be and the more you'll learn about others and yourself – important factors for leading a satisfying life solo and as part of a couple.
Get out of the house to talk
This is something that has worked really well for us – making a point of getting out of the house just to talk. In the summer, we sit in the backyard after work and just catch up on each other's days and once it's too cold to enjoy the patio, we go for a post-dinner walk. It may sound mundane, but it's where we can really reconnect and talk about things other than why the cat still uses the furniture to sharpen his claws despite the luxury scratching post we purchased for him or whose turn it is to do the dishes (his). We can talk about future plans, books we've read, what we want to do on the weekend – things that get us excited.
Why it's important: Making a point to leave the house to talk can help energize the conversation so you end up having a quality discussion, rather than mumbling a few things to each other before flicking on the television. Go for a walk, settle in at your local coffee shop or simply utilize your outdoor space to shake off conversational boredom.
Try new things - together
Nothing busts boredom like trying something new, and all the better if it's something neither of you has done. It can be a one-off – my guy and I did something called a "tree top tour" a few years ago that had us in harnesses, waking precariously along thin platforms among the tree canopy as the leaves were changing color. It sounds strange but it was gorgeous to be literally in the trees, and it was a bit of a thrill being so high up (not to mention the zip-lining down at the end of the tour). Traveling together offers the same excitement, as does learning something new as a twosome.
Why it's important: Ruts happen when you don't fuel your relationship with fresh stimulation in the form of new hobbies or activities. Keep things interesting by continually trying new things.