“It is a happy talent to know how to play” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Feeling like your relationship is missing something? Have things seem too mundane and predictable? I’m pretty sure words like boring, uninteresting and dull are words that you never hoped you would use to describe your relationship. Perhaps you need a little more play in your life.
As adults, many of us have forgotten what play means and what it even looks like in adulthood. Modern day life has many of us running from here to there. We’re juggling long work hours, parenting, household chores, afterschool activities, play dates for the kids and I could keep going.
The oxford dictionary defines play as an “activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, especially by children”. Please note, it says “especially by children” but keep in mind it does not say only for children. Play is not specific to children. Where did we ever get the idea that once we reach adulthood we have to abandon play?
Play is as important to adults as it is for kids. Your relationship will thank you for inviting more opportunities for play.
Here are some ways your relationship can benefit from more play. Your relationship will likely experience:
- An increase in spontaneity
- Improved intimacy
- More positive communication between you and your partner
- A stronger friendship
- An increase in positive feelings
- An increase in relationship satisfaction
- Better conflict resolution
- Improved resilience in overcoming challenges
So how do you go about adding more room for play in your relationship?
Change Your Mindset
First, change your mentality about play. View play as vital for your well-being, which makes it beneficial for your relationship. Many people view play as an unproductive use of time. Some even see it as a guilty pleasure. Can you really make time for play when there is so much to be done? The answer is YES. Yes, you can. Play brings joy and is vital for your relationship. Give yourself permission to play more.
Play with Intention
Be intentional and plan to play. With the hectic schedules that many families have today, you need to remember to plan time for play. Prioritize it and mark it on your calendar. Don’t wait for what may seem like a convenient time as you may end up waiting a long time.
Protect Play Time
Keep play time for its intended purpose. This isn’t the time to bring up resentments and unresolved issues to discuss. Agree ahead of time not to fall in the trap of discussing important issues and conflict.
Be an Explorer
Your idea of fun may be different from your partner’s. Keep an open mind and be willing to explore new things. Take turns choosing an activity and watch the magic happen. You may surprise yourself by finding that you enjoy things you never thought you would. Plan some activities but also allow space for flexibility and spontaneity. You can talk to each other about your new experiences which will help you bond and deepen your friendship.
Playing and spending fun time with your partner can help you improve your relationship. If you’re looking to renew and refresh your relationship, try playing more. It will make things more exciting and help you relate to each other in new ways.
Let the fun begin!