As I talked about last week, play is important in a relationship in order to keep you feeling happy and connected with your partner. This week I would like to share some ideas of couple play with you and help give you an idea of what types of play you should choose in order to get the most bang for your buck!
There are so many types of play, how can you possibly know what you should do with your spouse in order to not only have fun but to also improve your relationship? Well, like so many other things I talk about, the answer depends on you. To make it a bit easier, however, we can divide play into 7 categories: Social Play, Cultural Play, Humor, Games, Physical Play, Love Play, and Family Play.
Social Play encompasses any activities in which you are social with other people. For instance this may be attending or hosting parties or going out to dinner with other couples.
Cultural play is play that includes learning about other cultures and enjoying artistic endeavors. Cultural play includes listening to music and going to concerts or plays, traveling, and going to museums.
Humor is pretty self-explanatory but some examples of what it might look like in your relationship include telling jokes, going to comedy shows, and acting silly together.
Games can be used in relationship by playing board games, computer games, or making anything you do a bit more competitive.
Physical play is referring to being active. It is going on hikes, playing sports, and exercising together.
Love play includes sexual activity but this is just a small part of it. Love play includes intimate activities such as massages, hugging, holding hands, and flirting.
Family Play includes doing activities as a family, whether that is with your family of origin or with your children. This may include going to the park, playing at the beach, or making a fort at home, as long as you and your spouse are engaging with the family together.
You may enjoy activities from all of the categories or only a few. It is important to include activities from each category in order to have a well balanced relationship but there will most likely be certain activities you enjoy more than others. Those are the ones that you should focus on to maximize the benefit for yourself and your relationship. In order to make the most of your play you need to make sure that you are engaging in activities that are not only enjoyable to you but also to your spouse as well. Although it is helpful if you and your spouse prefer the same types of play, this is not necessary. In fact, this may be a good lesson in compromising. If you and your spouse have strong differences in opinion on some of the types of play, it is okay to decide that those activities will be done as an individual instead of as a couple. In fact, some individual play is necessary for a healthy relationship as well.
You can expect that the types of play you prefer and actually engage in will change as you go through different stages of your relationship and life. This is normal and as long as you are satisfied with the changes, is perfectly acceptable. You may find that at the beginning of your relationship you engage in a lot of love play and social play. When you have children you may focus more on family play and physical play as it becomes harder to squeeze in alone time and find babysitters to be more social without the children. Later in life you may enjoy more cultural play.
So how can you increase the amount of play that you engage in as a couple? Well first you can start scheduling in activities and making sure you follow through with them. Accept invitations from others, check your local community calendars to see what is going on and be aware of the facilities that are available in your community. Make it a priority to do something on the weekends and even during the week when you have a chance. Turn off the TV and communicate with your partner and make an effort to do something different. Interaction is the key with any of the activities.
Hope you enjoy finding new ways to interact and play with your partner. Please feel free to let us know how you enjoy playing with your partner! If you are in the Brevard County area, I have an assessment you can take to see what areas you enjoy the most. Give me a call to schedule an appointment!