IN A RELATIONSHIP, MAKING TIME TO HAVE GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN IS TAKING GOOD CARE OF YOUR LOVER AND YOURSELF.
“Our relationship is flat. We have no alone time, and when we do, we’re both too tired and or disinterested in doing very much. If I’m being very honest … I’m bored.”
I hear this from clients all the time. The words may be different, yet the sentiment and conclusion are always the same. They may blame kids, work, each other, life in general and any other acts of nature for arriving at this place. They often feel too helpless and hopeless to do anything about it. A snowball that isn’t rolling down a hill — this is one that has reached the bottom and taken everyone with it.
What can couples do to turn this around? Is it even possible? Perhaps just chalk it up to “it is what it is” and get back to the plate spinning. Well, this article would pretty much end here if I weren’t a Relationship Coach, so let me share with you some insights both personal and professional.
First of all, it’s OK. This happens. It’s more normal than you think and for sure not a sign unto itself that it’s a deal breaker. It simply means you need to choose to commit some time currently being spent elsewhere back to yourselves and with each other. If you tell me there’s no time, then let me be straight here. Last time I checked, your respective attorneys bill by the hour. Believe me, if they can find the time — and they will — you can find the time right now.
The “Fun Factor” in relationships: Three steps
- Section one is getting back to doing something for yourself that you long to do or something that you’ve always wanted to do. This activity includes you and possibly a friend or two. Your partner is not invited. By completing this section, you become more interesting again. You fill yourself up usually to that place where you were when you first met your partner. Remember that place where your partner found you equally as interesting?
- Section two is getting back to the things you liked to do together as a couple before the onset of ridiculous workweeks and kids’ soccer games and piano lessons. This is the place where you both were before you became concierges and slaves to a paycheck. Sounds easier said than done, yet commit the two-plus hours a week you each spend constantly checking your BlackBerry, watching The Real Housewives of some major city (by the way they’re not real housewives, since most of them are never home long enough to order in dinner), and toying around aimlessly on Facebook trying to find your first love from second grade.
- Section three is probably the biggest stretch for most of you, and I promise it will be the most rewarding. Because relationships really need to grow, to be fitted into a larger planter, and with more soil and water to expand, this exercise will do the trick. Each month, one person picks something new that both of you have never done before. This could be a seminar, a series of workshops about couples. It could also be an activity, sport, cultural entertainment, or a restaurant or new cuisine that neither of you have experienced before. The one caveat is that it’s kept a secret up until the very moment when it’s about to happen. All of this builds wonder and anticipation and allows you to grow together as a couple by sharing the new experience together. Putting new grooves in your relationship is just the kick in the pants you both probably need.
Final thought on relationships and fun
Consider some of the activities that one or both of you already do separately — and begin to do them together. This could be laundry, cooking, cleaning out the garage. Take something you take for granted that your partner normally does, and turn it into a fun activity together!