Updated: Sep 8, 2022
Anyone else feel like “Groundhog Day” in your marriage these days? Other than stuff we find on our screens, there’s a whole lot less diversion and adventure while we’re waiting out the corona restrictions. In this post, we’ll offer a few ideas for how to make relationship or marriage fun again, many of which we use ourselves to have fun on an ongoing basis (spend a few minutes on google and you’ll find plenty more, for instance this google search with 739M hits).
Not just in our relationship, but in life in general, we need to find ways to laugh together. Even under “normal” circumstances life is hard enough and at times completely absurd, so we need a good dose of humor to make it through.
Trust, risk, and keep a sense of humor.
Sonika’s favorite saying has long been, “Trust, risk and keep a sense of humor”. In marriages and relationships, because we are together every day for years and decades, and because we get to see every possible aspect of each other – good, bad, and ugly – we often forget to have fun.
Not because we don’t want to, but because we get sucked into the myriad responsibilities we all have and we get out of the habit of laughing, enjoying life and each other, and just plain old having fun.
During corona times, you might even have a bunch of added stressors and responsibilities and you might be more inclined to say “F*** it!” than having a good laugh. Understandable. But still, without having some fun, what’s it all for, anyways?
Couples who play together, stay together.
They say that couples who play together, stay together. Whether that’s true or not, it’s definitely true that couples who play together … well, play together! They just have more fun, period.
Even in the confines of our houses there are lots of options to make your marriage fun again. Having fun is not exactly rocket science. Even if you’ve been out of practice, there’s still stuff in this world that can make you laugh. The challenge is finding the lightness and levity inside yourself, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.
Some of us didn’t grow up in families where fun and levity were part of the daily diet, and you might even have been reprimanded for “having too much fun” or “being too loud”. Those types of messages from our early years can make it really uncomfortable to let loose and show a goofy or hilarious side of yourself, especially with your partner.
For some of us, it requires a feeling of trust and safety before we let our goofy side out. Sharing laughter, and taking the risk to show up ridiculous, is in fact a great way to build trust and intimacy in your relationship.
So if you’re out of practice in the fun department, or you just never learned, go easy on yourself and your partner. Don’t take your attempts at not taking things too seriously, too seriously! (Phew, even I almost got lost in that sentence!) Ok, here are some of the ways we make ourselves and each other laugh.
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Fun things to do together.
Find comedy clips. This is a staple of pick-me-ups in our household. Find funny clips anywhere on the internet and give yourself a 10-minute laugh break. We’ll do it over our lunch or anytime the day is draaaaaaggging on or we feel bored or tired. This is a great connector with our son and daughter too (Our daughter showed a hilarious clip from The Adley Show on Youtube where a woman tries to make a treadmill by pouring soap and oil on her bathroom floor).
You can even make a bit of a contest out of it … see who can find the clip that makes you laugh the hardest.
Laugh at yourself and your partner. A great thing about having been in relationship with someone for a while is you know all their follies and silly habits and routines. This includes yourself, of course. To make it really entertaining, do impersonations of yourself or your partner. Sonika did a really fun impersonation of how I splash everything when I shower – we laughed so hard, I almost forgot to wash myself (and my retort to that is, “What, we’re IN the shower, if stuff can’t get wet, it shouldn’t be in here!).
I can mimic Sonika’s perfectionist bed making routine like nobody’s business and usually make both of us laugh. I help make the bed while I do it, too, although Sonika will definitely straighten it out further as soon as I look away.
WARNING: Using impersonations, goofiness and all the other wonderful aspects of humor are wonderful relationship builders, EXCEPT when you’re already hurt, mad or otherwise triggered. In those cases, stay away from using humor as it’s likely to add to the hurt more than alleviate it. Use humor only when you’re in a generally good space with each other.
Find silly games to play. Also not rocket science. Just google “fun games to play with my family”, look through your own games cabinet or sort through your garage for old games you haven’t played since forever. We’ve done all of these in the last month. Found a laugh-out-loud game called Telestrations where everyone gets humiliated over their terrible drawing skills. Or Mouth Guard which is so absurd I couldn’t even play it but the mouth guard gizmo you have to force in your mouth makes anyone looks so unhinged it was worth the try.
We even found old games in the garage; dusted off the old bocce balls and croquet set. Anything will do as long as you can play it. Or simply invent games from scratch (anyone remember Calvin ball?)
Watch the YouTube video of this post with Sonika & Christian
Other random ideas
Out of nowhere, tell your partner, “I’ll give you a five second head start – RUN!” and then give chase. You know much kids love to be chased, how it’ll literally make them squeal with delight? Well, most adults still have that hidden inside them. We chase each other around the kitchen island, through the living room, down the hallway or outside. Never fails to get your blood pumping faster and putting a big grin on your face.
We actually sometimes set this up as exercises for couples and singles in our workshops and you’d be amazed at the joy that can be produced in a 40-50-60 year old person when someone is chasing them with a holler.
Skip down the road. When we’re taking a walk in our neighborhood, I’ll sometimes grab Sonika’s hand and say, “Let’s skip!”, and we skip down the road like a pair of six-year-olds. I imagine anyone watching would think, “Huh! Isn’t that the neighbors … skipping?” but who cares. Sonika once said, “it’s impossible to be depressed while you’re skipping”. I dare you to verify her theory.
Create into the future
This game serves as a powerful forward-looking creation tool. You basically dream out loud with each other. No-limits dreaming. Finish the sentence, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if … “ and just fill in amazing things you’d love to experience someday. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had a yacht and could cruise over to Hawaii! Wouldn’t it be amazing if we made the winning video for America’s Funniest Home Videos.
In short, get a little creative, don’t let yourself go without laughter in your relationship, put the goofy side of yourself on stage now and again, have some fun, and enjoy the lasting benefits to your marriage!
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