With Christine Kniffen, MSW, LCSW,

Therapist & Relationship Coach


It’s Time To

Start Having Fun!


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Are you really having fun?  Are you truly happy with the state of your relationship?  Are there times of relaxed, light-heartedness or do you alternately feel strong tension and disconnect with the one you love?  Do you feel that you ever, let alone satisfactorily, get to have that quality, connected time that you both so crave and deserve?  In its absence we can become short with one another and ultimately angry/hurt that things aren’t the way we had expected them to be in the relationship.  If any of these thoughts resonate with you then perhaps you need a tune-up on how to get back on the same page.  There are certainly things you can do in order to start having fun again in your relationship.  Once this happens the intimacy will just naturally follow, as the ease and light-heartedness make their way back into your everyday interactions.    The three that most readily come to mind all revolve around getting re-connected and include scheduling a date day, bonding through food and exploring some of each other’s interests together.

First, there are many relationship self-help books that make reference to the idea of having a date night or even better I feel, a date day.  When I talk to various couples I work with and bring up the idea of a date night or date day, the reactions seem to fall into one of two camps.  There is the camp that almost starts to burst out in laughter at an idea that sounds utterly silly and sophomoric, or there is the camp of clients who nod their heads in a validating way often stating “right on” for something they have been wanting changed and addressed for a long time.  A date day is more than just the sum of its name.  Yes, it has obvious value in that you have presumably set aside time to spend some less serious time together.  However, its value extends well beyond that variable alone.  Having a date day allows for freedom in the context of togetherness.  It is a wonderful balance of feeling unencumbered, yet still connected to the one you love.  Spontaneity should be encouraged and allowed to thrive on a date day.  Putting structure into your plans is fine, but just be sure to allow the room and the opportunity for plans to switch up and for each person to get to direct some portion of the day and ultimately what you two will be doing together.  That then encourages each person’s creativity and likes to come shining through, as they smoothly orchestrate the day’s events.    That is having fun.  And, it doesn’t even have to cost a thing.

Next, get reconnected with your partner by bonding through food.  I can’t say enough that I feel this is one of the biggest examples of disconnect that is facing couples and families alike.  People need people.  We need that communal feeling of not being alone in the world.  Sitting down and bonding at mealtime, with a friend, family or a romantic partner will simply make you feel better.  You can quiet the moment, rid yourself of the day’s stressors and “step up to the table”, so to speak.  Share your day with each other and remind yourself of the things you have gratitude for in this life, rather than turning on the news and becoming upset, alarmed or even more stressed out.  This is the time to look towards the weekend and both throw out some ideas for the ways in which the two of you can have fun on your date day.  Plan a picnic and feed each other bites of delicious nibbles.  Get started with the bonding process even beforehand by talking about the menu, both shopping for the food and then preparing the treats.  Better yet, take a fun cooking class together and later recreate the recipes.  Food is one of the true luxuries of this world and luxury like that should defiantly be shared together.

Lastly, it is actually a lot of fun to do and try new things.  Everyone needs to learn to step out of the comfort zone and be open to new experiences and adventures.  It’s what helps us to grow as individuals and naturally, it will do the same for the relationship as a whole, as well.  I’ve certainly had the experience of being quite confident I was not going to like something prior to trying it and ultimately having a very different attitude towards it afterward.  But, I think that feeling has much more to do with one’s attitudes and feelings towards change in general, as necessarily about anything else.  It’s good to recognize that sometimes saying “no” so quickly is just a reaction to those feelings.  If this is something you relate to then tell your partner about this theory on your resistance to spontaneity and trying new things.  Let he or she know that you will work on catching yourself in this habit and quickly following up with, “Well, I’ve never done that before, but it might be fun….let’s go”.  By learning to share and participate in some of your interests together, the two of you are in essence giving a little piece of yourselves to each other.  What great intimacy that brings.  What a great sense of connectedness that would bring to the two of you in this relationship.

So, be sure that you start to get more fun back into your relationship.  Schedule a date day, get back in that kitchen to start bonding through food and get out of the box and start opening up to the idea of participating in some of each other’s interests while gaining new experiences.   Do these things and you should be well on your road to start having more fun!

Christine Kniffen, LCSW is a Therapist and Relationship Coach.  For a free consultation call 314-374-8396.