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The Couple That Plays Together...

When was the last time that you and your partner did something really fun together? Many long-term couples have difficulty answering this question because fun has not been a priority in their relationship. Research suggests that one of the key factors in a strong and heathy relationship is a couple's ability to enjoy leisure time together. Couples who share an interest or hobby tend to have longer marriages and to rate their marital satisfaction higher than those who do not.

Do you remember when your relationship was new? Couples in the courtship phase spend nearly 100% of their shared time in leisure pursuits or simply enjoying one another's company. Couples in much later stages of relationships, such as those with children, can spend as little as 5% of their time having fun! During this phase of life, much of a couple's time together is spent taking care of the practical aspects of life, from negotiating finances and plumbing problems to attending obligatory family functions. When couples share a passion for a hobby or activity, they are able to spend time together that does not include parenting or solving practical problems. The bonus is that the shared memories they create give them something to talk about besides the kids, the house or the budget.

Can't think of anything that you both have a passion for? Make it a project. Make a list of ten things that you enjoy or would like to try. Have your partner do the same. If there is any overlap between the lists, you are in luck. If not, each of you choose something from your partner's list that you would be willing to try. Or, contact me to receive a leisure-time interest survey that you can fill out together. Don't expect to find something that suits both of you right away. Simply make a decision to prioritize having fun together. And most importantly, enjoy!

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