Lighten up with the one you love – get out and PLAY! (Episode 302)
How much do you really play with your partner? Play is such a huge part of our childhoods, yet is often the first thing to go as an adult. And, the more we can create a relationship with play, the deeper many relationships can go.
Once again, while I want to talk about your most intimate relationship, this can span beyond it. Our most intimate relationship is our spouse/partner/significant other we are choosing to live life with. Last month we focused on the inner work that is needed to really create a relationship with yourself. Every relationship starts from the outward in. It's looking at yourself first. And the next step is the next most vulnerable and intimate relationship, and that's with our partners.
Beyond that, the tools we learn to navigate our own mental and emotional health as well as our most intimate relationship outside of ourselves become the tools that help us with every relationship beyond.
Old Habits Die Hard
It can be easy to just get lost in habits - and we get into a rut of routine in our lives. There are seasons where we flat muscle through, where basic sleep and survival are about all we need to focus on.
Yet getting stuck in that season makes for one stressed-out life. What do you want your day-to-day to look like? Nathan and I have talked a lot about creating a life you don't want to escape from. That means not just postponing things that bring you joy until you have time for it.
Sometimes the same old routines and cycles keep you trapped in complacency - while "comfortable" in theory, you're simply trudging through life.
When you add in the spark of playfulness in a relationship, it stimulates growth and connection as you aim to keep things fresh and exciting and allow your relationship to evolve.
Here is a video from ages ago about lightening up and remembering to add more play into your relationship.
Sometimes we can take life so seriously. I know that, for me, I had issues with being offended. I would get offended by something Nathan would say and get really angry and frustrated about it.
Now, we're all entitled to our feelings, and every emotion is important to hold onto. We have a gamut of emotions - and the ones we see as more of the negative emotions of anger and sadness - all those help us to do is really recognize the importance and beauty in happiness and joy.
So it's not that we want to not feel those emotions. It's simply that we don't want to just simmer and stew in them.
The goal isn't always to be perfect or have everything go smoothly - sometimes it's simply about having fun and enjoying the moment.
Here is one other video that is SO valuable in learning how to not take things so personally:
What Do We Want To Hold Onto?
You know, the Frozen song comes out again - "Let it go, let it go..." That's really powerful because there are times we need to just let things roll off.
Is it really worth getting that frustrated and that angry over?
Have those feelings of anger and sadness and whatever other negative feelings that you have (disgust). But let it flow, and let it go. And then move on.
Because, in the scope of life, what do you want to hold onto? What will bring you joy, and how will you find joy and happiness in your daily life? Sometimes that means that you just don't take it so seriously.
We've learned that a good laugh can go a long way in alleviating any tension or stress that may be present, and taking a good look at the big picture can help us determine what is truly worth holding onto.
Try Something New
A great way to incorporate more playfulness and fun in your relationship is to look for what you can do together that is new for you both. When it's new all around, it levels the playing field - no tensions on what one knows over the other, and an opportunity to experience something new together. Try a cooking or dancing class, a new restaurant, or some other adventure that gets you out of routine and into something fresh for both of you.
The next date that you go on with your spouse, look for opportunities to have fun and play. Maybe you go to a trampoline jump zone, or maybe you go roller skating or ice skating. Remember, if you don't know how to do it and it's new for you both, it can be even better!
Fall down. Laugh about it, and get back up. And if you see your partner fall down, what are you going to do? Point your finger and ridicule them? Walk off and leave them?
Maybe what you do is reach down and help them up. Or fall down next to them and join them, because you are a team! And your relationship is fun, and it's joy. It's happiness. It's you choosing to spend this life and go through it with someone else. And that's a really powerful thing.
Whether it's setting a silly reminder on your phone, trying a new activity, or just simply making time to laugh together, don't forget to keep that playfulness alive in your relationship. It's the secret sauce to a happy and fulfilling partnership.
Pay attention to what has become routine in your home, and what habits you may be tolerating that really aren't fun anymore. How can you keep the spark alive? What can you add this week that contributes more joy and laughter to your relationships?