Spending time together is important for any relationship, especially when it’s a romantic one, and the type of activities you choose can help stack the deck in your favor while determining how happy you will be together. Studies show that couples who share new, exciting and challenging experiences report higher levels of satisfaction overall with their relationships.
Here are the findings from the research study, and some suggestions for how to use them to improve your love life. Pick one or two to start with, have a conversation with your partner, and go to work! You could be very pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Research Behind Challenging Activities and Your Love Life
1. Appreciate the need for personal growth. The reason why challenging activities improve our relationships – humans tend to seek out relationships as a path to personal growth in the first place. Our connections with others are one of the most valuable aspects of our lives.
2. Pick up new skills and confidence. Over time, couples tend to adopt the attributes they find in each other. Some long time partners even start to look alike. Increasing your confidence level makes you stronger, and strength is sexy!
3. Expect and embrace changes over time. Everything seems exciting and different when you first get together. As the years go by, you’ll probably need to make a more conscious effort to keep trying out new things, and those efforts will bear positive fruit.
4. Understand gender differences. Both men and women respond favorably to challenging activities. The difference is that they seem to be even more important for men, since our “genteel” society doesn’t require as much everyday challenge as our ancestors faced.
5. Seek out physical and mental challenges. Stimulating both your body and mind produces lasting benefits. You can go bungee jumping or attend a physics lecture – try to balance both aspects when planning challenging activities.
Sharing Challenging Activities With Your Partner
1. Participate in outdoor sports. Spend your date nights getting fit. Enroll in a co-ed softball league or install a basketball hoop in your driveway.
2. Sign up for a class together. Check out the adult education programs at your local community college, extension service, or university or browse the internet for online courses. You could learn a new language or improve your cooking skills.
3. Play games and puzzles. Join the Sudoku craze and work your way up to the advanced levels. Break out the chess board or play bridge.
4. Make new friends. Socializing with new people always shakes things up, quite often in a good way. Throw a dinner party and invite some acquaintances who you think may be interesting. Get to know the regulars by visiting a bar on their weekly quiz nights, or suggest starting such an activity and help it take off.
5. Start a home improvement project. Increase the value of your home by getting a little education, learning a new skill, and tackling a do-it-yourself project. Install new kitchen counter-tops, retile the bathroom floor or paint an accent wall in your dining room.
6. Camp out. Leave the creature comforts of home behind and rough it for a while. Explore state parks and brush up on your survival skills. Go hiking during the day and pitch a tent at night.
7. Try out new restaurants. Even dining can be an adventure. Ask friends to recommend their favorite out of the way spots or be the first to sample the new dim sum place that just opened.
8. Visit a museum. Observing art closely can be provoking. Take your time and examine the works closely. Research the exhibition beforehand and discuss it afterwards to get the full experience.
9. Take a walking tour. Set out on a journey in your own neighborhood. There are themed walking tours to suit any interests. Pick a guide who can show you which houses are reputed to be haunted or give you an inside look at your local government buildings.
10. Go boating. If you love the water, rent a kayak for a day or charter a sail boat for a week. You’ll get plenty of exercise while you calm your mind.
Grow closer to your partner by engaging in challenging activities together. By testing and strengthening your abilities, you’ll enjoy a fuller life and greater love.