Trying a new hobby as a couple is a great way to build love and fun in relationships and pass time together as a couple.
What more fun way than to have a pastime or a hobby you can do together. It could be something both of you mutually like, or either one of you likes or something totally new. Sharing a hobby makes a couple spend quality time together doing something productive or learning something new and it is definitely fun. Most couples in long term relationships often stop spending quality time with each other. How many times have you really spent even one hour truly connecting with your partner?
Samantha and James are a live in couple. She’s a yoga teacher and he’s a banker. When they first met at the Bali Spirit Festival, sparks flew. They spent the night gazing at stars and soon got into a relationship. They have been in a long term relationship for 2 years and live together.Samantha came in for a session and she told me they had no common interests. She said he was always busy on his phone or reading investment journals. The only activity they did together was catch up with friends for drinks over the weekend. Samantha’s mornings started at 4.30am and she was in bed by 9 pm, way before James even got back from midweek drinks with colleagues or clients. She really wanted to work on the relationship.
6.1. Help, we are so different
This is a common scenario in many relationships. Couples often don’t share common interest, which isn’t a bad thing. It is good to be different and we are all different. However, some effort has to be put into the relationship if you want to maintain the fun element. Taking up a hobby together, something totally different for both of you could be the solution.
Samantha tried to get James to come for yoga – he did a few times but felt not good enough. When he saw the others do a tree pose effortlessly, he felt marginalised and quit. He tried to get her to invest in bitcoins and when he started with his crypto jargon, she completely switched off. It is okay to not be too interested in what your partner does but if you constantly show a disinterest in each others lives, the relationship can become boring and it will move towards becoming toxic relationship. Samantha really felt James absence and planned to go for a yoga retreat last year without even asking him. He felt upset she didn’t find it important to ask him along or even tell him she was going.
Many things were wrong here. 1) Samantha assumed he wouldn’t want to come, 2) Samantha was afraid to get rejected if she asked James to come along as she knew he didn’t like yoga, 3) Samantha was hurting and resentful and she deliberately did this to hurt him, 4) James was hurt Samantha didn’t ask him come along, he would have loved a break, 5) James felt Samantha was rude and disrecptpful to simply book for a retreat without even telling him and 6) James was finding ways to do something back to hurt her. Can you see how a simple action is loaded with to so many emotions we don’t share with each other?
6.2 Find a totally new hobby
Asking your partner to change and love what you do is ridiculous and selfish. Firstly it means you don’t accept him for who is he and secondly, wanting to change someone and make them do something against their free will is definitely not a trait of a good relationship. Embracing we are all different and trying to accept each other without judgement is the way to go.
When Samantha and James started coming in for couple counselling and sharing how they both feel felt disconnected I suggested they get a new hobby together. Something both of them haven’t done before. Having a totally new hobby, where both of them were vulnerable will help build that bond and make the relationship fun again. By picking up a new activity together, they can get some time together and learn something new at the same time. A new commitment to do something together will increase relationship satisfaction, create new memories, and make them closer. No matter what the new hobby is, agreeing to work on it or spend time learning it together at least once a month is making a new commitment. Since the commitment is regarding something you both are new too, it can be one you look forward to doing together. The commitment to even search for the new activity together can get exciting.
Samantha and James committed to find a new hobby together. Partaking in finding the new hobby was a commitment in itself. They had fun finding one. They planned to do something new weekly until they found a hobby they could continue. Making that commitment and then another one when the right hobby was found allowed for multiple points of excitement in their relationship. So let’s see what activities Samantha and James tried.
6.3 Dance classes
Dancing is always fun when you aren’t stepping on each others toes. Samatha and James tried Salsa, Jazz, Zumba and Hip Hop classes. Dancing is a great way to relieve stress and it can make an interesting hobby. It also offers the perfect set of conditions to bring a couple close together again. Dancing can be flirtatious, sexy, fun, and exciting. It can bring some of that honeymoon stage energy back to the relationship. It makes your heart beat faster and the physical touch and sensual moves can be sexy. Samantha and James had a lot of fun trying out different dance classes weekly and making that one hour commitment did wonders for their relationship.
6.4 Hiking together
Since Samantha and James were both physically fit, they tried finding different hiking trails around their city and were amazed at how much they enjoyed nature . Hiking together can be very contemplative and meditative at the same time. Also supporting each other through a tough boulder and holding hands over hurdles definitely builds trust – an important factor in building connection, not forgetting having a lot of fun reaching the peak. Samantha and James went to Annapurna Base Camp for a week long hike. The trip made them closer.
6.5 Being in nature
Being in nature connects you to your source of being. Siting by the lake, gazing at the river flowing, swimming in the ocean, doing some gardening, gazing at the sun, watching the moon, staring at the stars, embracing sunrise and sunsets together or simply play with your cat and dog. These are different ways of connecting with nature and each other. Tree gazing is also very interesting. Trees provide us with a complete contemplative umbrella because their roots plunge deep into the earth and at the same time they are balanced by branches that stretch out like fingers towards the heavens. It is grounding as well as uplifting. Enjoying nature as a couple does seem like boring but trust me, nature is very healing and it will heal the relationship as well.
6.6 Join the gym together
Working out together is another good way to get some fun into your relationship. Being physically fit is definitely beneficial for your health and well being. It also does wonders for your relationship. Why not grab your partner’s hand and invite him be your workout partner as well? Evidence suggests that couples who sweat together have more connection. Couples who exercise and work out feel good about their bodies and of course themselves in the relationship. Working out is invigorating and can have physical benefits for the couple. James definitely felt challenged by Samantha’s level of fitness and tried hard to improve his running speed and do more burpees. His performance and fitness boosted. Exercise also induces symptoms of physiological arousal—sweaty hands, a racing pulse and shortness of breath. These symptoms mirror the thrill of romantic attraction. Working out together definitely made Samatha and James’s sex life better as well as their fitness levels.
If you both aren’t too sporty, you can still have a hobby that is fun together. Reading the same kind of books definitely is one of them. Samantha and James and Katrina loved reading. She was into horror fiction while he preferred non fiction books. They both started reading love classics together and throughly enjoyed it. They had a deeper bond and more things to talk about. They gave their opinions on the plot and characters and spent more time talking with each other. Getting immersed in a book doesn’t need to be a solitary experience – it can be done as a couple. Taking turns in choosing the books you read together also helps you understand aspects of your partner’s personality you didn’t know existed. Samantha and James also started reading classics and she was shocked James enjoyed Jane Austen and Shakespeare. (He was shocked too!)
6.8. Painting and pottery
These activities involve your hands and can be very therapeutic. When you do it with a partner it gets even more fun.Besides the newness of the activity, it can also help reduce stress and deciding on the colours and textures can bring out your hidden creativity.
Taking a cooking class together or cooking for one another is a great way to have fun. Imagining whipping up a great steak for him and sharing it with a nice bottle of wine? Samatha and James started cooking weekly for each other. Experimenting new recipes, food tasting, plating and setting up the table made the entire meal fun and exciting. There were times the food got burnt or didn’t taste nice and they threw it away and ordered a take-in, but the time spent cooking together was always fun. They enjoyed buying the groceries. Before James never enjoyed going to the supermarket, now he enjoyed walking through aisles looking for special ingredients Samantha asked for. They even started watching cooking shows together and pretended to be “masterchefs”. They also attended cooking classes to get better at the skill and this became one of their favourite activities since they both loved food so much.
6.10 Learn a new language together
Learning a new language together is hard on your own – it is tough to stay motivated. When you do it as a couple, you can encourage each other along the path of your progress and turn your language learning into a playful challenge. Samatha and James decided to learn Spanish online. Though they aren’t a competitive couple they did try to see who could go through more lessons quickly. Also when you learn a language you need real live conversations and having your partner helps you enhance your skills and cement the pronunciation. They enjoyed having a new language to communicate with and on their next trip to Spain they felt excited speaking with the locals in Spanish. This experience definitely brought them closer and they enjoyed laughing at each others mistakes.
6.11 Doing something soulful together
Couples who pray together, grow together. You and your partner may not share the same philosophy of a spiritual or religious connection. However more and more people are recognising the presence of a soulful practice as a fundamental addition in their relationships. Going vegan or vegetarian together is one such thing. James tried doing meat-free days to keep Samantha company and he began realising he felt healthier and enjoyed it. Couples who develop soulful interests benefit from daily practices that enhance their spiritual connection. When there is a strong soul bond between people, it strengthens the foundation and thus their relationship. When the connection starts getting stressful you are able to weather the storm together. Samatha and James even attended a spiritual retreat together and built a daily practice of mindfulness. This made a lot of positive difference in their relationship. You can also consider charitable organisations, and volunteer opportunities that are mutually important to both of you and get involved together.