Life together can get busy, stressful, and sometimes just routine. It is not what we intended, or wanted, it just happens. If we drift in our relationship, we will likely drift apart. We don’t want that to happen, so let’s put our oars in the water and row together to our intended goal: an intimate, loving, supportive, enjoyable relationship.
1. Party like it’s 1999
. . . or 1989 or 2009 or any other year that means something to your spouse. Maybe it’s the year he or she graduated from high school. Maybe it’s the year the two of you first met. Whatever the case, make that year the theme of a date night. Everything you do and everything you talk about on your date should have a connection to that year.
2. Dance with me
It takes two to tango. It also takes two to merengue, fox-trot, and waltz. If you’ve never learned how to do one of these dances—or if you’ve ever thought about doing any kind of dance routine—here’s your opportunity. Set aside a block of time to learn a dance with your spouse.
3. The subject is apples
Can you build a fun and relaxing day around a single random theme? Here’s your chance to find out. The theme is apples. What can you do with it? The obvious ideal location for this adventure is an apple orchard. If you live within driving distance of an orchard, plan a trip there. The closer to peak season you schedule your trip, the more productive your adventure will be. Naturally, your primary objective is to pick apples. But instead of loading up on your favorite variety (such as Honeycrisp), try picking a couple of apples from as many different varieties as you can find. That way, you can take them home and do a taste test.
4. Make a Soundtrack
Spend some time thinking about the arc of your relationship with your spouse—not just the highs and lows, but also the people, places, and things that played a role in it. Look for songs together that correspond with that arc. Create a playlist with your spouse that tells the story of your relationship.
5. Try Something New
Everyone has different tastes—in food, books, movies, pastimes. The fact that two people don’t share the same tastes doesn’t make them incompatible; it makes them individuals. It’s inevitable that there are things your spouse likes that you don’t—and vice versa. Here’s an opportunity to change each other’s minds (or not). Each of you will choose one thing for the other to try. It would be a shame if you and your spouse tried something new, and the result wasn’t saved for posterity. Be sure that you get photos or video to document the occasion.
6. I wish
Most wish lists are made up of material things—clothes, toys, tools—especially when it comes to Christmas or birthday lists. Here’s a chance to buck the trend. You and your spouse will create and exchange wish lists of nonmaterial items—things you would like to do or have done for you.
7. Eyesore No More
Find a spot in your community that could use some sprucing up. Spend an afternoon with your spouse beautifying the area. Unwind in the great outdoors while you make a difference in your community.
8. Did You Know?
If you have an hour or so to unwind, play “Did You Know?” with your spouse. Take turns sharing information with each other that you think your partner may not know. See how many new things you can learn, whether they involve pop culture, history, science—or something more personal.
9. A Hometown Tour
Lead your spouse on a tour of your hometown. Point out the places that loom large in your childhood, from your family home to the site of your first kiss to the first place you ever worked. Bring your favorite stories to life by giving your spouse a glimpse of where they took place.
10. On Impulse
What’s the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done? Here’s a chance to top it. With your spouse as an accomplice, take a giant step outside your comfort zone and do something that you normally wouldn’t do if you had time to think it over.
Though it may sound like an oxymoron, you can help facilitate an impulsive decision by doing a little preparation beforehand. For example, having a gallon of the right color of paint on hand makes it easier to impulsively decide to paint your bedroom. Likewise, researching local tattoo parlors and knowing exactly what kind of design you want makes it easier to impulsively decide to get inked.
Adapted from 52 Uncommon Ways to Unwind Together. Copyright @2019 Randy Southern, published by Moody Publishers, used with permission, all rights reserved.