“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” -Plato
Today marks the third year of our partnership! As has been the “tradition” since 2012, we reflect back on our year extract on an aspect of our relationship that made happy, simple, and fulfilling. Despite it's name, we think that the 2013 secret is something everyone can relate to, regardless their age or of their relationship’s stage.
As per Plato’s quote above, make time for play! It’s a strong way to to connect with each other, to reduce tensions, and to build up the relationship bank account, where the balance represents trust. What we mean by “make time for play” is doing fun, valuable, and extraordinary activities that build up the relationship. It’s very similar to “Google’s 20 percent play time”.
The official Google blog states that this time enables “engineers to spend one day a week working on projects that aren’t necessarily in our job descriptions. You can use the time to develop something new, or if you see something that’s broken, you can use the time to fix it.” It enhances employee productivity and satisfaction.
We’ve found that it has the same effects on “productivity” and satisfaction in our relationship! Spend 20% of your time doing random things to enjoy each other’s company (to develop some new understandings or to fix something that may be strained)!
Do you think you’re too “busy”, too “mature”, or too “cool” to play? Making time for play shows that you haven’t let the “busy-ness” of your life take over your relationship. It shows that you can still be vulnerable with each other, that you’re authentically interested in each other, and that you appreciate your time together.
To us, play is a sacred unstructured time that demands our presence and teamwork, allowing us to refuel the relationship bank account. It draws us together to appreciate on a deeper level. It creates an atmosphere that is fun, alive, and unique.
Play isn’t just worth it in the moment, it can leave you feeling “better off” with yourself and each other – reducing stress and making future conflicts easier to solve. In addition, when you play, it attracts more play.
Play with these ideas
Below is a list of ideas that we’ve either tried or that we’ve learned from our friends. These are just suggestions to get you started, but we’ve found that our best moments of play occur in the moment (organically).
Sometimes, you just have to think about your relationship and you’ll realize that play is already there! Just be intentional and present with it.
Some of our favourite moments of play have occurred when we’ve been exploring new regions (even within a familiar area), wrestling, silly dancing, listening to pump-up music, giving each other random notes, teaching each other new skills, doing partner exercises, and spending time with children or youth!
Some ideas from other couples include using “Groupons” to explore eateries and to travel the world together, creating unique games with regular household items, going for enjoyable walks, getting a dog to raise together, playing board games or cooperative video games once a week, and trying out the city’s most unique activities together.
Send us some text or pictures that capture you and your partner in play. Hook us up on our Relationship Zen Facebook group!