Last month we talked about how important it is to actively strengthen your relationship with your partner or spouse. My number one suggestion was to spend time together doing meaningful activities. If you had trouble thinking of hobbies you could pursue with your spouse, never fear, I’ve assembled a list of pastimes that may peak your interest.
1. Local music. Not everyone lives in a city with a great local music scene, but if you do, take advantage. Find out which bars host regular shows and go check them out with your partner. Often you can see two or three bands in a single night; sometimes there’s a small cover charge and sometimes you get a totally free show. Note your favorite acts and then follow them around town.
2. Train for an athletic competition. This could be a half marathon, a full marathon, a triathlon, even body building. If you’re unsure of the options for these sorts of competitions, ask at your gym. You and your partner can help keep each other motivated (and enjoy the results–hey there hard body!).
3. Learn about wine. Or beer. Or gin. Whatever’s your poison. Take a class or regularly attend tastings to educate yourself and your spouse. Take it one step further and make wine, brew beer or infuse liquor at home.
4. Take tennis or golf lessons in the warmer months. Once you have the basics mastered, commit to playing together on a regular basis. Take skiing or snowboarding lessons in the colder months. Commit to braving the snow together on a regular basis. Anytime you can combine spending time together with something that’s good for your health is a win.
5. Travel. Any trip is a great opportunity to make memories but I think trips that incorporate some adventure are especially meaningful. My husband and I once ended up in the Costa Rican countryside with a flat tire, an incomplete set of tools to change it, and no cell phone–a bit stressful in the moment, but a funny story after the fact. Your trips don’t have to be extravagant. What if you traveled to a new ballpark each summer and took in a couple games while also exploring whatever city you’re in? Road trips provide a lot of down time to talk and reconnect.
6. Take a cooking class together. Some classes actually have you get your hands dirty with chopping and measuring ingredients; others have you watch a master chef make an entire meal for you while you enjoy a glass of wine. Pick whichever is most appealing to you; either way you’ll get a great meal (and memories) out of it.
7. Pursue an art form together. Make stained glass or throw pottery or paint or blow glass.
8. League or intramural sports. Bowling, softball, soccer–organize a group of couples to play weekly through a community ed program. Warning: this is probably best for couples who aren’t too competitive. No need to create an opportunity to yell at each other about missed goals or strike outs.
9. Hiking, biking, or boating. Reserve several hours each Saturday morning for the activity of your choice. Get away from phones and tablets and the daily grind and reconnect while climbing hills or navigating a kayak.
10. Find a cause you both believe in and volunteer regularly for it. A friend of mine loves animals, and she and her husband go to the Humane Society several times a week to walk the dogs there. They get a little bit of exercise in, talk about their days while walking, all while doing something good in their community.