If you are reading this, then you know how important it is to have activities to do with your life partner. “Bonding now, is what makes you bound for life.” I suggest reading that every day otherwise you won’t have a very long relationship. No relationship should be held together by going to the movies once a week or having a date night every Saturday. Relationships need to have constant activities or ones that last for a longer duration than a day.
Other than the general benefits to participating in bonding strategies, here are 6.5 benefits you may not have captured.
1 It becomes a filler for those moments when there is nothing else to talk about
2 It feeds the relationship a constant positive energy that prevents fights from occurring
3 It produces an “inner”-bonding form rather than an outer
4 It provides a constant stream of memories that are much less forgotten than “that one movie we saw two years ago”
5 It serenades the primary-self out and holds the disowned-self back – More on this at Understanding Relationships
6 It is far greater for your psychological health than you already know
6.5 It increases not only the quality of your life and relationship, but also your longevity
Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives. – C.S. Lewis
And when is the most affection shown? When there are bonding experiences taking place. Something funny I came across while I was researching for this post was that I had to go through dozens of articles about the importance of bonding with your newborns and the importance of touch, communication and constant attention. At first I ignored it but then I thought I could use it as an analogy. — No matter how mature and long a relationship has been, it must be treated as a baby. You have to rock it to sleep every night, you have to feed it and clean up its messes, you have to set it as your top priority and keep it there, and you have to constantly play with it and make it entertaining.
Now, for you, here are the Out-Of-The-Box relationship bonding activities for you and your love to do together.
- Print out a map of the U.S that only shows the states. Now, when driving to places together, keep an eye out for state license plates and highlight each state which license plate you have seen. (I have seen 39 out of all the states) If you can, throw in the Canadian Provinces too! Now this is something you can do every time you are out together and it offers a burst of excitement each time one of you see it. It also encourages the two of you to travel! Note: Both must see it together. This will keep the other from sleeping during the road trip or it will give you a reason to wake the other up. – I’m experienced with this.
- Each of you choose a relatively short book you want to read. Give it to the other and have them read it. Instead of designating a certain time each week to sit down like a book club, just share what you have learned and what the other might have wanted to known about the book you are reading. Be their brain and get involved in their interests. Both need to take part to make it work.
- A picture a day will make it okay when nostalgia comes your way. I have experienced, as well as heard others talk about their feelings when nostalgia hits in the relationship. After a duration of time, one’s memory can only collect the most special moments of the beginning of the relationship. I encourage you to take a picture of your partner each day so that you can see how they change and it helps with remembering the smaller moments. It does not have to be a professional picture, just snap a picture and keep it in a file on your computer. Do it even if your love doesn’t want you to, they will eventually just go with it. They don’t have a choice and they will understand why you did what you did when you show them two years from now.
- The note. Have a long piece of paper that you tape up to a cabinet or the fridge for you and your partner to write on each morning. Whoever wakes up first, writes in it first. Let it be the first thing you do in the morning to start the relationship off on a positive note. The second person will write a response and compliment the other on what they love about them. Keep them short, to the point and sweeter than chocolate. Once a week you should have to replace the paper and start fresh. Keep this up and make it a ritual. Save the pages, they are perfect remedies to nurture each other after a fight.
- The above is primarily focused on the gratitude of each other, but now it’s time to be grateful for something in your life unrelated to the relationship. Each day make it a goal to share with each other one thing you are grateful for that day. It can be having a powerful vacuum, Starbucks, comfy pants, caring parents, food in the fridge – anything. Let it come to you as the day goes on, catch yourself thinking “Wow I’m happy for this” and share it with your partner. If it doesn’t happen during the day, search for the one grateful thing before sleep and tell your partner. I am sure you have heard that you can’t love another until you learn to love yourself. The same goes with gratitude. You cannot be truly grateful for the actions your partner takes to improve the relationship if you can’t first be grateful for the positive occurrences in your daily life. Not only will this boost your individual optimistic energy, but you are now connecting and sharing that energy with your loved one.
- Lastly, be weird. This one truly is out-of-the-box. In every relationship one forgets how they acquired the attention of the other in the beginning. Generally, the lady loved the man’s humor. But as the relationship extends, men become less humorous. We get comfortable and forget that we have to constantly “keep the baby entertained”. Be weird, be crazy, be different and make your life partner laugh. If you don’t do any of the other bonding activities, do this and do it constantly.
Have you heard of the magic relationship ratio of 5:1?
Bonding is central to relationship success. Let these activities be your strategy to maintain the strength of your union. You now have your constant 5 positive daily interactions (Plus One For Continuous Improvement), the rest is up to you.
Stay Positive and Well, Stay Positive With Your Ratio Too
Garth E. Beyer