Ask anyone in a committed long-term union for the secret of their success. Almost always, one of the top three reasons cited is the ability to laugh together. No matter how big the problems, or how many the obstacles, they will be most effectively approached with a sense of humor and the teamwork that emerges from shared laughter and a mutually positive outlook.
While some fun costs money: an amusement park, a fine meal out, a trip to Vegas, or that hilarious new movie, there are many fun activities that don’t cost a dime. Give your partner the gift or being a slave for a week, including the requisite master or mistress verbiage, pulling your forelock, bowing or curtseying, and backing out of the room. The results can be very funny, especially if carried into public or in front of the kids.
Both of you call in sick to work and play hooky – hang out at the mall like truant high school sophomores. Spend some time coming up with totally outrageous excuses that you know you will never be able to deliver with a straight face. If it’s summer, wash the car, and each other, in the driveway. If it’s winter, have a snowball fight or walk in the rain. Walk along the beach or in the hills or stroll through town window shopping.
Watch television together: not the dreary news but old Seinfeld or Lucy reruns which are just as funny as when they were made. Search out joke sites on the Internet or spend some time at the drugstore just looking at funny greeting cards. Tell stories about things that happened to you before you met and reminisce about the fun times you’ve had since you first became an item.
Take a foreign language class at a local adult school and decide that you will only communicate in that language over dinner, if nothing else it will really polish your charades ability. Take an art class and laugh at your own ineptness with color and perspective. Take a bus or train ride and make up stories about the other passengers, Sing Kareoke and mutually laugh at the probable response your efforts would elicit if you auditioned for “American Idol.” Pretend you’ve just met and try out some stale pick up lines to see each other’s reaction.
Life is so short and there are so many problems that arise and challenges that must be faced. At times, we become overwhelmed by the responsibilities we must bear and the energy required to keep our lives on an even keel.
Deliberately establishing “recess” periods gives us a break from the daily grind. Just as children don’t learn well if they don’t have a chance to go out and play, adults need a recess too. It allows us to return to work re-energized and renewed. The more we practice it, the more frequent it will become. Most importantly, the play time with our partner intensifies our relationship and can keep our affection green and growing through the years ahead.