By Linda K. Laffey, MFT
Having fun together as a couple, family, or even a group of friends is more than sharing a few jokes now and then. Much is accomplished when you can play and genuinely enjoy one another’s company.
For example, consider the bonding taking place and the trust established when you have more fun with others. In short, playing and having a blast together is beneficial—but it’s not always easy to make it happen.
Familiarity can set in, responsibilities can get in the way, or anxiety can eat away at your ability to enjoy each other. Here’s how to put the fun back into your relationships.
1. Learn About Each Other
It’s somewhat challenging to enjoy another person without knowing several details about them. Without specifics, humor and conversation tend to fall flat.
Take the time to learn about each other. Find out what makes your friend tick. Know what fears your partner faces. Ask about what motivates your family members. These details will go a long way to promote fun and enjoyment.
2. Create Together
Whether you take a day-long pottery class creating a funny-shaped mug or you renovate the living room, make room in your life to create together. Developing a project with another person helps promote genuine teamwork dynamics. What this will do for your relationships is to empower them by infusing them with loyalty.
3. Add a Splash of Humor
Let’s face it; arguments and disagreements happen. The happiest people try to keep some personal humor in their arsenal during these times. Not every moment during an argument is ideal for comedy. However, humor can “un-freeze” a tense moment and remind the other person how connected you truly are.
4. Make Mundane Tasks a Game
Domestic responsibilities can quickly get in the way of playing and having fun together—but they don’t have to. Instead of succumbing to the humdrum of housework or grocery shopping, try making these tasks a game.
For example, see how many red shirts you can spot at the grocery store. Not only will this approach keep everyday tasks fun, but it will help you to stay playful in your relationships, too.
5. Leave “Gaps” in Your Schedule
Whether it’s work, practices, family affairs, or a multitude of other responsibilities, schedules become jam-packed in a flash. To play and have fun with one another, it’s best to leave a little room for spontaneity.
This approach could mean not scheduling any events for the weekend or merely cutting some activities out of your weekly or monthly routine. Modern society tends to praise busyness when this lifestyle only fuels anxiety and stress.
6. Put Down the Devices
An excellent way to genuinely connect to others is through face-to-face communication. While texting, emails, and even phone calls are tremendous benefits in today’s world, they don’t provide the same environment that real-life talking does.
If you want to play more and have more fun together, try doing it in real life instead of over the phone. That said, when you are in each other’s company, turn the devices off and keep your eyes focused on your loved ones.
7. Travel Together
Couples, friends, and families who embark on adventures together often reminisce about the fond moments spent in one another’s company. Perhaps you go for an afternoon hike with your best friend or take a couple of days to drive the Pacific Coast Highway with your partner.
No matter where your ultimate destination is (if you even have one), the journey is where you can experience all the playing and having fun. A dusty highway, a muddy path, or a white-capped ocean—they are all merely a backdrop for the real focus, which is your relationship.
Take the first step…
If you are ready play and have more fun together, I would like to help. Please contact me via phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT