BLOG: 4 Steps to More Fun in Love & Life
TOTALLY NORMAL, BUT NOT SO NICE
If you’re yearning for a little, (or a lot!), more lightness and laughter in your relationship right now, know that it’s NOT you OR your relationship that’s lacking or at fault for any dissatisfaction. It’s just crazy-easy for couples to get caught up in the responsibilities and routines in life. It’s sadly way too normal to largely forget about how important play and fun is to a marriage. It’s totally normal, sure, but NOT so nice.
DURABLE & DELIGHTFUL
Play may be easily forgotten, but it is absolutely important. Nurturing playfulness and laughter has a profound impact on the strength and longevity of your connection, not to mention your day-to-day enjoyment of life. Pursuing play as a practice strengthens your emotional bond, stirs creativity, fosters a sense of newness and adventure, and just makes the journey of love and life more enjoyable and exciting. Playfulness in a marriage cultivates adaptability, the ability to find joy EVEN in the face of adversity and helps navigate conflicts with ease.
Durable AND delightful - Yes please!
FUN IS NOT FRIVOLOUS
Fun is not a frivolous aspect of a marriage. PLAY is actually an essential element to a thriving marriage and fulfilling life. PLAY creates a positive and vibrant atmosphere, fosters love, and builds resilience. Laughing and having fun together create positive memories and associations and boost feelings of closeness and intimacy. By incorporating play, laughter and lightness whenever possible, you not only nourish the bond with your beloved, you help navigate conflicts too.
"Couples who laugh together regularly are 30% more likely to report being satisfied with their relationship." (Source: The Gottman Institute)
As you navigate the complexities of love and life, it’s crucial to maintain a sense of playfulness and fun in your marriage. It keeps your connection alive and vibrant, infusing joy into your daily lives. Don’t become a cliche! Embrace the power of play and laughter, and THRIVE in love and in life.
HUMOR HEALS - BODY, MIND & SPIRIT
Laughter is often considered the lightness that attracts people at first and the glue that holds relationships together over time. Laughter is magical. It’s healing and just feels good.
Engaging in enjoyable activities with your beloved also releases oxytocin, the "love hormone," which strengthens emotional connections and deepens trust. This hormonal response fosters a sense of security and enhances emotional intimacy between you and your beloved.
Beyond the emotional benefits, play, fun, lightness and laughter also have an impact on your physical well-being.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, your body's natural feel-good chemicals, which not only enhance your mood, but also reduce stress, alleviate pain and boost your immune system too. Pretty cool!
So how’s the PLAY in YOUR partnership these days?
Do you want to…
- Laugh more/hard together?
- Enjoy downtime, date nights or special trips together?
- Lighten up your dynamic as you navigate the inevitable conflicts?
- Bring some play to common areas of difficulty like communication, money, sex, etc.?
Then let’s make that and whatever your flavor of fun is, a reality!
90-DAY GAME SEASONS
Three times a year, my husband and I, (and my coaching clients), select their current shared priorities and set their most relevant shared goals to play a “90 Day Game”. The 90-Day Game provides a structure for accountability, supporting you to overcome challenges and create more fun and play in your relationship.
"Couples who actively set goals and prioritize shared activities are 50% more likely to experience higher relationship satisfaction." (Source: Journal of Family Psychology)
The 90 Day Games are all about having things between us, and in our lives, just keep getting better and better. Which is MUCH better than succumbing to the cliche or default mode in marriage of things getting worse and worse over time. Augh! No thanks!
January 15th to April 14th was HAWT with the Season of PASSION. Our 15th wedding anniversary turned out to be a super sexy night, which was a bit of a miracle considering we got in our biggest argument of the year earlier that day. That ONLY happened because we had set clear goals and practiced honoring what we said wwe would do and doing it. We would have never gone out of town or gotten past that argument and opened up for such a fun night had it not been for those goals/that 90 Day Game.
Now I always look forward to the soothing nature of the Season of PEACE, (Sept 15th to Dec 14th), but of course, the Season of PLAY is my favorite! Who doesn’t like more fun, lightness and joy?
SEASON OF PLAY
Now here we are with the Season of PLAY, May 15th through August 14th, yay! As PLAY is an essential part of a healthy, happy and hot marriage and life, setting 90 day goals once a year to focus on fun, laughter and lightheartedness is a very helpful HABIT to have.
WHAT’S IN A 90-DAY GAME
What your Game looks like is up to YOU. Don’t “should” on yourself, your beloved or your relationship. Consider me and For Better Love, your guide on the side. Use the list/map below as a step-by-step guide or have at it to adapt these ideas for what’s most important and what works best for you and your beloved right now.
- Consider what PLAY means to you individually and as a couple.
- Uncover where you are both inspired to bring more lightness and play to conflicts, sex, money, time, big decisions, etc.
- Clarify your current shared PRIORITIES in love and life.
- Create your clear shared GOALS for those priorities.
- Practice the HABITS that bring your shared goals to life.
- Monitor your PROGRESS, patterns and new possibilities.
- ASSESS what worked and what could work even better.
- Apply what you learned to set your sights on your NEXT shared priorities and goals.
…all from a foundation of a fun, forward focus pursuit of bringing PLAY to life as a HABIT, as part of your Couple Culture.
What would it be like if you not only had more PLAY and fun in your marriage, but you were actually able to bring PLAY to EVERY area of life, including conflict?
AIMING FOR AWESOME APPROACH
This is the Game of a truly great relationship. Or as Raj and I like to call it, a Playful, Peaceful, Passionate, (P3) Relationship. Because if you have a playmate, a sanctuary and a lover, you’ve hit the Love Trifecta.
- It’s the Aiming for Awesome approach that can bring you closer and closer towards not just each other, but to more and more of your shared dreams coming true too!
- It’s how love and life keep getting better and better day after day and year after year, by PLAYing a Game for creating more and more of what you BOTH want.
- It’s a Game for a GREAT relationship. It’s a Game, NOT for loving perfectly, but for leaning into Loving BETTER.
Create YOUR shared 90-Day Game -
then PLAY FULL OUT!
WONDERFUL IS WORTH IT
Anyone in a relationship knows, it takes something! A Playful, Peaceful and Passionate Relationship does NOT happen on its own. Incorporating play and fun into your daily lives requires attention and effort, but the rewards are WELL worth it.
Yes, it takes something, but as Raj and I like to say “Wonderful is WORTH IT!”
4 STEPS FOR MORE FUN
Use these four steps to make nurturing fun, play and lightness a HABIT.
- EXPLORE what you want / how to bring more fun and PLAY to your love, lives and even conflict.
- ALIGN around what you BOTH think might be helpful and create more lightness, play and fun.
- DECLARE what YOU will do and what specific actions you will take. Don’t forget to include reminders/prompts so you DO it!
- ASSESS what happened, get clear and complete about what you did or did not do, (compared to what you declared you would), what lessons you learned, what you’re proud of accomplishing and how can you can do even better next time.
EYES ON THE PRIZE
Make this fun, positive and use themes to inspire and motivate you to focus on what you actually DO WANT, to keep your eyes on the prize and to resist the drain and drudgery of any unhealthy/unhelpful default ways of relating or getting stuck in little upsets becoming big deals.
Spend your time on moving TOWARDS what you want rather than wasting your energy on analyzing and dissecting conflicts (“problem pathologizing”), and pushing AWAY from what you don’t want. Yes, conflicts WILL get resolved - when you reframe them into describing what you both WANT in that area, not when you waste your time going round and round about who is to blame or who should apologize for what.
Remember, play is not just for setting goals or creating special occasions. Integrate play, laughter, lightness and humor into every aspect of your relationship, including, ESPECIALLY your conflicts! Playfulness lightens the mood, fosters a sense of togetherness and makes your challenges easier to navigate.
You don’t have to be, nor CAN be perfect with this. And neither will/can your beloved. This Season of PLAY 90 Day Game, at the core, is about embracing a playful MINDSET, finding joy in each other’s company, and continuously exploring new ways to bring laughter and lightness into your lives - including conflict!
As life hurls all sorts of hurdles at you, maintaining a sense of play and fun becomes even MORE crucial. Make a commitment to pursue play and infuse your marriage with fun, laughter, and joy. Whether it's playing silly games, planning spontaneous adventures, enjoying downtime together, or using humor to end an emerging argument, let PLAY be a guiding force.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw
Now you don’t have to score your results like we do or even create specific goals in the first place for that matter (Although we HIGHLY recommend it! Check out the Action Option below for next steps). At the base level, my core invitation to you, is to remember that PLAY IS A PATH to the marriage and life of your dreams.
Amazing things can happen when you focus on bringing more PLAY, fun, laughter and lightness, to love and life and yes - even to conflict. ESPECIALLY to conflict.
Fun is NOT frivolous so make PLAY a priority today! Check out the Action Option below. And if you think personalized support is a better fit for you 90 Day Game, set up a complimentary coaching consult call now HERE.
- EXPLORE: First on your own and then together, take turns finishing the sentence... "One way to bring more PLAY, fun or lightness into our relationship might be..." Offer a variety of suggestions or options, but do not make any demands or be right about what to do.
- ALIGN: Say "Oh I'm IN. Game ON!" if you are an enthusiastic yes. If not, still be gentle if you’re not open to their suggestion. Say something like "I like the creativity, but I'm not really feeling that one. What else have you got? Or should I come up with a few ideas now?" Do this until you each have a list of at least 5 possible ideas that you would be up for.
- DECLARE: Choose 1-3 ways to bring PLAY, fun or lightness into your relationship over the next day, week, month, quarter (90 Day game), etc). Make them specific, measurable, inspiring and BE SURE you write them down. Don't forget to set yourselves up for success by scheduling reminders and posting visual prompts of what you said you wanted and would do. I like the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator myself. YOU declare what YOU will do and let your beloved declare what THEY will do.
- ASSESS: At the end of the 90-Days or whatever period of time you chose, "complete" your Game by looking at how close you came to experiencing what you said you wanted. Celebrate any ground taken and apply any lessons learned to doing it all again.
Then make it a HABIT!
Let me know how it goes and how YOU are bringing more PLAY, fun and lightness into your relationship.
Your Ally in Aiming for Awesome,
P.S.: Check out the PLAYtime Wheels for a variety of specific and fun ideas for creating PLAYtime together. Whether you stay in or go out, spin the wheel and then make it happen. You can even make your OWN wheels too!
But now take that out and put it like this at the end afte rmy signature. Maybe as a PS
3 BONUSES - The World of WHEELS:
1. If you’re looking for ideas to perk up the PLAY in your relationship, spin one of the 4 PLAYtime Wheels.
2. If you want to bring some lightness and even laughter to “Keeping the Fights Clean and the Sex Dirty”, spin one of the 9 Wheels to a Wonderful Relationship.
3. You can even make your OWN wheels to spin too!
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