The early years of a relationship should be the most fun and carefree, right? Not necessarily! If you find yourself in a heavy season early on in your relationship, you’re not alone. I talked with Andrew and Lyn, project managers for Toucan Together, about the early stages of their relationship and marriage. They went from a long distance relationship to a very intense first few months of marriage living in other people’s homes. When they finally settled into their own place, they were together 24⁄7 as the pandemic lockdown hit. While they enjoyed finally getting extended time together, emerging from the lockdown led to two, naturally melancholic people finding themselves in somewhat of a rut. So, they decided to get really serious about having fun in their relationship.
Here are some takeaways from our conversation to help you get serious about having fun, too!
Find out what makes each other happy. Doing things that make your partner happy is a great way to show you care. If your idea of fun is different to each other, you might need to discover something new or build your date around your partner. This could also mean freeing the other person up to do something they enjoy without you. Lyn took a pottery class!
When life feels out of control, hold the good and the bad at the same time. Don’t resign yourself to things being bad. How you respond to difficulties is still within your control.
Surprise each other. Be spontaneous. Take some risks. Make your spouse laugh. Fun can be one of those things we save for our day off, but try to make it a part of your everyday life.
Have a to-do list and schedule things in. This might mean planning things in advance. Intentionality is another key ingredient to healthy relationships. If you’re just waiting for the fun to happen, it might not. Lyn & Andrew talked about their love for traveling to new places, so they created an alert for cheap travel tickets. This requires both spontaneity and some planning. It will depend on what stage of life you’re in, so think about what is doable for you and do some spontaneous planning, or plan for some spontaneity!
Let joy be your strength. Fun is a great way to kickstart joy. Lyn & Andrew talked about having a reset of fun when they were down. Joy is deeper. What can bring you lasting, unshakeable joy that goes beyond your circumstances? Andrew and Lyn shared how their Christian faith brings them a deeper joy in their lives.
Communicate well. Take the time to find out what the other person likes/dislikes. Good communication is key to understanding your partner better. That includes asking good questions and really listening!
If you want to watch the full video of my chat with Andrew and Lyn, click here!