When couples first meet, they tend to spend an abundance of time learning all about each other. Since people continually have new experiences, change, and grow, maintaining an up-to-date understanding of each other requires ongoing effort. When partners no longer grow in their understanding or appreciation of each other the relationship can die.
So, to keep your relationship alive and healthy, spend time together talking about each other’s experiences, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and interests. This can be difficult to do when you’ve been with someone for a long time. You might feel like you’ve exhausted all topics of interest. If that’s the case, consider these ways of enriching your relationship:
- Pick a news item or recent news topic and discuss your thoughts and feelings about it.
- Share your thoughts and feelings about a book or magazine article that has captured your interest.
- Choose to read the same book (or read it aloud together) and discuss the characters, themes, and anything that’s caught your interest.
- Watch a movie or go to a play; and then discuss it.
- Play a getting-to-know-you board game. For instance, you could try To Know You Better, Table Topics (for couples), or Authenticity.
- Look up getting-to-know-you questions or games online and try them out.
- Decide together on an activity that neither of you has done, and go do it– like taking a wine tasting class or learning to scuba dive. Then talk about the experience afterward – what you liked, didn’t like, and whether you’d want to do it again.
- Visit a new place together for an afternoon, a weekend, or a longer vacation. Be sure to go someplace you both want to explore so that it is a shared adventure.
More important than what you decide to do is your attitude toward getting to know each other and grow together (whether you’ve been together 3 years or 30). If your relationship already feels like it’s on its last shallow breaths, be sure to do this ASAP. If you still enjoy each other’s company, consider these activities to be an investment in keeping your connection strong. As long as you are still enjoying each other’s company and deepening your knowledge of each other, your relationship will be a healthy, happy one.
Entries for the Relationships blog are for general educational purposes only. They may or may not be relevant for your particular situation; and they should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.