A successful relationship is not possible if one or both stop working at it. And not all failed relationships end in divorce.
You could be married for 50 years, but you’re really just roommates if you stop putting forth effort.
In this article, we’ll share the 10 key things that all couples should do together. These are true whether you’re just starting out, or you’re “old-timers,” who think you’ve got it all figured out.
Hobbies can make you smarter, stronger, faster, or more relaxed. Above all, they enrich your life. Whether you’re single or in a committed relationship, they give you something to look forward to and a sense of purpose.
In a relationship, hobbies can be particularly beneficial. There are two ways to enjoy them, and both ways are completely necessary to a healthy and well-balanced relationship for reasons we’re about to explore.
Find Your Own
The first thing you’ll need to do is find time for your own hobbies. Experience them by yourself as a means of breaking free from the craziness of the day and getting more in touch with who you are.
Worthwhile hobbies can keep the hands busy or the brain thinking. Ideally, they will do both. Above all, they are an escape from the obligations and demands that you will face on a daily basis.
Finding hobbies is necessary to the happiness of your relationship. It gives you quiet time, a chance to reconnect with who you are, and something to talk about.
Like What They Like
At the same time, hobbies are not meant to be partitioned off and kept separate from your loved one. Trying out each other’s hobbies can be a great way to bond, to better understand each other, and maybe even find something new to enjoy.
You should also consider finding new hobbies that are of equal interest to you both. Doing so can only strengthen your relationship over time (and give you plenty of ideas for shared vacation time).
2. Road Trips
Something else to list among your couple goals is a road trip. Yes, we know air travel is awesome because it can get you virtually anywhere in a fraction of the time. Also, it enables you to reach locations you couldn’t otherwise.
That said, you need to schedule a little time each year to go on a car trip. Choose a destination 5-10 hours away for longer trips, or a 2-3-hour destination for long weekends.
Traveling in a car together gives you a chance to talk more, enjoy shared silences, and experience more of the country and how people live. It’s an experience you just can’t replicate running from terminal to terminal.
3. Challenge Your Minds
Thankfully, you can learn a lot about each other and have fun in other, less expensive ways. In fact, you can do so without ever leaving the house.
Choose strategy games that allow you to test one another, hold a conversation, and engage in friendly competition. Things like chess, Scrabble, or Sudoku are ideal.
You can test your abilities to work together as a team as well through long puzzles or visiting escape rooms on date night.
One of the most romantic and meaningful rooms in your home or apartment is definitely the kitchen. That’s true for couples with or without children.
Couples who make the best use of their kitchens cook meals there, have dinner, and engage in conversation. It’s yet another cheap activity that nonetheless draws two hearts closer.
5. Journal Together
Some people are natural journal-keepers while others are not. Regardless, this is a meaningful activity that you can do as a couple with minimal effort.
Go to a bookstore or stationery store and pick up a couple’s journal. Some might offer specialty prompts for couples, but a decent-looking one with blank pages will suffice.
Next, take it home. Leave it in the same spot. Then, when each of you has time to share a thought, feeling, or encouraging message, for the other, do it!
This is a great way to express thoughts that might not be as easy to express aloud. It’s also perfect for being able to think about each other positively when you’re separated by work or overnight trips.
6. Say and Do Nothing Together
Couples in love do not always have to prove it through their words or actions. As the old Keith Whitley song says, “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”
As a couple that’s destined to survive, you have to be comfortable in the silences. Trust your partner enough to let them share their thoughts when they’re ready. Likewise, you feel comfortable enough with who you are to not require some kind of artificial validation through trite words and actions.
Couples that are comfortable in their silences are also comfortable in their love. Test it out from time to time by seeing how long you can go sitting in the same room without speaking.
7. Home Improvement Projects
As you move into a more serious stage of your relationship, it will be easy to find home improvement projects to keep you busy. That’s especially true if you’re a homeowner and not simply renting.
Don’t expect one mate to handle everything. Make it fun by tag-teaming whatever obligations await.
You can learn much about one another and develop a stronger love and appreciation by doing things together like painting, fixing the gutters, or yard work. Choose an activity, and go after it together.
8. Ditch Your Phones
Happy couples do not spend all their time on phones. In fact, there’s ample research out there to show that screen time is horrible for relationships.
When you’re staring down at your phone, you’re forfeiting quality time for more time in a virtual world. You lose touch with emotional connections and find it harder to empathize. This contributes to digital depression.
A better idea? Designate a portion of your time each evening for no screen time whatsoever. Put your phones in a separate room with the ringers off, only making exceptions when you’re expecting an important call.
9. Money Matters
Money talks are not sexy. If there is ever a topic that will drive a wedge between you and your significant other, it’s finances. At the same time, it’s the most important thing on which you can align.
How you handle money is an extension of your trust. It doesn’t have to be confrontational either. After all, it’s basic dollars and cents.
You cannot spend money you don’t have and expect to have a great relationship. Sitting down to budget together will help you both see what’s coming in and what’s going out.
It can help one to become a more loving partner by realizing the weight they have to carry when it comes to finances. If you truly love the person you’re with, you won’t want to dump that responsibility on them without their consent. You’ll also want to do everything you can to ensure a peaceful and prosperous life together.
10. Prioritize Your Sex Life
This is the one most couples have been waiting for! Yes, sex is vital to a healthy relationship, even if we have placed it last on this list.
When there are problems in a sexual relationship, it can create problems in every other area. For example, longevity can be something men tend to fixate on. They don’t want the love of their life disappointed with their bedroom prowess.
Fortunately, there are ways to last longer in bed, as you will learn here. For now, though, let’s focus on the three best things you can do to boost your sex life.
Commit to a Schedule
Healthy sex lives need both spontaneity and prioritization. Those things can sometimes run into conflict with one another, but it doesn’t make them any less vital.
Carving out time for sex is a meditation of sorts. It helps you come back to the relationship as regular meditation helps you come back to yourself.
Even so, it’s important not to place too many expectations or treat it like a routine. You should just carve out one night a week where you can focus on the relationship, particularly with intimacy, and let the chips fall into place.
Leaving yourself open to spontaneous sex is also important. Sexual activity in the morning before you go to work, or going to a strange location to have sex (careful with this one) are both ways you can bring back the unexpected fun of sex.
Invest in It
Don’t be embarrassed. Go out and buy sex toys or outfits. Guys, talk to your doctors about performance enhancement.
Even if it means spending a little more real dollars on your sex life, it’s worth it. That’s because sex can get you through rough patches and reinvigorate your relationship.
Have a Successful Relationship for the Long Haul
Having a truly successful relationship means connecting through mind, body, and heart. To do that, you’ll want to put each of the recommendations listed above to good use, and come up with some of your own.
Best of luck as you spice things up! And for more relationship tips and advice, check out some of our additional posts.