Everyone could use a hobby. After all, hobbies provide a great sense of purpose outside the office, they’re a great way to meet new people and pass the time, and most importantly, they’re fun. And guess what? They’re great for couples, as well. There are plenty of bonding activities that are ideal—and sometimes even better—for two, and they can actually help bring you closer as a couple. What’s more, the options are virtually endless! So read on, and we’ll see you at the Italian cooking class. And for more great relationship #inspo, don’t miss J-Rod’s Top Relationship Tips.
“Yoga encourages mindfulness, which in turn allows for deeper emotional connection,” explains Mitzi Bockmann, a certified life coach. On top of that, it’s great for your body and easy to practice anywhere—even at home—once you get the hang of it. Bonus: Yoga is also a great way to transform your sex life.
“Create a sense of adventure and excitement in your relationship by visiting new places together,” suggests Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, a licensed clinical professional counselor and founder of the Marriage Restoration Project. “Traveling is a great way to recharge your relationship. Besides providing much needed time away, it returns you refreshed and invigorated and hopeful that you can establish new patterns to avoid getting sucked back into the humdrum of everyday living.” Regardless of whether you venture near or far, you’ll reap the benefits. And to look your very best on the road, here’s How Top Models Look Amazing While Traveling.
Absorbing a little culture together can be exhilarating. “Whether it is once a month or once a week, try to appreciate new arts together,” suggests Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and relationship expert. “Check out new gallery openings or wander your local city to find a museum you’ve never been to. Learning about different cultures together will help you become a more enriched couple.”
If it feels like everyone you know is into cycling these days, there’s a good reason. “Being able to ride distances together enables the two of you to travel and tour cities or wine country by bike, or just take advantage of a beautiful ride in your town,” says Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, founder of online relationship community, Relationup.
“Volunteer together for a charity that’s near and dear to your hearts,” suggests Susan Ruth Freedman, a couples therapist and Board Certified Clinical Sexologist who works with Jack and Jill adult store. “This is my top choice because not only does it bring you closer together by spending time doing a meaningful activity, it also provides gratitude and perspective when you give back to an important cause or community.”
Spice things up by getting out of your comfort zone. “Jump out of a plane, bungee jump, or zipline,” says Vikki Ziegler, celebrity divorce attorney, relationship expert, and author of The Pre-Marital Planner. “Do something that conquers your fears and gives you an adrenaline rush. You’ll create lasting memories with just the two of you.”
“This is a great weekend activity and hobby that can involve camping, grilling, and chilling to your favorite music,” Freedman says. “Rent an RV, go on a road trip, and hit your bucket list destinations along the way!”
Enjoy the great outdoors and test your limits together. “Rock climbing boosts the confidence of each member of the couple, while also improving trust, as you have to trust your partner with your life,” says Daniele Condorelli, CEO of the dating app pear.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a great dancer, learning a new style of dance together can help you improve your teamwork skills as a couple. “You have to work together and be responsive to your partner in order to master ballroom dancing,” Milrad points out. Plus, you’ll definitely impress your friends at the next wedding you attend. For more great date inspiration, check out the 40 Irresistible Second Date Ideas.
Yup, we’re serious. “Like exercise, sex can be very much a hobby,” says Wayne Rodgers, a relationship expert for InfoGroupMedia. “It burns calories, makes you feel great, and is one of the best ways to bring couples closer together, both physically and emotionally.” Make a commitment to setting aside time each week or month to try new things, experiment, and maybe even spend all afternoon in bed.
Especially in races. “For couples who are in shape (or trying to get there), races can be exciting and also provide time to bond,” says David Bennett, a certified counselor and relationship expert. “There are many fun themed races (Color Run, Zombie Mud Run, etc.) and more extreme ones (Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, etc.), allowing for enough variety to keep couples busy all year.” Plus, you’ll log some quality time together while training.
Raising A Dog
If you are your partner are looking for an excuse to get a dog, here you go: “Multiple studies suggest that dog owners are more active and report lower stress levels than non dog-owners,” says Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Astroglide’s resident sexologist. “Both of these measures are associated with a more active sex life. Survey research also suggests that owning a dog may make you more attractive and more sexually active. The mere presence of a dog in group situations is associated with an increase in trust, cooperation, enthusiasm and even physical intimacy.” Sounds pretty great, right?
Turns out, it’s as beneficial for your relationship as it is for your mind. “Meditation encourages balance, peace and harmony,” says Dr. Paulette Sherman, a psychologist, relationship expert and author.
It might sounds a little cheesy, but having the chance to relive your best experiences together by collecting them all in one place can make for a meaningful bonding experience.
“If you’re into vintage, this can be a unique way to connect,” says Michelene M. Wasil, LMFT, a therapist who works with couples. “Take local day trips to scope out the various swap meets or flea markets and antique shops. This makes for great conversation and you may come home with a great find!”
Hitting the mountain provides a great way to spend time together and be active at the same time. Plus, there’s never a dull moment. “You’re on the slopes together, sharing the experience, but you are also on your own and independent and in your own micro experience,” Milrad says. “Sometimes, it is nice to be together, but separate.” Need some travel tips? Here are 5 Amazing Luxury Ski Trips.
Treating yourself together can be the perfect way to relax and recharge. Figure out a self-care routine that works for both of you, and regularly set aside time to indulge in to. “Go out for regular side-by-side foot massages,” suggests Macy Harjot Matarazzo, Love & Relationship coach, founder of The Love Advantage.
Wine Tasting and Collecting
If you know anyone who is into wine, you know that it’s easy to get obsessed with it. A love of the stuff can take you anywhere from a local vineyard all the way to Napa Valley together.
Sometimes playing sports with your spouse can bring out a side of them that you don’t often get to see. “What I love about playing tennis is how it brings out a competitive and playful side of your partner,” says Rori Sassoon, a dating expert and CEO of Platinum Poire. “You can also be boastful in a teasing way or show your compassionate side by rooting them on and empowering them.”
At first glance, gaming may seem like something that’s best left to bachelors, but hear us out. Research shows that playing video games can reduce stress, and if you find a game that both you and your partner are interested in—whether it involves race cars or conquering each other on the battlefield—it can be an awesome way to relax and unwind.
“Renovating an area of the house, redoing a room, or building something is a great way to be together while working on a common goal you can both feel good about,” says Jesse D. Matthews, Psy.D., a psychologist. Just make sure that the project you take on is a manageable one in order to ensure the work you’re doing together stays fun and doesn’t get too stressful.
Any hobby that keeps you both feeling good is a win in our book. “Take a massage class,” Ziegler suggests. “Learn how to oil each other up, hit pressure points, and improve sexual energy between the two of you.”
Hosting Dinner Parties
Invite other couples over once a month for a get-together. To make it even more fun, think of a new culinary theme each time, or take turns preparing the food and decor.
“Yeah, it’s not a hobby, it’s a job—but a job you’ll love as much as a hobby,” Rogers says. “Having and raising children is one of the most bonding experiences for couples. Being a parent ups the importance you feel as an individual, and knowing that you and your partner are mom and dad, or mom and mom, or dad and dad really creates a team spirit unmatched by any other hobby.”
Similar to skiing, “Hiking also allows you to be alone and with someone at the same time,” Milrad says. “You are sharing the experience of being together in an environment, but are walking independently and having alone, quiet time.” It also doesn’t hurt if you’re trying to get in shape!
For those who love being outside but don’t necessarily want to get sweaty, birdwatching can be an ideal hobby that allows for both travel and adventure.
This hobby has many benefits and is easy to do no matter where you are. You can even work on a puzzle together while one of you is driving. “Crossword puzzles encourage physical closeness and intellectual stimulation,” Bockmann says. “There’s lots of laughter when things go awry.”
You haven’t experienced true teamwork until you’ve been sailing with someone. Take a class together to learn the ropes, then set out on your own cruise together. There’s nothing more romantic than taking on the open water as a couple.
Learning A New Language
Relationship experts say the happiest couples are the ones that learn, grow, and change together. Learning a new language as a pair is an amazing way to make sure that happens. What’s more, it’s fun! “It always leads to a good laugh when your partner says something totally wrong and you have to help them sound it out,” Sassoon says.
Taking part in an activity with other people can be just as wonderful for your relationship as doing something alone as a couple. “Whether it’s volleyball, softball, or kickball, you can both participate on a team together, while also socializing,” Matthews says.
“Gardening together literally is helping you grow and create something beautiful together,” Trombetti says. “It gives each partner responsibility and is an activity to get you outside together away from all other distractions. Whether it is planting flowers or growing a vegetable garden, it will help you grow as a couple.”
Kayaking or Canoeing
If you want to work on your communication skills and be active at the same time, this could be the winner for you and your spouse. “It’s perfect for couples who need to work on their bickering, as by rowing the same boat, you need to coordinate with your partner and cooperate during maneuvers,” Condorelli says.
Get yourselves a great camera and be creative about capturing your lives together. It’s fun to take amazing photos while traveling and at family gatherings, but documenting your day-to-day lives together can also be an excellent way to live in the present and get your creative juices flowing.
If you have kids, take the opportunity to coach one of their sports teams together. “Coaching is one of those things a parent sometimes does because no one else volunteered,” Rodgers notes. “However, it can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do in life—and sharing rewards like that with your partner can strengthen any relationship.”
Luxe vacations are a treat, but if you and your spouse like driving, road trips are something you can do much more frequently. Alternate surprising each other with destinations to keep things interesting.
Because who doesn’t love eating? “Cooking together is a fun and also sensual way to reconnect,” Freedman says. “Spending time in the kitchen creating a meal that you both have planned and shopped for is a great couples activity. Make it a playful and fun evening using fresh ingredients, wine, and music! “
“Go paint pottery,” suggests Matarazzo. “It is a fun, healthy, creative way to be together!” And if you’re not into pottery, try a painting class or DIY some new home decor.
Again, food is pretty much always a sure bet for a good time, and this is a hobby your friends and family are definitely going to be happy about. “Creating something delicious together puts you in a great mood,” Condorelli adds.
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned board game night to strike up some playful competition and force a break from your Netflix habit. To make it more social, invite some friends over and make it a monthly gathering.
Another fantastic way to disconnect from technology and reconnect with your partner, camping is an awesome way for couples to get some much-needed alone time. The destination options are pretty much endless, and you’ll learn to rely on each other for your most basic needs.
Starting A Side Business
“Many people are tired of working a job they don’t like, and are exploring starting businesses,” Bennett says. “It’s fun and exciting to grow a business, build a brand, and have your product or service see the light of day. A couple can start a business together, or even each have their own business ideas, and pursue it as a joint hobby by supporting each other and sharing knowledge and networking contacts.”
Why not blog about your lives together? This works especially well if you already have one hobby that you’re really excited about, whether it’s home renovation, eating healthy, or traveling. Sharing your passions with others can be incredibly fulfilling both individually and as a couple.
Classes and Workshops
As a couple, commit to learning about something new every month and take advantage of local lectures, workshops, and classes in your area. “Besides spending time together, learning something new is a great way to liven up relationships,” Slatkin says. “When the brain learns something new, it not only creates new neural pathways, it also brings about more joy and excitement. Now, do it together with your spouse and the positive energy is compounded. It also provides a fresh new experience that you can share together.”
Whether it’s trying out new restaurants in your area, checking out food festivals, or traveling to regions with cuisine you love, food itself can be a great hobby. It’s fun to indulge in something delicious together, and if you truly become “foodies,” you’ll have an endless supply of new activities in store.
This works best if you join a league, but heading out for a bowling date on your own is an option, too.
“Whether you join a club or create your own with just the two of you, sharing a good novel can be an intimate experience and enhance daily conversation,” Wasil says.
Mystery Date Nights
Take turns planning romantic and adventurous dates for each other, and see who can come up with the best, most creative ideas that you both love. Knowing you have a surprise date coming up adds a whole new element of excitement to your relationship.
“Collecting mushrooms, seashells and herbs together and learning how to identify them will turn into a fun game,” Condorelli says. This idea is even better if you’ve decided to take up cooking, as well.
Learning To Play An Instrument
If you’re musically inclined, taking music lessons together will provide a way for you to not only learn a new skill, but practice making something beautiful together.
Depending on where you live and where you like to vacation, scuba diving can be an amazing way to learn to trust each other and see some incredible creatures at the same time. Working towards getting your certifications can provide a sense of shared accomplishment, and you’ll have a new active travel hobby that can take you to virtually any corner of the globe.
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