04 Oct What fun things can couples do to spice things up?
This week, I was asked this question and thought it is worth sharing the answer.
When I first tried to answer the question, I found that there was a fundamental flaw with asking such a question. Asking the above highlights the very misunderstanding that exits in relationships which is the reason why the vast majority end up dull. We think of fun as a transient commodity rather than as one of the main reasons why two people should still be together. Many couples declare themselves to be an item even though the level of fun in their relationship is beginning to decrease. In fact, many increase commitments in the hope of combating the decrease of fun and the increase of friction. They think that perhaps if they move in together or get engaged or married or even have a child, such an act will reduce the insecurity which, they wrongly think, must be the real reason behind the decrease of fun and pleasure. Needless to say, this thought process is the very reason why so many end up with unfulfilling relationships.
Two people should only decide to be a couple if they already know that most of the things they do together derive fun, and time has not changed this fact. By time, I mean at least two years of living together. Ask yourself this, do you derive fun from doing everyday stuff together like talking, eating, going out, sharing what’s on your mind, hanging out with friends, sorting out home bills or even going food shopping? If the answer is yes and if this is still the case after two years of living together, then and only then can you call yourself a couple.
Most people who read this would probably think that this is unrealistic because life takes it’s toll and the reality of day to day cohabiting takes over therefore it’s impossible to keep the fun alive. Believing that fun cannot last and therefore accepting the decrease of fun as part and parcel of relationships is the reason why 50% get divorced and 80% of long-term couples are bored, functional and loveless.
The question that needs to be asked is this: Did you increase commitments because the fun element of your relationship increased, or did you increase it even though fun was decreasing? Commitment and fun should go hand in hand. We cannot ‘bring back the magic’ by increasing commitments. Deciding to get married, for example, may prove to be a temporary distraction where the focus shifts to venue hire and stag and hen plans, however, once the party is over, the temporary surge in ‘fun’ will also be over.
The minute the fun element begins to decrease, all commitment plans need to be put on hold. This is why I do not agree with the question. You cannot not fabricate fun. It needs to be already there. I will clarify it even further. What I’m saying is that for two people to declare themselves a couple, they must follow these steps:
- Like each other physically and mentally so that their compatibility (C) score is 22 out of 30 or higher. This is how to calculate C: a) rate how much you like your partner’s looks (L) out of 10; b) rate how much you like your partner’s mind (M) out of 10. C = L + 2M. So if you think someone is gorgeous and give them a 10, but their mind and habits are irritable and you give them a 5, the score will be 10 + (2 × 5) = 20. Since this is less then 22, the fun will not last and you will end up exactly like the bored and bickering majority. If, however you adore someone’s brain, they make you laugh and conversation is always thrilling therefore you give them a 10 where as you only give them a 5 for their looks, the score will be 25. Your chances of keeping your relationship fun even after you live together is high. In short, M is twice as important as L.
- Get to a point where you see the other as your no one choice for laughter and for saying anything on your mind to. In other words, become each other’s best friends.
- Live together for at least two years.
- If at the end of two years, you are still each other’s number one choice for fun, laughter and freedom of expression, then and only then can you call yourself a couple. But if you find yourself tiptoeing and watching what you say, if you find yourself able to talk more freely to others, then DO NOT IGNORE IT AND SAY THIS IS NORMAL. IT IS NOT. IT WON’T WORK.
Therefore to answer your question, if two partners need lessons in “how to have fun”, then they are not a couple and never will be, what they have at best is a comfortable illusion of love.
I do realise that you may be saying “according to the above, 90% of the couples out there should not be together”, you would be right, they shouldn’t. It’s a crime to waste the one life we have on learning how to cope with incompatibility, friction and lack of fun. It’s an even bigger crime to think that fun should be outsourced away from one’s home. This teaches the partners, and eventually their children, how to fake, repress and accept lack of self-worth.