The rules of romance tell us that couples who love each other get married and live happily ever after. Once you’ve found your soulmate, the rest is easy, right? Well, we probably all know that it doesn’t work like that. No matter how much you love each other, life never stands still.
Things change, people change, and if you’ve been married for some time, the relationship can get a little boring. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you no longer love your partner, just that you need to rekindle the spark. In fact, it’s essential that you make every effort to do so. Unless you find a way to keep coming back to each other, even the most perfect couple can drift apart. This is where shared hobbies can play an important part.
Chances are that you already have shared interests with your partner, or at least did have in the early stages of your relationship. Perhaps you met on holiday and bonded over your shared love of travelling. Or you both took your pooches to obedience classes and got chatting that way? Maybe you were once keen gym goers or chess players, film lovers or DIY enthusiasts? Whatever hobbies you had in common back then, if you are now finding that you never do anything together anymore, it may be time to sit down together and take action.
It is a fact that, throughout life, interests change – you find new hobbies and get rid of some old ones. And the same applies to any marriage. As you shift into new stages of life together, old interests may have gone out of the window for whatever reason. The important thing is to find other, different activities that you enjoy doing together as a couple.
If you’re looking for ideas for hobbies and pastimes that you can share as a couple, read on. Here are 3 suggestions that you can both try to incorporate into your married life. You never know, it might just be the way to put some excitement back into your marriage.
Getting fit together
Whether you’ve been married for 5 or 15 years, chances are that your bodies have changed over the years. According to a recent study, newlyweds put on an average of 4-5lbs in their first year of marriage alone! And for women, childbirth can be the start of a different relationship with their body. Getting your fitness back could be the best thing in terms of your physical health and mental wellbeing, especially if you do it together.
Swimming is an excellent no-impact exercise that builds endurance, muscle strength and heart fitness. If you don’t like chemicals in the water, you could try sea or lake swimming for a more natural experience, or invest in a natural swimming pool in your garden so you can bathe undisturbed amongst nature whenever you like.
Hiking or cycling are more great ways to exercise together. Choose a picturesque location near your home and combine the benefits of being out in the fresh air with taking in some lovely scenery. There are walking trails and cycling routes available for most areas, and they’re usually clearly marked in terms of length and difficulty. As a bonus, there’s usually a pub at the end of the route!
Learn to love your garden
Gardening is an outdoor activity that is enjoyable, rewarding and healthy for all ages. And it’s even better when you can do it together. If you have some outdoor space, however small, pouring your love into the garden will give you a shared sense of achievement and a great space for relaxation and entertainment for years to come.
Sit down and research plants together. Look at what grows in your neighbourhood, choose your favourite plants and learn how to grow them. Whether you are cultivating an English cottage garden full of flowers, raised beds for growing your own vegetables, or a lawned family garden with beds and borders, it’s important to give your garden a little bit of undivided attention every day, watering, weeding and tending to your plants.
Incidentally, you should use the same approach in your relationship management, in case it isn’t abundantly obvious…
Volunteering and acts of kindness
Rather than focusing inwards, many marriages benefit from the oxygen provided by people outside of the relationship. And what better way to obtain this than by giving back to the community and making a meaningful contribution as a couple?
Serving the community around you can take many forms. You can offer random acts of kindness – mowing the lawn for an elderly neighbour, volunteering for meals on wheels, collecting for needy families or working in a charity shop are just some ideas but there are many, many more. How about joining a local volunteer group to clean up the countryside, a soup kitchen to serve food to the homeless, a youth organisation near you or a local dog shelter?
Decide as a couple which are the causes that are dearest to your heart and make your charitable activities a regular event that you can both look forward to and take pleasure from. Whether you volunteer every weekend or on special activity holidays, or you can only commit to one small act of kindness a week, you will find that serving together is not only rewarding but expands your perspective on the world and your place in it.