by John Hart, PhD, LCMFT

Friday, April 19th, 2024

Now that spring is officially here, couples are excited about the various levels of connection they can have with each other outside of their homes. It’s time to have fun! Cherry blossom season is here, musical, and cultural events are gearing up, and cities such as Columbia, Baltimore, and even D.C. are mobilizing to be hotspots for all forms of fun attractions for couples in the DMV area. Although the warmer temperatures and the sun shining gives all of us a positive outlook on life, couples still struggle to explore ways that they can have fun together. Issues with communicating wants, troubles with planning fun times, as well as being emotionally available and engaged during these fun moments have historically impacted couples around the idea of having fun together. Who would have thought that couples would experience many levels of conflict when having fun together? But it happens. Having fun as a couple is a major priority for relationships. Below are three tips for couples who are interested in how to have more fun together while managing any form of conflict or disagreement.

1. Make It Collaborative – It is wise that when planning a fun time together, couples do it collaboratively. It is important to be open, flexible, creative, and easy-going when planning a fun time together. Imagine this—how likely are we to experience fun with our partners if the planning of the fun time itself was a disaster? Planning fun time together can be a moment of quality time and we should be positive as we embark on an upcoming bonding moment. Don’t destroy the potential of the fun time by not working collaboratively when planning.
2. Consider Disruptions – To enjoy your fun time together, it is critical to consider the many influences that could disrupt the fun. Factors such as weather, childcare, illness, and finances pose various complications for you and your partner’s time together. This form of planning allows both partners to practice another critical relationship skill—problem solving. Try problem solving and creating alternative plans based on the factors that could impact your intentional time together.
3. Debrief Together – One of the things that gets overlooked after we have had a fun time with our partners is intentionally having a debrief. “Debrief” refers to a conversation between both partners during which they reflect on:
a.  Appreciations about each other based on their time together,
b. What you enjoyed, what you didn’t enjoy, what changes would you make for next time?
c. Having an idea of the next time you both will go have fun (note: this is not about scheduling the next fun time, but it is always helpful to say “let’s try having fun together again in a couple of weeks.”)