That honeymoon phase of a relationship is great, isn’t it? You plan fun and exciting things to do on your dates, you talk endlessly for hours getting to know everything about each other, you want to know all the little details that make each other who you are, and everything feels so new an exciting that just being with the other person is the most exciting part.
This is how we bond with people in the beginning of a relationship. But after we settle into things more, and that initial honeymoon period is over, we sometimes forget to keep nurturing that bond. We don’t go on dates anymore, and our idea of spending time together is curled up on the sofa in our sweatpants, watching reality TV with a takeaway pizza. And don’t get me wrong, those nights can be great too, but staring at a screen every night isn’t going to help you bond with your partner.
So if you’re looking for bonding activities for couples, you’re in the right place. Check out these 12 activities to help you bond with—and feel closer to—the one you love.
1. Try something new.
The longer you spend with someone, the more everything becomes like a routine, and the less effort we sometimes make. When was the last time you guys tried something new together? That might mean a new cuisine, a new sex position, or even a different park to go for a walk in. This will help bring back that excitement and keep your relationship feeling fresh.
Whether you choose to explore a new city, country, or even continent—visiting new places together is a great way to broaden your horizons and create shared experiences and memories with your partner. You’ll feel alive again, because you’re seeing things for the first time, and taking a break from what has become your daily reality. Plus, it’s a great way to soak up new cultures and try delicious new foods.
3. Plan regular date nights.
Every Friday night, me and my partner go on a date. Sometimes that means going for a pizza at our local Italian spot and enjoying a bottle of wine, other times that means heading to a gig, or even enjoying a walk on the beach at sunset followed by an evening picnic. It doesn’t matter how busy we are, we keep ourselves free for that night each week, where we’re not focused on our laptops or phones, and we reconnect with one another. Just because you’re not “dating” anymore, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still date.
4. Give back together.
Pick a cause or charity that’s close to your hearts, and spend a day or a weekend doing something for other people. This will make you both feel amazing because you’re doing something meaningful, and it will bring you closer together at the same time. You’ll also walk away feeling far more grateful for what you have, and with a new perspective on your life.
5. Go dancing.
Pick a dance you want to learn, and head to a dance class together. This will be fun, but it also forces you to work as a team to get those steps right. And, if you opt for one of the sexier dances like the tango, you’ll also feel things hotting up pretty quickly!
6. Give and receive massages.
Massages not only feel amazing and are great for your body, but they also help you feel connected to your partner. You’ll be doing something caring for the one you love, by helping them to relax and unwind from the stress of the day.
Be sure to set the mood too—candles, essential oils, rose petals, romantic music, and even some chocolates will make the whole experience much more sensual and healing.
7. Get intimate.
Sex is a great way to connect with your partner on another level, and build that intimacy up. If you need to schedule sex sessions in order to make sure it happens, then do so! You could even dedicate a whole day to just having sex—book a night in a hotel if that helps you relax and focus on one another.
There’s no right or wrong here—try new things, touch each other in new places, and enjoy reconnecting with each other’s bodies.
8. Watch a movie under the stars.
A drive-in movie or a movie in the park is way more romantic than the regular kind—mostly because you’re watching it under the stars. You can set the mood by gifting your partner some flowers or a small thoughtful gift, bringing their favorite snacks for the show, and sharing lots of cuddles the whole evening!
9. Take a trip down memory lane.
It’s important not to keep your head in the past, but sometimes it’s nice to revisit some of the fond memories you’ve shared together. Maybe you head to the coffee place where you had your very first date, or you recreate a day filled with a series of your favorite date spots. This will help remind you of falling in love with each other.
10. Cook together.
Cooking together is a really fun way to spend time with someone and catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. It also makes a nice change from one person making the dinner on their own, or it being a chore that someone has to do all the time. Make something fun like your own pizzas with crazy toppings—whatever you like.
11. Sweat together.
Working out together not only helps you stay healthier, but it also helps you both stay motivated because you’re holding each other accountable. It can be really fun to go on a beautiful hike together, cycle through a mountain, or go rock climbing and race each other to the top. The exercise will lift both of your moods, and help you get your workout in while also spending quality time together.
Don’t forget to play, okay? Crack jokes, make fun of each other, and make fun of yourself! You can even head to a local comedy club on your next date night if you need a little inspiration. Laughing together release endorphins in the brain, which will help you both feel really good and improve your connection.
Bonding as a couple is all about making time to create memories together. Chances are if you’re reading this article, you’re already invested in the other person and your relationship. Try adding some of these ideas to your mix of date nights and routines and you’ll be surprised by how much closer you feel.