A friend of mine has been in a serious dating relationship for a few years. When I recently asked him when he and his girlfriend would be getting married, he responded, “Not yet! I’m not done having fun!”
Unfortunately, many people think marriage is the end of freedom and fun. It’s the “ball and chain” mindset — once you’re “hitched,” you’ve lost!
But I’m here to tell you, being married is fun! We just need to be intentional about it.
Here are three ways to ensure the fun stays alive in your relationship.
1. Laugh at Yourself
Humour is essential to fun. When we don’t take ourselves too seriously it allows our spouse to enjoy the moment — and get in a little flirtatious teasing to boot! I recently posted on Facebook about how relieved I was when I managed to launch 11 videos successfully for a FamilyLife webinar. My wife Jeaneth (who incidentally heads the IT Support department in our home) found this hilarious!
Conversely over dinner one evening, my beloved wife (who does not cook at all) innocently asked my son and I the difference between a serrated or straight edged knife because she was going to cut up some pears for dessert. We exchanged looks, and the three of us burst out laughing. Having a lighthearted view of ourselves allows our spouse the freedom to be amused by us as well.
Please note: there is a fine line between laughing at and laughing with our spouse. So please be self-aware and conscious about how your humour is being received!
2. Do Something Fun Together
I frequently encourage couples to have more shared activities. And no, dear list-makers, task masters and delegators, I’m not referring to chores! My wife and I enjoy leisurely bike rides and walks. Doing sports together can be fun as well, one just has to be mindful about our spouse’s skill and endurance levels — otherwise it’s not a great experience! Sometimes simple joys can be found around us. One of the perks of working from home together is being able to enjoy a short break with Americanos and a cookie. We connect briefly, savour our beverages and return to our tasks at hand.
3. Try Something New
Jeaneth and I have always enjoyed music. We tuned in to American Idol when it first debuted on TV eons ago. I remember dates at lounges with cover bands playing songs from the ’80s and concerts here and there. We love worship music and look forward to it on Sundays when we go to church and participate. So I do feel that we can sing. There, I’ve said it. We can sing — but our pastor is not likely to beat a path to our door anytime soon to ask us to lead worship next Sunday. So we remain frustrated musicians. To be precise, frustrated singers.
Until we discovered karaoke. There is something freeing about singing falsetto off key in the company of friends. YouTube has made karaoke so accessible. Whether we’re attempting a Celine Dion song or screeching through a Broadway hit, the laughter and warm, fuzzy feelings make the evening so much fun.
I know we’ve hit a different level of oneness with our karaoke sessions because Jeaneth and I now do duets. Without the harmonizing. It’s more… me butchering the melody and her slightly shrieking. And our favourite bit to do is the mega hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler. She’ll sing the main melody and I know I need to jump in for the…
(Turn around, bright eyes)
Every now and then I fall apart.
And I need you more than ever….
After a challenging season early on in our marriage, we’ve learned a few ways to keep things fun. For us, it all comes down to biking, coffee and karaoke… and laughing at ourselves along the way!
What about you? Have you found a shared activity that you both look forward to? Try a new sport or take ballroom dancing lessons at the community centre. Now if that doesn’t spark laughter, feel free to pivot and experiment till you land on something you both can enjoy.