If you want your relationship to last, get a hobby, and explore it together!
That advice comes from psychologist Dr. Diana Kirschner. She says a lot of research shows that shared activities tend to make couples happier.
First, because they bring newness to a relationship, and keep boredom from setting in. Plus, new experiences activate the brain’s reward system, so we’re flooded with chemicals that promote bonding.
And Dr. Kirschner says your relationship can get a boost from just about any activity. For example: One of her counseling patients agreed to take up beekeeping with his wife. He says he was nervous about owning 24-thousand bees. But after he and his wife set up the hives in their yard, and extracted honey for the first time, he says he felt amazed at what they’d accomplished. Plus, it gave the couple something to talk and laugh about, while creating new memories together.
Just one thing: Dr. Kirschner says to get the biggest boost from a shared hobby, it needs to be one you both enjoy. Because if you enjoy bowling, for example – but your partner can only roll gutter balls – then resentment is going to build up, which can trigger distance in the relationship.
That’s why Dr. Kirschner recommends trying something that’s new to both of you.
But if you do try to introduce your partner to your favorite hobby, she says introduce it to them slowly, and praise your partner for making the effort. Just remember: The point isn’t to convert your partner into a master fisherman, or a sewing champion. It’s more about spending time together, and bringing your relationship closer.