Just as playing contributes to physical health for children, the same can be said for emotional health of gay couples!
Research has found emotional intimacy to be a strong predictor of happy relationships. Emotional intimacy can be increased in many ways and among them is shared leisure activities, or playing! When gay couples engage in activities together they cultivate connection. Participating in shared leisure activities can decrease stress levels in relationships. Learning to play together contributes to establishing an intimate friendship. Friendships involve awareness of one another’s interests, quirks, passions and values. What better way to cultivate a greater friendship than playing together?
Looking at children play seems to flow naturally from a young and liberated sense of being, full of imagination and free from the cares of the world. So how can couples capture the spirit of play in their relationships? Play can be incorporated by use of games, humor, or any leisure activity. The specifics of play are not as important as the spirit behind it. It is important that in playing gay couples experience a collaborative sense of lightheartedness that contributes to a fun and pleasurable experience.
Engaging in shared activities as couples provide opportunities to have fun, enjoy one another’s presence and reconnect
Playing together in this way provides an influx of positive feelings regarding one’s partner that can contribute to an overall feeling of optimism concerning the relationship. When the relationship is perceived in a positive light, couples are more likely to give each other the benefit of the doubt, experience less escalation in conflict, and feel less adversarial toward each other.
So where do you begin?
Pursue a common interest, go on a walk, pull out a board game, or let loose and dance in the car just have fun being with your boyfriend! With a long to-do list and busy schedule you may think you have no time to stop and play but putting aside your everyday worries and letting loose with your partner, even just for a few minutes, is a worthwhile investment for yourself and your relationship.
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