I doubt you see much of your SO during the week, all thanks to your busy (or differing) schedules. And if you do have time to hang out? Well, it's usually done so under the fog of exhaustion. That's why, once the weekend rolls around, you should take every opportunity to get closer to your partner with a few choice activities.
Ideal activities will be different for everyone, of course, but the main idea is to do things that'll strengthen your relationship. "The weekend gives you the down time you need to really be present with one another, let loose, and have fun," licensed relationship counselor and dating coach Samantha Burns tells Bustle. "During the weekday grind you may be mentally preoccupied with work, chores, and household responsibilities. It can be difficult to carve out quality time together and truly relax and enjoy each other's company."
But the weekend is an entirely different story. Those precious 48 hours should certainly be spent doing your own thing, if you need to relax and recharge solo. And yet, there's no denying the restorative powers of sleeping in with your partner, catching up, and going on a few dates. Below are some surefire ways to reconnect with your partner. I highly recommend you give a few a try this weekend.
1. Exercise Together
If you were planning on weekend warrior-ing it, why not do so with your partner? "Research supports that couples who sweat together stay together," Burns says. "The endorphins and dopamine are flowing, reducing stress, and increasing feelings of pleasure." She recommends regular ol' exercise, as well as fun events — like indoor rock climbing, or a Spartan race — where you can share a common goal and work towards it together. Cute, right?
2. Spend Time Outside
While everyone needs some downtime to chill and watch a movie in the great indoors, there's certainly every reason to go outside, too. "Time in nature has been linked with a boost in happiness, and so has spending time in the sun," Burns says. Sharing these benefits with your partner — as well as some great conversation during a hike, or a trip to the park — will certainly leave you both feeling refreshed.
3. Try To Keep Your Schedule Open
In an effort to make the most of your weekend, you might feel the need to plan your date nights, make dinner reservations, and buy movie tickets. But don't. "Spontaneity and surprise drive desire and are important factors in keeping the spark alive," Burns says. "Go ahead and schedule time with your SO, but try to leave some of that time unplanned so that you can have an impromptu adventure."
4. Stay In Bed And Chat
One of the best things about weekend mornings? Laying in bed for forever. "During the week ... you may not have time for much physical or emotional intimacy," Burns says, which is why she suggests something called "naked pillow talk." Simply get into bed (or stay in bed), get comfy, and don't get out 'til you both feel like it.
5. Work On A Project Together
Completing a project together is one of the best ways to connect, so go ahead and start something — no matter how big or small. "There's nothing quite like aligning your interests than doing a project together," says life coach and author Kali Rogers. "Set a flexible deadline, pick a project where the results benefit both, and get to work!"
6. Pitch In Date Night Ideas
If you (or your partner) are always the one to make plans, then switch things up by pitching in ideas equally — possibly with you choosing the restaurant, and your SO choosing the place for dessert. "One picks the first half to plan and the other picks the second," Rogers says. It'll offer a great surprise, as well as a way to reconnect and keep things fun.
7. Go On A Drive Together
Sometimes the best way to catch up with your partner is by taking an uninterrupted drive. "Turn off the music and go for a drive so you two are forced to talk about anything and everything," says Rogers. "Or, just be in silence together. The confinement will bring you two closer."
8. Put Away Your Phones
I know, this one may sound annoying. But if you want to reconnect as a couple, you kinda gotta put away your phones. "Most of our week is spent consumed by technology," says Tyler Turk, founder and CEO of Crated With Love. "A few hours away from all of that will not only help you recharge, it will create a more intimate setting to reconnect with your significant other."
9. Go On A Mini Vacation
Again, you don't want to over-plan every weekend. But if you're feeling the call of the open road, go ahead and set out on a mini vacation together. "Find a nearby destination you both have never been to," Turk says. "This will separate you from all the stresses incurred throughout the week, get you out of the house, and best of all, help you create some new, spontaneous memories with your significant other."
10. Do Things You Both Enjoy
If you've been dying to go to the museum all week (or wherever) but your SO isn't interested, don't drag them along. Go by yourself, and enjoy that time apart. But when you come back together, make sure you do something you both enjoy. "Time together [when] only one person is enjoying the activity doesn't do it," says Pamela Gold, author of Find More Strength: 5 Pillars to Unlock Unlimited Power and Happiness. Do you both love concerts or hiking or horror movies? Then do that, instead, and revel in your connectedness.
11. Give Each Other Some Love
After a long week, nothing's better than reconnecting physically with your partner — whatever that may mean to you. "Give each other massages or go get massages together," Gold suggests. Or cuddle. Or have sex. The choice is (obviously) up to you.
Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that'll bring you two closer. Because that is, in many ways, the entire point of the weekend.
Images: Unsplash, Chiến Phạm; Pexels (11)