In this article we will discuss relationship exercises to improve relationship quality. Do you know there is a magic recipe that can make your relationship work better ? Will you believe me if I tell you and they are very easy to follow too, I know most of you will not believe me and you have a good reason not too. It is very easy to see how complex and difficult family relations can be and if there was already an effective method for making a relationship healthy and happy, someone would already be marketing it up, right ? We do not have a 100% set recipe of success but there are always simple ways that can be used to build effective communication, couple therapy to tackle issues and problems, building relationship skills and activities to enhance one’s connection. Here are few interesting relationship exercises which you must enjoy.
What is Couples Therapy and What is Couples Counseling?
“Couples counseling” also known as “couples therapy” in some cases are two faces of the same thing. There is not much difference on the technical level, the only context which may differ in each case is based on the sessions. In some places, you need a special license or certification to practise “therapy” which is sometimes very difficult to obtain as compared with the license to practice “counseling” which might be easier to obtain in some places. Whether the name suggests couple counseling or couples therapy, the engagement of the couple with a professional therapist can provide them an opportunity to work over their relationship and overcome the difficult and emotionally challenged problems that they are facing.
These issues can range from significant disagreements or a simple communication issue to psychological disorders and substance abuse issues (Bonior, 2017). While couples therapy can be one of the ways to mend their relationship and reconnect with your partner, there are a number of other ways too that can be done to keep the relationship healthy and spark alive without consulting a professional. There are multiple resources and activities available nowadays that are based on research and theories of couple therapy.
You can never be late or too early to start putting in more effort towards your relationship with your partner. If you decide on improving your relationship with your partner you can always work on one of the practices given below with your partner. In case you are a family or marriage therapist or a couples counselor, you can also share these exercises and activities with your clients for their benefits.
What Are the Best Relationship Exercises for Couples?
There are many Relationship Exercises but none of them that can be termed as the “best” activity that couples can use to build a better relationship and avoid any separation or divorce because each couple will look at their own best practice. For some couples, it may be engaging in a shared hobby together, like bike riding, playing a beloved game, or playing music together. For others, it may be the long talks they often have when looking up at the stars, over morning coffee, or lying in bed at night.
No matter what this activity is, the only things that matter are that the activity:
- Is something you can do together
- Is something you can do regularly
- Is enjoyable (or at least not unpleasant) for both partners, and
- Is something that allows you to communicate in a healthy and productive way.
These four criteria don’t narrow down the world of activities very much, and that’s how it’s meant to be. The prescription directed towards one couple for a healthy relationship may not work for another couple and vice versa. Each relationship is unique and should be appreciated and tended to as the unique connection that it is. If you’re stumped on what activity might be best for you and your partner, the following exercises may be a good place to start. Below are some Relationship Exercises.
Relationship Exercises 1. Icebreakers
Icebreakers is the most old activity for bringing different people together with each other. You can remember these from your old days either from training, school or maybe from some other context when you are talking with a stranger or forced to work together with someone else.This time, you won’t have to break the ice with a stranger; instead, you will get to know your partner a little better.
Even if you think you know everything there is to know about your partner, asking them some fun icebreaker questions is bound to produce at least one or two new facts about your partner that you didn’t know before.
Try asking them questions like:
- Tell me something weird about yourself.
- Tell me your favorite ice cream flavor.
- Tell me a wonderfully random childhood anecdote (Suval, 2015).
Feel free to get suggestions or ideas from actual icebreakers for this exercise.
Use this Relationship Exercise whenever you feel the need to get a little more connected to your partner and be ready to learn some interesting new things!
Relationship Exercises 2. The Game of Truth
Other Relationship Exercise is known as Game of Truth. Although you might enjoy watching Game of Thrones with your significant other, sorry – that doesn’t meet the four criteria! However, you can work in a game of another kind – the Game of Truth.
This is a simple game, in which the sole purpose is to ask some questions to your partner and answer the questions asked by your partner with full honesty. The main and only purpose of this game is to enhance your connection with your partner and to solidify it, so the questions asked in this context can range from light topics to the heavy ones.
For example, some of the questions you could ask your partner during this game can be :
- What’s your biggest fear?
- If you can be anywhere, where will you like to be and why ?
- What’s the best childhood memory that’s close to your heart?
- Which song truly speaks to you?
- Who is someone who inspires you? (Suval, 2015)
This simple game can result in better understanding of each other which can result in building up your connection base and mending your relationship and improving it.
Relationship Exercises 3. Music Shares
Third Relationship Exercise is called Music Shares. Music can be a deeply personal and intensely meaningful experience – one that can be difficult to share with others. While it might make you feel overwhelmingly vulnerable to share something so personal with your partner, it’s a risk that can pay off in a huge way. The final reward might be that you will have a more connected and deeper relationship with each other which is worth the risk involved.
Take some time to think about and listen to some of your favorite music. Find songs that resonate with your personal life story, showcase your personality, or articulate some of your most deeply held beliefs. Share these songs with your partner, along with an explanation of how the song relates to you and why you chose it to share with him or her.
This personal exercise can help you and your partner understand each other better and get insights about thoughts and expectations of each other, it can also help you understand your relationship better (Suval, 2015).
Relationship Exercises 4. Swap Books
Swap books exercise is another activity among Relationship Exercises. One other personal activity is to start to swap your favorite book with each other so you can understand the taste of each other (Suval, 2015). What you love to read may convey some important messages about who you are and what you value to your partner and vice versa. No matter how well you know your partner, this exercise can reveal something about them that you never knew before. Reading their favorite book is like getting a window into your partner’s mind; this is especially true in the case of a long-favorite book or a book from childhood. Diving into something that had a profound impact on your partner in some of their most formative years is a fantastic way to forge a deeper connection.
Relationship Exercises 4. Uninterrupted Listening
One other powerful but simple exercise is called Uninterrupted Listening, and it is the same as the name suggests (Gray, 2014). We all need to feel heard, understood, and cared for, and this exercise can help both you and your partner feel this way. It is usual to set a specific timer for this exercise that can vary from 3 to 5 minutes and listen to your partner without interrupting. They can talk about any topic they want which can be related to either school, work, kids, family, friends, stress or any matter related to anything.
While they are speaking, your job is to do one thing and one thing only: to listen. Whatever is the cause you cannot speak at all unless the timer ends. The main purpose of this exercise is to listen to your partner and take in whatever he is talking about. While, you are not allowed to speak verbally but you can give your partner support through body language, meaningful looks or facial expressions. After the timer goes off, the roles are switched and the exercise is repeated again. It might be seen that one of the partners is more chattier than the other which is normal.
Relationship Exercises 5. The Miracle Question
This exercise is more focused on the type of future the couples will like to build together. We all struggle at times, but sometimes the struggle is greater because we simply do not know what our goals actually are asking the “Miracle Question” can help you or your clients to clarify your goals. This question helps both partners to probe their own dreams and desires, and learn about their partner’s dreams and desires. It can aid a couple in understanding what both they and their significant other needs in order to be happy with the relationship.
This discussion helps the client(s) to envision a positive future in which their problems are addressed or mitigated, and the therapist to learn how he or she can best serve their clients in the session. If you are engaging in this exercise without the guidance of a therapist, don’t try to dive too deep into the answer if it is unrealistic or impossible. Instead, use this discussion as an opportunity to learn something new about your partner and plan for your future together.
FAQ about Relationship Exercises
What are some trust building relationship exercises for couples?
Ask questions to learn about your partner. Tell each other why you love each other. Recall happy moments you had together. Make a playlist for your partner or share your personal songs with them.
How do you rebuild trust exercises?
Give your partner opportunities to be trusted. Give your partner some space so they can tell you themselves where they are going and why and do not check in on them, trust them. Exchange secrets with each other in turns and learn more facts about each other.
How do you move forward in a relationship after cheating?
How to Move Forward when someone cheats
– Make sure there is remorse.
– Be honest about why it happened.
– Remove temptations to re-engage with the affair.