go to the home pageabout ustake the tourjoin as a membercontact ushome

go to workshops

General Information



Relationships Are Fun: What Happened to the Fun!
Gary Brainerd
Choose another article
Relationships Are Fun

Relationships Are Fun: What Happened to the Fun?

“The couple that plays together stays together." "The couple that laughs lasts". (Brainerd 2002, adapted from other sayings).

In the Romantic Stage of a relationship, there is a lot of laughter, fun and play. Both people are "on drugs" (See the article on Stages of Romantic Relationships) and find great pleasure in just being with each other.

As the relationship deepens and develops, the drugs wear off and the Power Struggle or Growth Struggle phase of the relationship begins. During this period, fun and play become less and less spontaneous and less and less frequent. The Human Brain responds to safety with playfulness. When there is anxiety or anger in the relationship, playfulness does not emerge as often.

Therefore we believe it is important that couples address this phenomenon with their New Brain, the conscious, intentional brain, and choicefully create times for play and enjoyment.

Laughter and play are an important part of mental health. A "belly laugh" each day is not an unreasonable goal. Finding way to create laughter and play is a worthy challenge. At least each week do something playful, enjoyable, fun, and recreational with your partner.

A rough rule of thumb for couples is that approximately half of their leisure time activities should be couple activities and about half should be separate activities, either alone or with friends. Both extremes where all leisure time activities "have to" be with each or when virtually no leisure time activities are with each other are troublesome.

The Fun Exercise in the Couple’s Workstation is a rather simple, but very practical and effective way of creating times together where you are focusing on enjoyment, pleasure, and fun. Items that actually result in laughter are to be highly desired.  If you are a member of the Couple’s Workstation, when you do the exercise you will get regular email reminders about mutually agreed upon fun/play activities to encourage you to integrate them into your life.

Click Here to Take the Tour of the Couple’s Workstation.

Click Here  to Join the Couple’s Workstation for a free 1st month.

Playing and having fun is an important part of mental health and marital health. In the growth phase of a relationship, things can get pretty heavy and serious. Learning to regularly take time to enjoy, laugh, play together is essential. Do this exercise early on in your membership in the Couple’s Workstation, so you can start having more fun soon.

You also might try periodically telling each other a joke or a funny story each day or several times a week. Developing, maintaining and using a sense of humor will take you far in this relationship journey.

For information on Workshops and Seminars for couples that help explain the stages of relationships and what to do in the Power Struggle Stage, Click Here.



Back to top

My Home  |  Acknowledgements  |  Take The Tour  |  Feedback  |  Therapists & Website Owners   |  Privacy   |  General Policies

© 2003 Brainerd Psychological Association