How lucky is it that it rhymes? You won’t forget it now :-).
I’ve been talking a lot with couples about play and how important it is to maintaining a healthy relationship. It is formative and connective. It is what we do together in the beginning. We poke fun at each other, laugh, trick, poke, and chase. We can feel childlike in our freedom with each other.
We have bills.
our bodies change.
we have fights.
All of these things happen to some extent within all relationships. For some couples, the stress of life creates a tone of seriousness in daily life. Understandably so. However when this happens it is all work and no play and Jack and Jane become a dull couple. And they deeply miss each other, and the fun, and the way “it was” but they just aren’t sure what the issue is.
They begin to believe that the issue is everything but what the issue actually is. They believe they chose wrong, that they are not liked, that their partner is really really boring. These are incredibly painful thoughts.
Until I point out to them that it is play. And then we explore what that means. How do we play with each other when we are no longer children? How do we play when our bodies hurt? Or when we are tired? How did we play in the beginning?
Play is lightness, humor, adventure, and silliness. Play is moving your body.
Perhaps, you can reflect on this with your partner. It might be fun.
Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She offers couples a warm environment to explore their challenges and begin to develop skills to deepen their understanding of each other. She supports intimacy development, conflict resolution skills, and building a future together. While in the therapy room, she encourages couples to balance seriousness with play. Sometimes therapy can actually be fun.