10 Unique Ways to Enjoy Your Partner

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Five More Ideas

#6 Exercise together.

There's tennis, of course. Some like working out at the gym. Others run together. Artist Marylu and software developer Roger prefer Tai Chi. "After we do the slow set, our teacher has us do something completely different. It might be just to walk slowly about the room, thinking how we are glowing from the inside out, or it might be to push hands, trying to knock each other off balance, or maybe do the set at about five times the speed," says Marylu. "This all might seem dull, but the extreme focus and the physical presence of so many other people in the same room, with my dear husband, is invigorating. For a while we tried reading aloud to each other from a frankly erotic poetry book, but somehow we usually found it more a cause for humor than for romance."

#7 Speaking of reading...

Sarah and Dan are too busy with work, school, and a new baby to think about going out much, but they love popping in an audio book CD on road trips. "The one we're listening to now is Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, which is read by the author with guest voices like Jon Stewart," says Sarah. "It really makes traveling in the car much nicer because we can focus on the story rather than the 'bad' driving of the other party (I drive more aggressively, Dan drives more passively, so it makes each of us crazy to be the passenger)."

#8 The couple that bangs together, stays together.

He's a writer and she's a writer. They've lived in Germany and vacationed in France. And like most of us have fought their way through many a home remodeling project. Until recently, that is, because Susan has finally figured how to have some fun with her tool guy when working on a home project. Things go smoothly, "as long as I understand my rank, which is laborer/cheerleader and my role, which is to provide encouragement but not advise," says Susan. "I hold the level or the ladder, chase dropped screws and nails, and deliver all tools like a nurse to a surgeon. Rather than talking, we listen to opera, although I will marvel at his ingenuity and he on my new muscles from power training at the gym. We can manage about three hours of such togetherness and then we repair to the deck in our sweaty clothes to drink wine and toast the new window or screen door."

#9 Make a bottle of wine an event.

Bretta, a nurse, and husband Walt, an emergency room doctor, have been married about 30 years. And for most of it Bretta, an ardent exercise enthusiast, has been a teetotaler. Until recently. "Last year in Italy we'd buy a bottle of wine and sit by a fountain or in a park and enjoy the sights and sounds as well as some good conversation," says Bretta. "We've done it a number of times either by the pond or in front of the fire. I'll get dinner almost entirely ready and then we'll sit and talk and watch the sunset or whatever. Sometimes we'll relax for an hour or two before eating. I've been surprised by some of our conversations even after being together all of these years."

#10 Something new.

There's nothing wrong with cuddling up on the couch while you watch a movie you've been dying to see. But if what you're really dying for is a change of pace, here are some more ideas: Go on a picnic or take a walk. Take your partner on a surprise date. Buy tickets to concerts, the opera, or a play, and enjoy the anticipation. Refine your chess skills -- or learn how in the first place. Read a book together. Go for a roller-coaster ride. Rent kayaks at a local lake or estuary. Try roller-blading. Visit your local farmer's market and cook a meal together. The possibilities really are endless.

Originally published on LHJ.com, July 2005.


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