Play is not just for Children
The benefits of play in established romantic relationships: Play is not just for children. Research suggests the importance of play (i.e., fun, discovery, exploration) in shaping adults’ romantic relationships. Recent research by Psychology Prof. Cheryl Harasymchuk, from the Department of Psychology and her colleagues, tracked established couples over time and found that engaging in exciting play activities with a partner (e.g., day trip, dance lessons, escape room adventure) reignited feelings from the early stages of their relationship and increased relationship satisfaction. In other words, on days when couples decided to try something new together (vs staying at home and watching tv), they experienced greater boosts in relationship satisfaction. One reason why play is thought to be so valuable in established relationships is that it helps people to see their partner and relationship from a new perspective and these broadened horizons might help fend off relational boredom.