When you’re in a partnership it is as important to each have your own passions as it is to share experiences and learn together. Here are some ideas for indoor and outdoor hobbies for two. Each one is intended to bring you closer together and expand your minds and spirits and physical limits.
Playing games and hosting board game nights
I love games! I recently lived for several months with shaky WiFi, and board games provided my partner and I a great way to connect off the grid and learn about each other in a fun way. First, you can teach each other the games that you know from your past or upbringing. Many people have games that their family or friends just love. For me, it’s Scrabble tournaments with my extended family, and for my partner it’s Texas Hold’em showdowns with his friends from home. My friends have taught me some card games that they would always play at summer camp — the list goes on! By teaching each other these games, you learn just a little bit more about each other, which is quite fun — not to mention the ways that competition can reveal character.
Take your game hobby a step further by collaborating with your partner to host board game nights. You’ll enjoy the connection of planning the night and also have a natural way to blend both of your circles of friends. It will enable you, too, to branch out from those two-player games.
Begin a meditation practice
If you’re anything like me, you may idealize a regular meditation practice but struggle with accountability. Meditating with your significant other provides the extra push for both of you to consistently take the time. When I meditate with another person I actually concentrate more — almost as if I can feel their presence with me, which helps settle my mind while I’m sitting.
No need to start with huge chunks of silent time here. Even five minutes of sitting for meditation before, say, a meal makes a difference. Plus, you two can compare experiences and exchange tips for concentration during the practice. As a nice bonus, the mental clarity from meditation will help you both stay balanced and be better partners to each other.
Overnight backpacking trips
It’s no secret that relationships are strengthened through collaboration and quality time. I’m sure you’ve already heard of or experienced the benefits of sharing activities such as cooking, exercise, and technology-free hangouts with your partner. Overnight backpacking trips feature all those elements and more.
First, you need to plan the trip and shop for what you need, which requires communication and working together from the get-go. It even brings up topics like money and travel planning styles, which can be tough conversations but will bring you closer.
On the trail, you’ll find you have lots of quality time to talk or to appreciate nature in silence. When adverse weather conditions arise, or when the hiking days get long, you’ll need to support and motivate each other. You’ll also need to work together to cook, set up your campsite, and clean up the area. You’ll end up being more “raw” than when you’re back home, because backpacking together in rustic environments leaves little room for secrets about your hygiene routines, but what more could you want for bonding?
My partner and I ended up taking an eight-day backpacking trip early in our relationship: one of those things that either could have ended our relationship immediately or deepened our connection. Luckily it was the latter! If multi-day backpacking seems daunting, even a day hike can bring similar benefits to your dynamic.
Attend spiritual groups
Perhaps “hobby” is a stretch, but practicing your faith or spiritual belief system together can strengthen your relationship. This can even be done if you and your partner are of different religions or faith backgrounds. No matter what faith bent these events are, you’ll both be in a setting that may prompt discussions you’ve never had as a couple. You may find that you each see a new or deeper side of each other by sharing a spiritual practice. I also suggest checking out your parish young adult group together.
Acroyoga is an acrobatic, aerial variation of yoga practiced in pairs. One person serves as the base, using their body as a physical base on which the second person (called the flyer) completes the poses. Acroyoga requires trust between the base and the flyer as well as the ability to communicate and read each others’ bodies. Typically, the base lies with their back flat on the floor supporting the flyer with their legs and feet pointing upwards. Even beginners new to yoga can learn acroyoga basics.
Teach yourselves informally via YouTube or seek out a class at a local yoga studio for more formal guidance. There may also be acroyoga meetups in your area.
Your favorite solo hobby
Why limit yourselves to official two-person hobbies? Consider teaching your partner more about the hobbies you love to do solo and include them from time to time. For example, as an avid runner who usually goes alone, I sometimes invite my partner. Even if they can’t keep up with me (or vice versa), sharing the activity brings a new dimension to my workout.
By the same token, my partner is an avid video gamer, and even though I would never play video games on my own I’ve actually had fun when he’s shared his latest campaign with me.
Hobbies engage our bodies, minds, and spirits, so they are an important dimension of our lives that we can share with a significant other — the hobbies that occupy our time and energy reveal a lot about our personalities. And taking on a new hobby together can build a feeling of togetherness, as well as develop our knowledge of one another. Relationships thrive on intimacy, and taking up new a craft or practice together is a way to deepen your appreciation for one another.