Portland Relationship Counselor: Let’s Try Something New

April 9, 2014 by

As a Portland marriage therapist, I frequently talk to couples who describe their “honeymoon phase” but conclude that somewhere over the course of their relationship, that initial spark died.

The honeymoon phase—the beginning of your relationship, when everything seems new and exciting—isn’t supposed to last forever. However, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. During the honeymoon phase, people have a tendency to idealize their partner, but if your relationship lasts past this period, you are better able to get to know your partner for who they really are.

Of course, while the companionship of a long-term relationship can be a beautiful thing, many long-term couples also wish that they could get that initial spark back. Good news – you can.

This heartwarming video illustrates how working together to complete a novel activity can bring couples closer and cause them to feel the kind of excitement and positivity they felt when their relationship first began. One thing that I really appreciate about the video is that it shows how couples don’t need to do any “grand” novel activities, like going skydiving or traveling the world. Seemingly little things can still bring back the spark.

5 Novel Activities to Try with Your Partner

Set up a scavenger hunt. If your partner likes puzzles, write a series of riddles that leads them on a hunt around the house until they find the final clue. You could also ask them to meet you somewhere in town, but require them to solve puzzles to figure out the name of the location.

Whip up a new meal. With your partner, pick out a recipe book that has quite a few recipes you’ve never tried. Flip to a random page, then work together to make the recipe on that page.

Become a local tourist. On a nice weekend, grab your partner for a tour of some of your city’s popular sights—the catch being that they have to be places you’ve never been before. That might mean going to a buzzed-about restaurant, going on a walking tour, or even checking out a historical site that you’ve only ever driven by.

Go on a double date. While it’s great to spend time alone with your partner, it’s also nice to occasionally add some novelty by going out with another couple. Watching your partner interact with others can help you see them in a new light.

Take a class together. If your local community college or rec center offers free adult education classes, pick one that both you and your partner agree on (whether it’s cooking, screenwriting, sculpting, or anything else) and learn a new skill together.

These are just a few suggestions that have worked for other Portland relationship counselor clients—don’t be afraid to get creative. Remember, the goal is to work with your partner to do an activity that neither of you has done before so that you’re enjoying the kinds of new, shared experiences you had when you first started dating.