When we talk about intimacy in a marriage, emotional and physical are the first two types that come to mind. They’re important, absolutely, but they’re not everything you need. Recreational intimacy isn’t given much publicity, but your marriage needs it!
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What is recreational intimacy?
Don’t worry, it’s not anything dirty. There are five essential intimacy levels in a relationship: intellectual intimacy (sharing thoughts/learning together), emotional intimacy (discussing feelings), spiritual intimacy (pursuing God together), physical intimacy (we all know what that means), and recreational intimacy (spending time with each other). A successful marriage needs all of these intimacies, but let’s focus on recreational intimacy for a few minutes.
Recreational intimacy involves spending time together as you go through everyday life. It also involves the two of you intentionally doing things together. A picnic in the park, a hike in the mountains, or even a trip to the store together counts as recreational intimacy. Recreational intimacy gives your marriage little boosts every time you engage in it.
Why is recreational intimacy important?
The things we do together form some of our favorite and most exciting memories, and they help build recreational intimacy.
As we know from books, teachings, and personal experience, men and women are wired differently. Most women rank emotional intimacy as one of their highest needs, but we don’t think much about recreational intimacy. Men, on the other hand, thrive on recreational intimacy.
My husband loves few things more than us making memories together. Sometimes these involve our kids and sometimes they don’t, but the simple act of spending intentional time together and doing something memorable makes him feel loved.
This is why marital authors and counselors are such big proponents of date night. Getting out and doing something together, even if it’s just dinner and a movie, builds recreational intimacy and creates memories, which strengthens your marriage.
How can I build recreational intimacy?
The good thing about recreational intimacy is it’s not hard to do! Just do something together! Find something that one or both of you enjoys and make a memory.
Here are some things that my husband and I do together to build recreational intimacy:
- Go on a hike
- Play a video game
- Go bowling
- Cook a meal
- Go roller skating
- Play a card or board game
- Go out to eat
- Watch a movie
- Go for a run or walk
- Work in the yard
- Build something
- Put together a puzzle
As you can see, a lot of those activities take place at home, and we can include our kids, too. It doesn’t have to be fancy, cost money, or take a lot of planning; just spend intentional time together.
I know it can be hard to come up with things to do together without feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, which is why I’ve compiled a list of 52 ways to build recreational intimacy in your marriage. That’s one for each week of the year!
Print this list out, put it on your fridge, and check things off as you go. You’ll be amazed at how many memories you can make and how much your marriage will thrive if you simply spend some time together and build recreational intimacy. ❤
Do you prioritize recreational intimacy in your marriage? What activities do you and your spouse enjoy doing together?
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