Magazine article Success

Playtime: Couples That Play Together, Stay Together

Magazine article Success

Playtime: Couples That Play Together, Stay Together

Article excerpt

Sean and Jaclyn Crawford are happily married, yet distinctly different individuals.

Jaclyn is more outgoing and adventurous. Sean likes to work with his hands and enjoys computers. On the surface, they don't have a lot of common interests to explore. "We don't always enjoy the same things, but we've been able to find things that appeal to both of us," Jaclyn says. "They've definitely brought us closer together."

When the couple bought a house north of Dallas a few years ago, Sean immediately installed a vegetable garden in the backyard. Not long after, something clicked. Jaclyn is an avid chef who likes to explore unique dishes and ingredients, so the couple combined their two passions. Sean began growing items on her wish list, and the pair then harvested the bounty and tried out new recipes in the kitchen.

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"It's been fun to create things together," Sean says. And while the couple doesn't always produce winning recipes, they always have fun.

While many couples take up each other's interests, it's more fulfilling to combine passions, as the Crawfords did, or develop pastimes both partners enjoy. Trying something new together helps keep the relationship fresh and fun, and venturing just beyond your comfort zones makes you both a bit vulnerable, which can bring you closer.

Regardless of the activity, just doing something enjoyable together helps couples develop emotional bonds. "Downtime together structurally provides a good opportunity for bonds to develop, as opposed to each of you playing tennis or golf with your buddies," says marriage and family therapist Bret Atkinson with the Couples Clinic outside Chicago. …

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