Time To Play?
I wanted to talk today about a concept that until recently we tended to put behind us when we finish our studies and enter the professional world, and that is the concept of play.
We used to think that play stops with childhood, that play is only relevant to children, and that people who play are of questionable maturity.
Only it doesn't, it isn't, and they aren't.
We know that play supports the emotional growth of children and the development of their social and problem-solving skills (if your parents did not let you play enough when you were younger, they did not really know how their decisions were affecting you!), and we know that teams who cultivate a culture of appropriate comfort and positive banter among peers report higher levels of satisfaction and emotional connection at work.
It was then just about time that play was going to be investigated regarding its effect on romantic relationships, how it makes couples feel safe, how it can be used as a form of inside communication, and how it can dissolve conflict.
But above all, it feels good to play, it puts couples at ease, helps them feel comfortable in their skin and in each other's company, reduces tensions, it brings fun and playfulness to sex, cultivates a sense of trust, of sharing a common positive experience, emphasises commonality, and impacts the couple's resilience (yes, I love lists!).
It is no surprise then that science tells us what we already empirically know, that couples who play are often happier, feel emotionally close, and have well-functioning relationships based on good communication and resolution of conflict.
But what is surprising is the fact that still very many of us have not yet taken a moment to rethink our position regarding play and especially play within our relationship.
With this in mind, I would offer that tonight is an excellent opportunity to do so. It is an excellent opportunity to consider your thoughts and beliefs about play, should you agree, whether and how much if at all you value it, whether you have past evidence in your life that it can contribute positively to your well-being and to the well-being of your partner, and whether you would like to reintroduce it into your every day life or reinforce it. Given the weeks we have ahead, we will need all the resilience and endurance we can get, and what better way than to cultivate these strengths using one of the best ways possible, having a good playful time with our partner that can help us forget the world outside and just focus on the joyful moments. How positive 2021 could end up being regardless!
If you would like to introduce more play in your relationship and everyday life and you are unsure how, I offer a 45mins Complementary Clarity Session to help you get clarity and form a plan of action. To arrange your session, you can email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or choose your time from my online calendar by visiting http://TheLantern.as.me/relationships
Constantina Stamou is a certified Life & Relationship Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, and has a PhD in Stylochronometry, currently volunteering for the mental health charity Mind.