Sometimes I know a post is good for Thriving Marriages because, as I’m reading it, a part of my shrivels up inside and thinks ‘but I don’t want to do that!’ Today’s great post from Engaged Marriage has 5 games you can play with your spouse to improve your communication. That either sounds GREAT to you, or – like me – makes you cringe a little. Either way, it’s worth reading. And for my fellow intimacy-phobes out there, what if we had the courage to get a little silly and try one of these today?
Communication Is More than Talking
Talking is simply sharing information using words. It is a way to inform another person about a particular thing.
It’s important but it is not a stand-alone relationship builder.
Stick around and we’ll show you 5 simple games you and your partner can play to exercise your communication skills, deepen your romantic connection, and build a stronger life together.
But first, you need to know one key thing: communication between intimate partners is more than words – it involves establishing an emotional connection.
It is this emotional connection that is the foundation of intimacy.
The emotional connection between partners is often cited by both men and women as the most important factor that determines the quality of their relationship. Emotional connection includes:
- Being able to talk openly with each other
- Being a good listener
- Showing appreciation or support
- Doing your part to make the relationship work
That may sound really complicated, but the fact is that couples tend to build intimacy through everyday moments. It’s what you choose to do every day that enhances your level of communication and intimacy.
Verbal communication – words – makes up only a small part of how we communicate. It has been estimated that 60-90% of our communication is non-verbal.
And that 60-90% is made up of things like body language, gestures, facial expression and tone of voice. It’s the how of what we say, and it is powerful.
Learn how to master the art of emotional connection and you and your partner will find a level of intimacy that will enhance and nourish your relationship on every level.
We’ve seen hundreds of couples benefit from the techniques using our easy online system, Communicate Your Way To A Better Marriage. Along the way, we’ve learned that building communication doesn’t have to be boring, and these 5 communication games we’re about to share are anything but.
We learn by doing. And the more we do something, the better we become at it.
So grab your partner and get ready to have some fun while you break down those barriers.
#1 Twenty Questions x 2
This is a light and fun bonding game to get you started. Remember the game 20 Questions? This is the grown up version.
We sometimes forget to pay attention to the little things that make us who we are. Paying attention to the little things and remembering them creates a sense of knowingeach other. Here’s the game:
Set aside some time for the two of you without distractions.
- Prior to the sit-down, each of you should make a list of 20 detailed personal questions to ask the other. Be creative with the questions – silly, serious, different areas of life or subjects. You may be surprised what you learn.
- Take turns asking each other a question.
- Once you’ve each gone through your list, reverse the questions. Take your same lists and have your partner answer the question for you. For example, if you asked your partner, “What is your favorite color?” ask, “What is my favorite color?”
#2 Do You See What I See?
Here’s a fun way to gain some insight into how your partner receives and uses information. It’s also a great activity for working together.
- For this game, you’ll need either some building blocks like Lego’s, Play-Doh or drawing paper and crayons. Facing away from each other so that you cannot see what the other is doing.
- The first person will take a couple of minutes to build or draw something. Don’t give your partner any details or hints.
- Next, describe what you created to your partner without telling him/her what it is. Their task is to visualize and create the same object as closely as possible using the descriptors you provide.
- Turn and discuss the result. How close were the two objects? What information would have been helpful to have?
- Then switch roles so that each person has the chance to give the descriptions.
Remember, there is no right or wrong. In the beginning, it may be really hard. The more you do this activity, the easier it becomes to understand what your partner is trying to convey.
It also sheds some light on your communication style and what you might be able to express more clearly.
This game is actually a take-off on staring contests we used to have as kids only with a grown-up flair.
The purpose of this activity is to increase comfort with expressing yourself to your partner. Being in close proximity enhances the feelings of intimacy and connection. Bonus – this game can be kind of sexy.
So here’s the game:
- Sit facing each other so that you are close enough to hold hands.
- Look directly into each other’s eyes.
- Notice the feelings you are experiencing.
- Now start talking about something. Keep it simple to start. It might be about your day or a funny thing that happened at lunch.
- When you’re finished, let your spouse share something. Do this a few times back and forth then discuss what the experience was like.
For many couples, this exercise is uncomfortable in the beginning. That’s ok. The more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes and the deeper your discussions will go.
#4 The Top 3
This game is all about recognizing the positive aspects of your relationship and the wonderful everyday things your partner does.
- At the end of each day, set aside a few minutes to reflect on your day. Think of the three best things your partner did for you that day.
- Next, take turns sharing those things and why they meant so much to you.
- And don’t forget to say, “Thank you.”
This game focuses on appreciation and expressing thanks which are two very powerful and often overlooked parts of communication and connection.
You’d be surprised at how much of a difference gratitude can make.
#5 Make a Play Date
Taken from our best-selling book 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, this is not your average date night.
Make a date to do something fun with your partner– something different and maybe even a little spontaneous. The only ground rules are that:
- It has to be something for just the two of you and you cannot discuss kids, work or home problems like that leaky faucet in the kitchen.
- Choose something that requires you to be present. Go sailing, go rock climbing, sneak away for a quiet weekend…the possibilities are endless.
- Take turns picking the activity. Surprise your partner with something new.
The point of this game is to reconnect with each other in an activity that requires you both to be present for each other. You’ll be on neutral ground, away from the pressures of home and work.
This shift allows you to let your guard down and enjoy your partner while building that feeling of closeness and connection.
So now you have some fun and easy ways to get the communication ball rolling, and there’s more where that came from…
When you’re ready to truly revamp your relationship and find develop a deeper level of communication, we have a system to help you do just that.
Developed by Dr. Corey Allan to help his patients strengthen their bonds and change their lives, this powerful method is bound to bring you and your partner to a new level of communication, intimacy, and trust.
Discover how deeply fulfilling your union can be with Communicate Your Way to a Better Marriage.