Be careful not to cross any boundaries when learning how to be more playful with your spouse. You would never want to do anything to hurt or embarrass them in the name of fun.
Stick to play that you can both enjoy.
What does it mean when someone is playful?
Playfulness in a relationship means you and your spouse know how to joke around and have fun. It’s also a form of flirtation.
Flirting naturally makes your spouse feel good about themselves. Playful flirtation makes others feel special and desired. It can also open the lines of communication, which research shows lead to happier and more positive relationships.
What can playfulness do for your relationship?
There is more to a playful relationship than just flirting and having fun. Research shows that playful partners reported feeling more satisfied and stable in their relationship. They also reported:
Positive emotions toward one another
Better conflict resolution skills and
Keep reading to see the benefits that come when you learn how to be playful in a relationship.
A simple hand on the leg during dinner, a quick, suggestive raise of the eyebrow somewhere in public, or some flirty text messages will go a long way toward bringing a playful aspect to your relationship.
2. Cultivate a positive attitude
People respond well to positivity. If your partner feels you are too serious, it may be time to adjust your attitude. Show them your softer, sillier side, and invite them to join you by showing a positive, willing attitude.
If your spouse likes being tickled, go wild! Have a tickle fight at home and let your laughter do the talking. Not only is it fun, but research shows that laughter boosts relationship satisfaction and is an important part of social bonding.
Show your spouse you’re not afraid of getting silly by inviting them to a tickle match.
4. Sing songs
If you want a more playful relationship, now is the time to banish your bashfulness and belt out your favorite songs together.
Play air guitar in the car, sing some childhood classics from musical movies you liked as a kid, or have a lip-sync battle.
Singing is a great way to let loose and have some fun with your partner.
5. Make silly videos
One tip for how to keep a relationship playful is to make silly videos together.
Do a Tik Tok dance together
Do a travel vlog during your next overseas adventure
Do a reaction video (the two of you reacting to a new album you’re both excited about, or trying new, wild foods together)
These videos are creative and fun way to display teamwork while bringing some light and levity to your relationship.
6. Leave love notes around the house
Another adorable tip for how to be playful in a relationship is to leave love notes around the house.
There is no better feeling than making your partner smile. Start by putting a sticky note on the bathroom mirror that says, “Just wanted to say I love you!” on it.
Get creative about where you put the notes. Some ideas are:
On the car steering wheel
In their lunch pail
In the dresser drawer
In their purse
And don’t be afraid to get silly when you write out the notes. “I love you more than ice cream cake!” or “I’d walk 100 miles for you with no shoes on!” are guaranteed to make your partner giggle.
7. Smile more often
If you’re not sure how to be more playful, start with a smile.
Smiling is a way to show warmth and bring levity to a conversation. It invites your partner to share positive emotions with you.
Research shows that your partner is more likely to anticipate a positive interaction when they see you smile.
Plus, when you smile (even if it’s a forced smile), your brain produces serotonin, which creates a flood of mood-elevating endorphins. This lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress, and boosts your immune system – all from one smile!
8. Make characters
A great way to become a more playful couple is to make up characters.
Think of this like roleplay, only it’s outside the bedroom. He can be a funny fisherman, and you can be a mad scientist who has come to trick him and steal all of his fish.
Be as silly and creative as you want. These characters will no doubt make recurring appearances in your relationship as they become one of your new favorite inside jokes.
9. Tell jokes
If you want to learn how to be more playful in a relationship, try making your partner laugh.
Research shows that couples who laugh together often report higher levels of emotional support. Another study published in Sage Journals found that couples who value laughter are more likely to stay together.
Check out the importance of humor in the relationship:
10. Do a game night
One easy tip for how to be playful in a relationship is to have a game night.
Grab a couple of snacks, a few drinks, and a handful of your favorite party games. Play like you are kids again and spend the entire evening competing to pass GO.
11. Make a playdate
Another fun tip for how to be playful in a relationship is to make a playdate for adults.
These adult playdates, called “Kidult” activities, are a surefire way to bring out the playfulness in a relationship. Some fun ideas for your kidult afternoon are:
Go to a bounce house and spend the day on the trampoline, trying to out-bounce each other
Attend a ‘whodunnit’ mystery show
Go swimming at the beach and pack a picnic
Go to a corn maze and try and navigate your way out – the perfect fall activity!
Spend a night at a museum – many cities (London, Los Angeles, New York, the list goes on!) will allow you to spend the night in a sleeping back at the museum. Imagine sleeping right next to a dinosaur skeleton!
12. Try new foods together
If you’re for how to be more playful, look no further than your dinner plate.
This challenge can be as mild as trying a restaurant in town and ordering something out of the ordinary for you to order something new and wild online, like cricket chips or candy from another country.
13. Have a costume party for two
Plan a fancy night in with dinner and wine by the fire, but dress up like your favorite characters while you do. You’ll be hard-pressed not to giggle your way through dinner.
14. Make a movie night to remember
Movie night is a classic date, but this time put a childhood twist on it.
Have the sleepover you’ve only ever dreamed of by making a pillow fort in the living room, buying a scandalous number of snacks, and snuggling up with your partner.
Mix playfulness and emotional intimacy by daydreaming as a couple. Set goals and talk about your future together.
Asking something as simple as: “Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?” can open up a world of conversation. There is also plenty of opportunity to make jokes: “I see us running away to Aspen and opening the world’s greatest pie shop!”
Your jokes will make your partner laugh, but your conversation will bring you closer than ever.
16. Recreate your first date
One suggestion on how to be more playful in your relationship is to recreate your first date.
This can either be amazingly romantic as you end up fine dining and reminiscing about how you first fell in love or be absolutely hilarious as you wind up with takeout burgers and going roller skating afterward.
17. Ask questions
An additional tip for how to be playful in a relationship is to ask your partner funny questions like:
Have you ever peed in a pool?
If you had a pet chipmunk, what would you name it?
What is a ridiculous pet peeve you have?
If you had to marry a cartoon character, who would you pick and why?
These questions will open up some hilarious conversations and keep you and your spouse in stitches for the rest of the night.
18. Play outside
Create the playful relationship you’ve always dreamed of by taking the fun outdoors. If you both love sports, have a little friendly competition on the soccer field.
There are plenty of seasonal activities (skiing, sledding, swimming, boating, football, hockey) to keep you and your partner playfully competitive all year long.
19. Create something together
Sometimes learning how to be more playful means taking a page from your childhood. When you were little, life was full of creativity.
You built with blocks, made crafts, and baked new and amazing things.
Get creative with your partner by recreating these childhood pastimes or by trying something new together, like taking a pottery class.
Throw on your favorite album, take your partner’s hand, and dance the night away. Not only is this a fun and spontaneous way to spend the evening, but it also has the potential to be incredibly romantic (music-dependent.)
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the playful side of life.
Learning how to be playful in a relationship can bring balance and levity into your love life. You can become a playful couple by smiling more often, making your partner laugh, and cultivating a positive attitude.
Enjoy the benefits of being playful in a relationship. Bringing out your inner child will increase happiness, reduce stress, and draw you closer to your partner for years to come.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.