Quality time with your partner can be as easy as running a bath or napping.
Staying in, you're really a couple now. The two of you have progressed past pick-you-up-at-8 dates and successfully navigated the first and subsequent weekend getaways. Now you spend most, if not all, of your evenings side by side. Perhaps you’ve moved in. Or gotten married. So what are you doing with all that quality together time? Sorting laundry? Paying bills? Debating where to spend Thanksgiving? We’ve been there.
Anne’s married with a toddler, and Sunday mornings lolling in bed with her husband have devolved into mumbling, “Your turn,” when their son cries at 6 a.m. Lauren is just out of a long-term relationship—long-term enough that takeout-and-television nights had eclipsed candlelit dinners by a ratio of about 10 to one.
Let’s face it—for even the most romantic couples, staying home can become ho-hum. So why not try sharing the rejuvenating moments that you usually experience alone?
Get on the same page.
Our friends Kristin and Richard have been together for 14 years; they’re masters of the romantic weekend trip and spontaneous picnic for two. But the moment that stands out in their minds is a Saturday morning a year and a half into their relationship when, fresh out of the shower, they lay naked side by side across Kristin’s bed, chins over the side, a book on the floor, reading together.
“Even though we were completely silent, we were sharing something,” Kristin recalls. “It was a funny, intimate, completely unusual way to connect.” The idea here isn’t necessarily to pick something romantic— Kristin and Richard were reading John Grisham, not love sonnets.
You can mind-meld over anything you’re both into: travel guides, parenting books, memoirs, mysteries. If mismatched reading speeds make things frustrating, simply buy two copies of the same book: Once, at the beach, we passed a couple sitting side by side in their striped chairs, each engrossed in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Doze à deux.
If a nap re-energizes you, it can do the same for your relationship. And it’s not just because it gives you a chance to cuddle (or to take other advantage of your proximal horizontality). Napping together is like synchronizing your watches: You reset your internal clocks and wake up in tune with each other. An example: Lauren is usually too type A to “waste” daylight hours sleeping.
On a typical Sunday afternoon, while her boyfriend took a siesta, she’d go for a run. But afterward, with Tim rejuvenated and Lauren winding down, their evening together felt disjointed. When they made it a dual snooze, it was a whole different story. They woke up with the same energy level and a connection that lasted the rest of the day.
Make a splash.
The bath as a seduction scene is almost a cliche. As a friend of ours with an enormous tub for two (yes, he’s a bachelor), points out: “If there’s anything sexier than being naked together, it’s being naked and wet.” But there’s a bigger benefit: A bath for you both means enforced intimacy. You’re stripped down, soaped up, and stuck in a small space for at least as long as it takes for the water to cool.
The situation almost begs for the kind of important discussions that kids, phones, and dirty dishes so easily derail. Anne and her husband of five years have made it a ritual: They were sharing baths when they decided to take jobs in London, to have a second child, and to buy a vacation house. They use their time in the tub to unwind and focus on being a couple. So the next time your plans involve no plans, why not soak, snooze, or relax with that new novel ... together? You’ll turn staying in into something special.