The second type of fun is easy to incorporate into your routine. You could watch funny movies or more sophisticated cartoons together; go to comedy clubs; or share funny moments of teasing or clowning. Shared laughter is a great stress reliever and bonding agent. Humor can be used to validate the other person or for you to lightly make fun of your drama; these are both different ways of connecting. Laughter can also break through and soothe upset or bitter feelings. For all of these reasons, shared humor has been shown by research to be a key component of happy marriages.
I know you probably can’t go to Kenya like Kate and William. But you can have high times going crazy together over a high-voltage vid game. This type of fun gets your adrenaline pumping and simulates the speedy brain chemistry of falling in love. You could hit the amusement park, go bungee jumping, take a helicopter ride, hike a mountainous trail, scream yourselves silly at a basketball game or have a footrace at the beach. Studies show that people who are emotionally aroused by any feeling, including joy or fear, fall in love more easily. As two love researchers once wrote, “Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder.”
The royal duo have been on some memorable trips and shared novel activities together. Novelty has been shown to be a key factor in developing personal and relationship satisfaction. It helps to produce dopamine, the neurotransmitter of pleasure. Change things up: where you make out or make love and where you go on vacation. Do something out of the ordinary, like taking a cross-country road trip or going camping at the beach instead of staying at a hotel.
If you want to go from casual to committed, share quiet enjoyment, as well as humorous, exciting, and novel activities. No matter who plans it, make sure the fun happens. As your partner feels good around you, he will want to spend more and more time with you. And your happiest-ever-after with your prince may be just around the corner.
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show & author of the soon to be published new book, “Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love” (February, 2011) as well as the best-selling author of “Love in 90 Days.” Dr. Diana’s revolutionary work is the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her FREE Relationship and Dating Advice Newsletter.