10 Tips For Making Cooking As A Couple Fun & Efficient

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man and woman cooking and dancing in the kitchen

Cooking is surprisingly not as common a skill as some would think, and as much as it probably should be. Many people find it's just easier to eat out of the house at restaurants or by ordering food delivery so they don't have to worry about making anything themselves — this is especially true if you haven't learned many finely-tuned cooking skills.

It sure is easier to heat up frozen food or to get take-out than it is to go to the grocery store, plan meals, meal prep, and cook dinner every night. The thing is, though, that eating out is not the healthiest option (nor the most financially sound option), so if you’re wanting to eat healthier and eventually be able to cook nutritious food for yourself, your spouse, and your kids, you’re going to have to learn how to cook.

Lucky for you, there are a ton of benefits to regularly cooking dinner with your partner or spouse.

By learning to work together in the kitchen, you could actually gain some valuable relationship skills as well, which you can apply to the rest of your life as a couple — outside the kitchen.

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A common misconception about cooking is that it is crazy hard to do — and it's widely believed to be a talent that only some people are born with. Sure, there are definitely people who are better at cooking than others and who just have a knack for it, but as they say in the Disney classic, Ratatouille anyone can cook.

It’s true, anybody can follow a recipe and make a dish even if they have no previous experience with making food. That’s the nice thing about cooking, really anyone can do it if they have the time and motivation, and patience.

Something that is even better than cooking and following a recipe by yourself is making a delicious masterpiece with your significant other. But isn’t everything more fun with them anyway? You’ve heard of couples cooking classes. You don’t need to go to one of those to be able to learn, just follow recipes from your home. It’s just such a helpful skill to practice and develop before you commit to living with someone in one household where you’ll both need to eat in and do that together.

Learn a little bit about cooking and you’ll be set! And then use these newfound cooking skills to spend time together as a couple in the kitchen every night and you'll be surprised at the relationship benefits you'll earn in the long run. Take a look below at some tips and tricks for spending quality time with your spouse or partner in the kitchen, and learning how to cook together as a couple.

10 Tips for making cooking as a couple of fun:

1. Work as a team

If you both try to do the exact same thing while making a meal together, you’re not going to be very productive and you will also try to take control of the way the other is doing it and get frustrated. Delegate who’s going to do what and make sure you’re working together to make aspects of the meals separately.

2. Make grocery shopping a weekly date night

It makes for a good pre-cooking mini-date where you can both get used to buying things and budgeting together. It creates opportunities for you both to agree and disagree and compromise on what you spend your money on and just to spend more time together.

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3. Periodically surprise each other with a date night out of the house

It’s okay to eat out every once in a while, too. It can get exhausting to cook every meal every day. Designate a day a week or every two weeks to go out to eat for dinner or lunch and enjoy the cooking that someone else does for you. Let those meals give you inspiration for something you might want to try cooking at home yourselves.

4. Cooking is twice as fun when you have someone to do it with

Everything gets done twice as fast when you’re working with a partner. It means twice as productive and half the time that you take which means you get to eat in half the time. Twice as many hands to help with cleaning up the messes as well. Double the hands to help with dishes.

5. Think of dinnertime as quality time together

You get to spend so much more time with your loved one if you’re spending that time and energy together in the kitchen. It gives you a reason and excuses to see them and if your days fill up fast and are too busy to find time to actually hang out and talk about your day, you can know that at least you’ll have dinner time and the prep time together.

6. If you hate cooking every night, plan your groceries and meal prep at the beginning of the week

Make sure that you know what you’re doing going into the meal prep. Don’t go in unprepared. Make sure you have followed the recipe and have all the ingredients and know how long everything is going to take and that you’ve taken into account measurements and the tools you need to have to make the meal you’ve decided on. This isn’t something that you can just make up as you go. That’s how you mess up your meal.

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7. Figure out each other's strengths in the kitchen.

Figure out what each of you is best at and use those strengths in the kitchen. Make sure that you’re both doing what you know how to do. If someone is good at whisking, have them do that. If one of you is better at cutting vegetables in a certain way or eyeballing measurements when necessary, let them do it. Figure out what skills each of you brings to the table and designate tasks that match accordingly.

8. Keep an open mind.

Try to recognize that everyone has a different way of doing things that your way isn’t necessarily always the best way. Be open to learning a new way of doing something in the kitchen. Don’t be too critical of your boyfriend and the way he slices the meat.

9. Work on your communication skills as you cook together

You have to talk to each other and make sure that everything that is happening is clear to both people. You need to tell them you want them to turn on the oven if you do. Don’t assume they’ll know what to do or that you’re coming behind them with a hot plate. Let them know everything you’re doing and what you want them to do that could be dangerous or essential to the process.

10. Remember to keep it fun

Play music while you cook! Enjoy yourselves. Joke around. Have fun. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Make it something enjoyable because it’s something that you’re going to be doing pretty often so you want to make it an experience that you’ll look forward to.

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Hayley Small is a writer who focuses on pop culture, religion, and relationships.