One of the things that Ed and I have noticed over the years is that we all have a tendency to plug in after dinner. Whether it’s the computer, an iPod or the TV, we’re all tuned into something. The problem is that we’re not tuned in to each other.
Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of programs I like to watch and relaxing in front of the TV can be a great way to spend a few hours. I just think that in light of the fact that we all struggle to find time for “quality time”, we need to find ways to relax together that don’t include looking at and listening to something else all night when our spouse is in the same room. We have time for quality time; we just need to take it away from something else we’re doing.
Here are some things you can do together on at least some of the evenings that you would ordinarily spend watching the tube or surfing the net.
1. Take a bath or shower together.
This isn’t necessarily a tip for romance, although bathing together can certainly head in that direction. It’s more about relaxing and unwinding together, which is usually the reason we watch TV, right? Try a nice long shower with great smelling soap, maybe in lavender for its calming qualities. Or grab a couple glasses of wine, turn down the lights, take a hot bath and just chill out for a while.
2. Start walking together.
Ed and I started doing this in an effort to get more exercise and more time together all in one. It’s turned out to be quite addictive. We barely know we’re working out, although we’re pretty relaxed about the pace anyway. We get a chance to talk about our days and unwind, yet we have more energy after walking, too. More energy in the evening is always a good thing.
3. Start or work on a hobby together.
It seems like none of us has time for hobbies anymore. Remember hobbies? People used to collect things, make things and otherwise pursue an interest that had nothing to do with TV or a computer. Why not do it with your spouse? You both probably have hobbies you gave up long ago; maybe one of them will interest both of you. If not, introduce your spouse to your old interest or vice versa. Maybe you could even try something completely new to both of you.
There’s a really neat page filled with mainstream and unusual alternatives to watching TV at December (dot) com. They even suggest “founding a literary movement” and other fun ideas. Check it out and find some ways to spend time really being together even just one night a week.