Summer isn’t just a break for kids, it can be a break from kids. For many parents, summer is a time when kids head off to camp or spend more time away from the house with friends. With the slower pace of summer and the extra time off parenting duty, it’s the ideal time for couples to focus on themselves. Here are a few tips from Stephanie Manes, licensed couples therapist, for making the most of the season to add some heat back into your relationship:
Summer is a time when you can get away with sneaking off from work for a little play. And let’s face it, there’s something naughty but especially fun about checking out when the rest of the world is working. So make an extra long lunch date, or take the afternoon off, and indulge. Whether it’s heading off to the park with books or heading home for something more private, it will make you feel like kids again.
Summer is a great time to share outdoor activities. The sense of common interests, connecting in novel ways, sharing experience — it is all vital to a relationship. If you make it physical, you get the added bonus of being in your bodies, which can translate to your intimate life.
Remember all the novel things you tried in the summer? Whether archery or canoeing, summer seems to give kids permission to expand their horizons of activity and pleasure. You can bring this same sense of exploration and freedom to you and your partner. Try a dance class, a boating lesson, cooking or photography…. the point is to spend pleasure time seeing yourselves and each other with fresh eyes.
The warmth and languid rhythm of long summer nights invite seduction. Take advantage of the mood to get in touch with your own sensual side. This might mean wearing the sundress when you would usually wear shorts, or inviting her to sit outside with a glass of wine to catch the last bit of light. Or lingering a bit longer in cool sheets. Get creative and stretch out the long days and hot nights into your own window of intimacy.