5 Ways Outdoor Adventures Can Improve Your Relationship
In the beginning, finding that special someone you just can’t live without is thrilling. The romantic whirlwind of dates that lead to the first kiss, which leads to spending all of your free time together (until you move in with one another), is all romance and excitement. Unfortunately, the intensity of new love can only last so long. While studies show that boredom and stress both play a role in the decline of many long-term relationships, mature love isn’t doomed to falling into the doldrums. Keeping the spark alive is as easy as embarking on an outdoor adventure.
The benefits of increased outside time are relatively well known, but lesser known are the relationship-saving effects that regular adventures into the great outdoors can have. Here are five ways adventuring together can help fortify your relationship for the long-haul…
1) Increased vitality: Fatigue, listlessness, and depression can wreak havoc on a relationship. When one or both partners find themselves in a rut of exhaustion and disinterest, the relationship is likely to fall into that same kind of rut. Fortunately, studies show that spending time in nature increases vitality. Scheduling daily, or even weekly, outings to a local park or nearby wild space can stave off a decline in mood, as well as work or daily routine-related fatigue. But if you really want to harness that vitality or put the spark back in your connection, consider planning an outdoor adventure that is both physically challenging and includes breathtaking views.
2) Reduced relationship-ruining stress: Science says that when you are stressed out you are less likely to be a good support for your partner. From fueling arguments to breaking down lines of communication, stress shows up in relationships in a multitude of nasty ways. Left unchecked, anxiety and tension can destroy the best romances.
There are numerous studies that show spending time in nature both reduces stress and helps keep it regulated. Include the outdoors in your daily life by walking or riding a bike to work when possible. When the weather is warm enough, schedule a camping trip or rent a cabin in a remote area with your partner. An outdoor adventure can be both exciting and relaxing at the same time, and your time away from the daily grind will give you an opportunity to reconnect and communicate like you did during those first passionate dates.
3) Increased libido: Everyone experiences a low libido on occasion, and the longer you are in a relationship, the more likely you are to be affected at some point. Regular outings in the outdoors are a great way to stave off or lift a low sex drive. Studies show that all of the benefits that outdoor adventures offer—exercise, mood-boosting time in the sun (vitamin D), and stress reduction—are all things that can increase libido.
4) Sustained relationship satisfaction: Couples who vacation together, stay together. One survey reported that 86% of couples who vacationed together claimed the romance was still alive in their relationship. Their increased satisfaction was linked to their feelings of having shared interests and hobbies. Another factor that plays a strong role in increasing the strength of the relationship bond is the boost that comes from going on an adventure together.
While not all vacations focus on the great outdoors, the ones that do come with the added benefits associated with spending time in nature, as well as a healthy dose of true adventure. Multi-day camping, hiking, and rafting trips offer couples the opportunity for adrenaline-pumping fun far away from the developed world.
Unplugged and remote options allow connections to grow where communication is uninterrupted by the hustle and bustle of daily life. These types of trips also force couples to work together while completing vital tasks like setting up camp, putting up a tent, rowing a boat or raft, and cooking a meal. Many go home with new sets of skills that they can apply to their daily lives.
5) Trust builder: Putting together and executing an outdoor adventure takes time, careful planning, teamwork, and a whole lot of trust. Couples who regularly embark on these challenging and fun excursions tend to have a strong trust bond. Whether you rely on your partner to navigate directions, make reservations, or pack important equipment, investing your free time in the great outdoors is guaranteed to show you how capable your partner is and how much you can truly rely on them.
There is little that is as exciting as finding your true love. It’s something worth working to nurture and grow. Whether you are in a budding relationship, or one that has seen its fair share of days, making time for epic outdoor adventures together is guaranteed to help maintain or reignite that spark of passion that makes you the perfect match.
Photos: James Kaiser