couple cooking happy bigstI tend to think that when two people grow together in a romantic relationship, their bond will only become stronger as time goes on. That being said, I thoroughly enjoy fun bonding exercises that nourish the connection. It doesn’t have to be cheesy or forced. It’s just a more direct route to a certain type of conversation.

Whether it’s in the “getting to know each other” stage, or several months or years down the road, these ideas can be a great way to give your bond a boost.

Icebreakers.

Icebreakers typically are reserved for gatherings that consist of a group of strangers. (Think college orientation.) And yet, I love to indulge in icebreaker exercises with people I already know: Tell me something weird about yourself. Tell me your favorite ice cream flavor. Tell me a wonderfully random childhood anecdote.

In these icebreakers, your partner has the floor to share any previously unknown tidbit that will reveal quirks or intricacies.

The Game of Truth.

I tend to play this game with my boyfriend whenever we have a moment to spare. The rules are quite simple. You ask each other questions, whether light or heavy, for the sole purpose of connection: What’s your biggest fear? If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and why? What’s a fond childhood memory that’s close to your heart? Which song truly speaks to you? Who is someone who inspires you? And the list goes on…

“Truth” is an effective mechanism to gauge what may normally be left unsaid.

Music shares.

Last year, I wrote on how we can connect with others through music. Share music with your partner that conveys who you are. Are there any songs that resonate with your own personal life story? Are there glimpses of your personality in particular lyrics or melodies? Music can be a great vehicle for communication when your words don’t suffice.

Swap books.

In Jen Anderson’s personal narrative, “Better Than Chocolate,” she discusses book-swapping and how that exercise can encourage emotional intimacy.

“What can be more of a gateway into your lover’s heart than a book that he never let go of?” Anderson said. “What could speak more to your loved one than the pages that you returned to again and again because you needed them and grew with them and took comfort in their familiarity?”

She exchanged books with her husband, gaining pertinent insight about the man she married.

“I dove eagerly into Once A Runner, and emerged with a deepened sense of the man I love,” she said. “As a non-runner, I finally got it. I knew what running meant to him. I was so moved, in fact, that I shared my gratitude with the author in a letter: ‘your story opened a window into my husband’s soul that I may have never otherwise entered. I love him even more though that window,’ the letter read.”

As two people in a romantic relationship become more involved and intimate, their bond may naturally deepen; however, why not participate in exercises that can propel the connection along? Icebreakers, the game of Truth, music shares and book swapping are all fun-filled activities to strengthen your relationship, while getting to know one another even better.