Movie night is a sacred tradition for couples...until you’ve blown through the entire Netflix catalogue and there’s nothing left to stream. Rather than slip into excessive smartphone use (or watch The Office for the hundredth time), check out this fun list of hobbies for couples that will keep things interesting and bring you and bae closer. (And don’t worry—all of the activities can be achieved while social distancing.)
1. Play cards
There are tons of great adult card games that can be played with just two people (and no we’re not talking about the torturously long and boring game of War). Start perfecting your poker face, learn how to play black jack like a pro or opt for a round of rummy—either way, you and your other half are sure to enjoy the screen-free entertainment and friendly competition with nothing more than a standard deck of cards.
2. Go rock climbing
You don’t need to be a risk-taker to enjoy rock climbing with your significant other. Hit up an indoor rock climbing gym for a safe challenge that’s also an excellent work out. Bonus: Climbing walls are a lot more fun than your standard gym equipment (sorry, treadmill) so this work out won’t feel like a chore to either of you.
Volunteering is not only a good thing to do in the altruistic sense, research has also shown that it can improve your mental and physical health, life satisfaction and social well-being. Grab your partner and pick up a hobby that supports the common good—your relationship might just get a boost to boot.
4. Play chess
When it comes to brain-sharpening benefits, chess is hard to beat. Make it a ritual to play this game with your partner for some quality time that demands complete, undivided attention from both parties while providing plenty of mental stimulation too.
5. Start a book club for two
Turn your quiet ‘alone time’ into an opportunity for bonding by picking books or that both you and your partner are interested in reading. Plow through each read at the same rate and come together for a rousing discussion of the material that promises to foster positive communication and renewed interest in each other’s feelings and ideas. May we suggest one of these riveting books?
6. Try your hand at tie-dying
If you’re looking for a hobby that delivers loads of hands-on fun, you and your significant other might want to consider dipping your toes (or old t-shirts) in a little tie-dye. This easy and entertaining project results in colorful and cheerful works of art that you’ll both love looking at. Here’s how to tie-dye at home. Groovy, baby.
7. Redecorate your living space
Boredom is the enemy of romance, but sometimes the fix is as simple as changing up your living space with exciting, new design elements. If you and your significant other co-habitate, you’ll both reap the rewards of this hobby—but when done as a joint endeavor, redecorating promotes collaboration and offers both people an opportunity to get their creative juices flowing in the same direction. Best of all, you can spruce things up on the regular without spending a fortune—just check out this list of decorating ideas that don’t cost a dime.
8. Do a virtual wine tasting
Turn your love of vino into an opportunity to learn something new with a recurring virtual wine tasting date. You’ll both enjoy winding down together while sipping the good stuff, but the extra education will make your typical evening ritual more exciting—and could even strengthen your bond. This study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology is one of many that suggests a shared learning experience (i.e., the new and novel) has a positive effect on relationship satisfaction.
9. Start a collection
It doesn’t matter much what you and your other half decide to collect (although word on the street is that Gen Y is really into stamps), collecting things of interest can be an incredibly satisfying hobby, especially when the collection represents an interest you and your sweetheart share. If you have a mutual love of the beach, start a seashell collection by scouring the sand together for the best ocean treasures. Or, if you come together over music, start a record collection that reflects your similar tastes. Either way, the end result will be a visual reminder of your closeness.
10. Bake a loaf of sourdough
Learn how to make sourdough bread with your boo for a hobby that keeps on giving. The process is a little tricky compared to other breads, but once you make a good starter, it will yield loaf after loaf of homemade deliciousness. Plus, spending time in the kitchen together is always pretty sexy, right? Pro tip: Slice up some of that freshly-baked bread, serve it alongside a cheese plate and enjoy the fruits of your labor during your virtual wine tasting.
11. Get sweaty with virtual fitness classes
It’s a well-known fact that a good work out releases mood-lifting endorphins, but did you know the effect is enhanced when you engage in exercise alongside your romantic partner? According to extensive research cited by Pyschology Today, couples that work out together report heightened feelings of love and attraction to one another as a result. Running isn’t your cup of tea? No problem. Virtual fitness classes provide a wide array of exercise programs, so you can find a heart-pumping, romance-boosting work out that both you and your partner will enjoy...even on a rainy day.
12. Stretch it out with some yoga
Stress can kill anyone’s sex life and unfortunately it doesn’t even take two to tango: If just one half of a couple is experiencing unmanaged stress, it can have disastrous effects on the quality of a relationship. The good news? Doing yoga with your partner on a regular basis is an ideal way to spend time together, while releasing the tension that might otherwise get in the way of your quality time.
13. Visit virtual museums
Spark conversation and learn something new by taking regular trips to a virtual museum with your spouse. Museums are excellent sources of informal education that offer couples an opportunity to explore their interests together (and gain new ones, as well). Best of all, virtual museum visits are a global phenomenon right now, which means you and your sweetheart can travel together—viewing everything from the opulence at the Palace of Versailles in France to the rare, ancient artifacts at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin—all from the comfort of your own couch. Check out the best virtual museums here, and then start touring together.
14. Learn a new language
It doesn’t matter how many years of school you have under your belt, the process of learning a new language will always make you feel like you’re starting from scratch, which is why it is so thrilling. As previously mentioned, when couples engage in arousing and novel experiences together (like fumbling and butchering foreign phrases), the relationship benefits are big. Plus, if you keep at it, you’ll both be proficient in time for your next vacation—and it will be lots of fun to strut your newfound skills together, too.
15. Unwind with adult coloring
Adult coloring is all the rage right now and for good reason. While hobbies of all stripes are known to help with stress, expert sources say adult coloring in particular has been shown to relieve anxiety and relax the brain. The takeaway? This growing trend might be just the creative activity that you and your other half need to unwind in tandem...without reaching for the TV remote.
16. Invest in some board games
Turns out that a rousing game of Monopoly isn’t just for kids. Yep, studies show that even adults benefit from play. Not feeling excited about anything in your current game night rotation? Invest in something new, like one of these grown-up board games, which are sure to spice things up.
17. Start a reorganizing project
Let’s get real: As a couple, the bulk of your conversation consists of complaining about clutter. What is this pile of clothes? Can you sort through that growing stack of mail, please?! If this sounds familiar, it might be time to make reorganizing a joint hobby. It might not sound fun, but with a few beers and some good music, you might actually enjoy the process. And remember, per Marie Kondo wisdom, a decluttered space will give you both a new lease on life. Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 best pieces of decluttering advice to spark joy in your home…and your relationship.
18. Get crafty
Crafting boasts an whole host of health benefits—science suggests that these artsy activities have the ability to reduce depression and anxiety, relieve stress, and even stave off cognitive decline. Even more good news: Crafting is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, so if you and your partner decide you want to start getting creative as a couple, you can take your pick from any of the endlessly diverse art projects out there. Here are a few to get you started: mason jar crafts, easy crafts to do at home and crafts you can do with your toddler.
19. Get into crossword puzzles
Crossword puzzles are the bee’s knees—a mind-sharpening challenge that strikes the ideal balance between leisure and entertainment. (In other words, this hobby isn’t even a tall order at the end of a long day.) Start working on crosswords as a team for a brain-boosting, bonding experience that promises to keep couples engaged with each other.
20. Cook together
It’s a time-honored fact that cooking with someone is an intimate, sexy activity that fosters connection, conversation and physical closeness. If you and your significant other have fallen into the familiar ‘I make dinner, you do the dishes’ rut, try spicing things up with some teamwork in the kitchen on a regular basis. The newfound hobby will get both parties excited about food—and the pay off might just come in the form of passion as a final course. Get started with one of these easy dinner recipes for two.
21. Paint something
Grab a partner and get your Bob Ross on: Painting is a calming and romantic way to get your creative juices flowing, while celebrating your own self-expression, as well as that of your spouse. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a good artist to benefit. In fact, you can up the emotional bonding quotient by watching tutorials with your other half so you can both learn new skills before you put color on canvas.
22. Check out virtual escape rooms
Your video conference calls for work are about the farthest thing from romantic, but believe it or not, the same platforms can be used to keep the spark alive at home. Virtual escape rooms are trending right now, and it turns out this team-building exercise is actually fun. Players work together, either on the same screen or from remote locations, to complete puzzles in order to escape a virtual room. The thrilling experience can be enjoyed by a group of friends, or just unfold as a party for two—either way it is packed with entertainment and challenges that provide much more mental stimulation than ‘Netflix and chill.’
23. Listen to some music
Remember when you were young and fun? You’d stay up all night together listening to music with a bottle of wine, and then exchange playlists by day. Don’t sit around and wax nostalgic—even if the monotony of daily life and long-term coupling has put a damper on things, it’s never too late to turn off the screens and put on some good tunes instead. The effects of music on our emotions are well-documented and research suggests that music doesn’t just reflect our feelings, it also has the ability to alter them. Listen to music (old and new) with your partner, and you are both likely to benefit from a heightened sense of self-awareness and a stronger emotional connection.
24. Play dominoes
This simple game promotes teamwork and relaxation. Bonus: It’s an easy activity to learn but there are multiple ways to play so that you’ll never tire of the classic game. Here are the rules to get you started.
25. Start jigsaw puzzling
Jigsaw puzzles are a particularly couple-friendly hobby because who isn’t slightly daunted by the thought of putting together 2,500 pieces without a little help from a friend? Designate a safe spot in your pad (i..e, not the dinner table) and start taking on new challenges with your mate—you’ll both stay sharp as tacks as a result, and the pride that comes when the task is complete is so much sweeter when savored as a couple. Best of all: Your new hobby won’t fizzle out fast, since there’s no shortage of puzzles on the market, some with as many as 9,000 pieces.
26. Learn a new instrument
We’ve covered this territory, but it bears repeating: Learning something new with another person is a proven way to strengthen a romantic bond. Any hobby that combines novelty, education and shared experience is a winner, so it’s no wonder that learning a new instrument with your partner makes the list.
27. Try ballroom dancing
Ballroom dancing is undeniably, hot-and-bothered sexy...and it takes two to tango. Aside from the obvious benefits of a hobby that revolves around passionate and intimate dance, this extracurricular also presents an exciting challenge because, for the most part, the moves aren’t easy. Whether you’re hoping to get a good work out or just want to get into a new groove with your mate, reach out to local dance studios near you and see what kind of virtual classes they’re offering. Alternatively, check out some video tutorials online.
One of the biggest challenges in a relationship, especially when living with your significant other, is being able to strike the right balance between time spent together and much-needed ‘alone time.’ To make matters worse, it’s easy to take each other’s presence for granted so that quality time turns into something lacking in substance and purpose. The solution? Meditation. Among its many benefits, this stress-relieving practice encourages focus and calm by encouraging an in-the-present mindset. What does meditation look like when taken up as a hobby for two? Less time mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds, and more time connecting with one another. Here are some beginner meditation tips to try.
29. Start scrapbooking
Not only is scrapbooking a creativity hobby that keeps hands busy in a constructive way (unlike scrolling through the ‘Gram for the hundredth time today), it also has the potential to stir up good vibrations when done with a significant other. Celebrate fond memories and romantic moments by working as a team on a scrapbooking project—both the process and the final product promise to bring a flood of positive feelings.
30. Follow a podcast
If you have not yet hopped on the podcast bandwagon, it’s high time you do so. This relatively new medium is a much-needed alternative to video, which requires far less focus as the visual stimulation is often so overwhelming that viewers are more likely to disengage. By all means, enjoy a standing movie night with your spouse—just try to tune into a regular podcast together, too. They are cheap, often free, and the plethora of options deliver entertainment and education on topics of mutual interest. Simply listen with a loved one and when the programming is over, let the dialogue begin.
31. Go for a run
Running with your romantic partner might sound a tad precious, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. Any form of joint exercise has relationship-strengthening advantages—but the more vigorous the workout, the better. Go for regular, sweaty runs with your sweetheart to really get the blood pumping and maximize the endorphins (i.e., the feel-good hormones) reward. Afterwards, you’ll both be feeling happy, relaxed and, perhaps, ready to rinse-off together too.
32. Get snap happy
You might both be at the top of your Instagram game, but why not take on a new challenge and try out this art form without the help of fancy filters. As a hobby for couples, photography can provide new perspective and enhanced connectedness. For a team-based creative experiment, come up with weekly assignments so both parties can capture the same subject and compare their best (and worst) artistic shots, while sharing their experiences on ‘the job.’
33. Go birdwatching
Press pause on the chaos of daily life by scheduling a weekly birdwatching date with your partner. Sure, it might sound like something that your dad would do but hear us out: Birds are beautiful, melodious and, unless you make a point to slow down enough to look and listen, often taken for granted. The time spent in nature will be a breath of fresh air for both parties, as will the sense of serenity this hobby brings—because even in the company of your mate, successful sightings can only occur when there’s peace and quiet.
34. Go stargazing
Astronomy is one of the most fascinating and magical subjects, and stargazing is an undeniably romantic hobby and a good place to start if you and your partner share a love of the night sky. Invest in a good telescope and then spend some intimate time with your mate under the starts—an activity that’s guaranteed to provoke a spirit of inquiry and open the door for joint-learning.
35. Garden together
Mood-boosting benefits and aerobic exercise make gardening a hobby that’s well worth a try—but the work is done much quicker when you can get your mate on board with the project. The good news is that once you’re done weeding and preparing the soil, you can plant seasonal produce to use for your next joint cooking adventure (here are 10 ridiculously easy vegetables to grow), as well as flowers to set the mood.
36. Go on nature walks
Nature lovers and couples of all kinds can get a lot out of a pleasant, scenic stroll. Turn this ritual into an enriching activity by working together to identify and learn about the flora and fauna you encounter on your hike. (Hint: There’s more than one app for that.) The more you walk together, the more fun you will have expanding your collective wildlife encyclopedia.
37. Try your hand at beer brewing
Craft beers have been a big deal for a while now, so it’s no surprise that the small-production, artisanal stuff has piqued the curiosity of beer enthusiasts. While there’s no shame in enjoying a cold one from the comfort of an armchair, if you and your partner both share a love of brew, this drinkable DIY hobby might be right up your alley. Like any science, brewing beer at home is a process of trial and error—but that basically just adds to the fun. Bottoms up!
38. Learn how to draw
We’ve already covered adult coloring, but if the ready-made books have grown tiresome, or you’re just seeking a more challenging artistic undertaking, you can always proceed straight to drawing with your significant other instead. OK, Leonardo DiCaprio made it look easy in Titanic, but it actually isn’t—so don’t take offense if your romantic partner makes you out to look like a smurf instead of a sultry lady in repose. Instead, get in on some virtual drawing classes so you can both grow as artists and advance in something new.
39. Try Tai Chi
Can’t just sit still, say a mantra and magically clear your mind? Same. Fortunately, tai chi, best described as moving meditation, can bring as much zen into your life as the traditional kind, without requiring you to go from 60 to zero. The workout is low-impact and manageable for those who aren’t at peak fitness—still the exercises promote strength, flexibility and balance by keeping the body in constant motion, while delivering a healthy dose of mindfulness to boot.
40. Go camping
Exercise, exploration, being in nature with someone you love...and a notable absence of technology. All these things and more can explain why camping has the potential to boost romantic connections and invigorate relationships at any stage. Don’t take our word for it though, just get your gear together and see for yourself.