Added: Willie Erler - Date: 09.12.2021 23:39 - Views: 36045 - Clicks: 8720
I live with a hip-wiggler. My role in this bit is to survey the scene in mock disapproval, one eyebrow raised, trying not to giggle. My partner is playful and I try to in, in my introverted way. Unfortunately, we humans tend to become less playful as we get older.
The schedules and stresses of life can impinge on our relationship and suck the playfulness out of it. There may come a day when Fred bops less to the beat.
Play can bring us a sense of security, offer a way to communicate, and even help us resolve conflicts. Why are humans playful? Rather than spending the time hunting for food or sleeping to save up energy, why would it be useful for our ancestors to hang around the fire doing funny imitations of each other? Playfulness, some researchers speculate, could serve as a al to potential mates. Men who engage in friendly, reciprocal play with others might be demonstrating their lack Need someone playful aggression—an appealing trait when violent males are a threat to their wives and children—and women who have the energy for play might be demonstrating their youthfulness, a proxy for their reproductive abilities.
First of all, people said, playfulness simply feels good; it makes us laugh. It also supports the relationship itself, in a variety of ways, they added. People talked about using playfulness to seduce their partner and make sex enjoyable, and to communicate things more effectively. For example, sometimes teasing our partner about their faults and oddities can be a way of quietly pointing them out, without the sting of criticism. The very fact that play is unserious can make it a safe way to raise issues that are, in fact, quite serious.
Or it can work the opposite way: Serious relationship issues might Need someone playful up in your jokes and sarcasm, a al that something needs to be dealt with. One of the most common forms of play seems to be the secret language that develops between couples, from nicknames to private jokes.
I have to remember not to utter this word in the presence of others, lest it provoke strange looks. Role play is also common. We can playfully pilfer a cookie from our beloved, turning a normally selfish act into an affectionate exchange. Teasing is another behavior that walks the line between positive and negative, which is why play is a delicate negotiation: Our partner has to perceive our playful intent and in the game, lest they be annoyed by our frivolity or put off by our kindly jabs.
Some play is more structured, like the rules and games that couples invent. In these ways, play seems to spontaneously arise. But then those one-off comments or behaviors turn into habits, morphing and evolving over time but always expressing an underlying affection and understanding. So, it probably comes as no surprise that playful couples are often happy couples. In studies that survey people about their behaviors and feelings, those who are more playful in their relationships tend to experience more positive emotionsbe more satisfied with their unionand feel closer to each other.
They report that they communicate better, resolve conflicts better, and see their relationships in a more positive light.
However, achieving those warm, fuzzy benefits of play might depend on what kinds of play we engage in. In a studyProyer and his colleagues surveyed over heterosexual couples about their styles of play and how satisfied they were with their relationships. One of those styles stood out in good relationships: other-directed play.
People who tended to clown around in this manner were happier with their relationships overall. In particular, they were more likely to admire their partner, experience feelings of tenderness and togetherness, feel pleased with their sex life, be invested in the relationship, and believe it would last. Only some of these patterns held up for the intellectually playful, and still fewer were found in whimsically playful mates.
When we reflect on our own relationships, those playful moments are things to cherish. In the routine of the everyday, two people playfully construct a secret language and culture, and it is solely their own. Play involves showing our partner parts of ourselves that others rarely see, the childlike, silly side that might not be socially acceptable at work or in other settings. William Betcher.
If there were any prescription, it would be something like this: Let your silly self come out, appreciate the goofiness of your loved one, and do what makes you both smile. Kira M. Newman is the managing editor of Greater Good. Follow her on Twitter! Become a subscribing member today. Scroll To Top I live with a hip-wiggler. Get the science of a meaningful life delivered to your inbox. About the Author Follow. Newman Kira M. By David Elkind March 1, This article — and everything on this site — is funded by readers like you.
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The Benefits of Play for Adults