When it comes to building friendship, one of the best things you can do is spend time together doing normal, daily tasks like going for a walk, taking a trip to the grocery store, and even cleaning the house.
These aren’t things you might think to do on a normal date, but they are the things that will best build a strong bond of friendship between you and your partner.
It’s in the normal, daily tasks that you and your partner will each get to see what the other is really like. When you’re dating, it can be easy to try and make yourself into someone who is more appealing to your partner.
After all, you both put on your best behavior on dates and dress to impress. These are the sides of you your partner saw during the casual phase of your relationship.
When you spend normal time together, these facades often fall away. You’ll get to see your partner as they really are and they will get to do the same with you.
Start With an Afternoon
The prospect of spending even a whole day with your partner without having anything special planned can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t had much time together just hanging out. If you feel this way, you’ll want to start with a shorter amount of time, like an afternoon.
Pick a day where you usually run errands or clean up around the house. Invite your partner over to do those things with you. Let them know what to expect, both in terms of what you’ll be doing and what you’ll expect them to do.
A good example is doing a little grocery shopping. Don’t make it a major restocking shop, but be sure your partner knows you just need to pick up a few things. Ask for some input as to how to make it a little easier, or if there’s anything specific they like to eat that you might add to your grocery list.
If it still sounds unappealing to spend time like this with your partner, plan to go to dinner or see a movie afterwards. This can be motivation for you both to finish what needs to get done quickly and try to enjoy your time together even though it’s different than what you’re used to.
What if it’s Awful?
If you try to spend normal time with your partner and you both hate it, don’t give up. When you’re used to doing more exciting things together, spending time doing normal things can feel like a letdown.
Instead of walking away from this sort of interaction or, even worse, from the whole relationship, commit to trying it a few times. Include different activities and think up things you might ask your partner to contribute some ideas as to how you can make those tasks a little quicker or more fun. You’ll both be able to look at a mundane activity in a new light this way.
You should give yourself at least three or four chances to interact like this before you give up on it.
If you do give yourselves multiple chances and you find that it still isn’t working, you might want to consider whether or not the relationship can work long-term. When you’re with someone in a committed relationship, you end up spending a lot more normal time together than you do going to special events or even out on dates. If spending that kind of time together is painful, this might not be a relationship where you can commit and find true love.