Three Ways “Fun Theory” Can Help Your Relationship Thrive

Three Ways "Fun Theory" Can Help Your Relationship ThriveHave you ever tried to get excited about something you didn’t really want to do?

A friend of mine is a runner. Recently I admitted I simply don’t like running enough to tackle the long distances she does, and what she said floored me.

She said she doesn’t like to run, either. But she knows it’s good for her, so she finds ways to make it fun.

For her, that means listening to music, staying connected with other runners, and going absolutely nuts buying running apparel.

The folks at Volkswagen think along the same lines. They launched a program called “Fun Theory.” Fun Theory is the idea that “something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.”[i]

In one of their experiments, they painted a set of stairs to look like piano keys. The stairs were directly adjacent to an escalator, but they wanted to see if more people would opt for the stairs if the stairs looked more fun.

Guess what? It worked![ii]

Below you’ll find three times when you can use the same strategy in your relationship. You can help your relationship thrive if you can turn the work of maintaining your relationship easier just by injecting some fun.

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Discover What Jealousy Can Teach You

learning from jealousyImagine:

The world has blown up. There are only two people left on Earth:

You … and Mr. Dreamy.

There’s no one else left. No rivals. No one thinner, prettier, or sexier. No one who’ll steal him from you.

Do you fall in love and live happily ever after?

It’s tempting to think that’s what it would take.

To get the attention of a Mr. Dreamy, you’d have to rid the world of other women. Other women are the problem. They’re the reason men look the other way.

Sounds a bit extreme!

But have you ever had thoughts like:

If only she wasn’t here, he’d pay attention to me.
She stole him from me, even though she knew I was interested in him.
I can’t compete with her. I’m no swimsuit model.

Jealousy makes a lot of sense when you operate from a “scarcity” mindset.

Scarcity is the idea that the dating pool is limited and there aren’t enough guys to go around. You have to fight to get in front, and then you have to fight to keep your man.

You’ll find a lot of support for that belief. It’s a popular one.

But if you stretch that belief to its logical conclusion—that the best way to snag a man is to get rid of the competition—you realize there’s a problem with scarcity thinking.

If the world blew up tomorrow, leaving only you and your ideal man, would you be happy?

Maybe you would. Maybe love is all you need. Maybe you don’t need other people.

But maybe Mr. Dreamy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. You’d be left until the end of time with no one but a man for company. Might get boring. You might end up wishing for another woman to talk to.

To be happy, we need more than love. We need our social network around us.

Without friends, who would we vent about our other half to? You can love someone to the moon and back, but still need your friends for heart-to-hearts.

As long as there are other women in the world, there’s a chance your dream man might shift his attention away from you. And that’s a chance worth taking.

Instead of eliminating the competition, a better strategy is to look at what you do when you start feeling jealous.

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How to Deal With That ONE THING That’s Not Working In Your Relationship

dealing with relationship problemsFill in the blank in the following sentence. Ready?

Everything about my current relationship is great…except _______________________.

What did you put in the blank?

It sucks when almost everything about a dating relationship works. It is because it feels like you are just so close to heaven on earth… If it wasn’t for that one annoying issue.

And yet, it’s extremely common. Often, even really solid couples have one or two core complaints about each other.

But as common as this is, most folks don’t know how to get over the hump. And, ironically, when everything else seems to fit, it makes that one thing that doesn’t fit really stick out.

Like a thorn in your side.

Recently, I came across some good advice for dealing with this kind of thing. In a constant quest to bring you the very best relationship tips, I read a lot – everything from psychological journals to the kinds of magazines you find in supermarkets.

This little tidbit was in an article in Glamour. It was specifically about sex, but the principle can be applied to anything that’s holding you back.

Check out this quote:

“According to sex therapist Vanessa Marin, [getting past that one thing] all comes down to how willing you and your partner are to work on it. If you both are, there’s usually something that can be done. And if one of you isn’t, your relationship probably has bigger problems than sex.”[i]

That’s dead-on.

As long as you and your guy can communicate effectively, no single issue should undo your whole relationship.

So, the real question is when something’s holding your relationship back, how do the two of you work through it?

It’s not too tough as long as you have a good strategy, and the following pointers can help.

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Are You Right for Each Other? The One True Test of Relationship Compatibility

relationship compatibility

When I was in high school, there was a girl named Stephanie who had it all. She was tall with a pretty face and a nice figure.

Her dad was one of the richest guys in town and gave her the choice of any brand-new car she wanted for her sixteenth birthday. Nearly all the popular guys in our school stood in line for their turn to date her.

I did not stand in line.

If you asked me if she was an attractive person, I would have said “yes” without a second thought. However, I was not attracted to the idea of myself in her presence. She was taller than me by a good inch. She wore clothes that made mine look shabby.

And the worst thing was her silly way of interacting with people. I was very serious during my high school years, and I took pride in the accomplishments I was already pursuing at that early age.

Stephanie liked to engage people with as much silly banter as she could. It’s not that I couldn’t see the value of that playful style of interaction; it’s just that it didn’t play to my strong suit.

I could imagine myself feeling awkward and unlikable compared to her when trying to interact with her friends. In contrast, my friends looked up to me for my tendency to deeply consider questions before responding. I had my silly side too, but I wouldn’t want to be that version of myself twenty-four-seven.

Here’s what I’m getting at…

When I am attracted to you, it means I want more of you in my life. Even beyond that though, attraction means I enjoy being me when I am in your presence.

I don’t know if you have noticed this, but you change depending on who you are spending time with.

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