My Experimental Year

Experiment #1: Engage in Your Spouse’s Hobby

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I put some solid thought into what activity I should commit to for the first month of My Experimental Year. Key factors were the weather (it is January after all) and my energy levels (we just bought a house and have lots of projects going on). 

It’s my experiment and I’ve decided that I might as well make things easy for myself (a.k.a. not committing to walking 8,000 steps per day during the coldest month of the year). 

So! For the month of January, I am experimenting with engaging with my spouse’s hobby every day. Spoiler alert: your girl is gonna be playing lots o’ video games! 

Given that this is an experiment, allow me to lay out the details of said experiment:

Why do it:

I want to spend more time connecting with my favorite person! 

The rules/guidelines:

  • Play video games with my husband every day. No exclusions. 
  • No time minimum. Anything counts. 
  • If I’m having a migraine, we will play a board game instead so that I don’t have to look at the TV. 

Hypothesis (what I think it will add to my life):

In short, deeper connection, more fun, and more positive interactions. 

Even though we’re both home together all day every day, we don’t actually do that much together. It occasionally feels like we’re two people cohabitating instead of two people enjoying a relationship. Playing games together = shared experiences! 

I want more fun for both of us together as well and more fun in my own life. Video games are not my preferred way to have fun, but they do help me do fewer productive things, which for a type-A kinda girl, is actually a low-key goal for me.😅 

I also hypothesize that this will increase the number of positive interactions in our relationship. Relationship researcher John Gottman has found a crucial correlation between the ratio of positive to negative interactions that couples share and the happiness of their relationship. Apparently, the ratio is 5 to 1. For every one negative feeling or interaction, you need to have 5 positive ones. (Source)

Now, I’m not sitting around tallying positive and negative interactions between Austin and I. That’d be weird. But I feel like making an effort to do fun stuff together is all-around good for everyone! 

As I’m writing this, I’ve already completed two days of Experiment #1 and I’m already having some interesting insights about:

  • My parents’ relationship as I grew up
  • Increasing the amount of screen-time I get each day
  • Listing time with my husband as a to-do list task

At the end of the month, I’ll be sharing some of these insights and so much more as I share the results of the experiment. Stay tuned! 

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You can read the results of this experiment HERE.

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