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Kidding Around With Romance

Larry James

Youthful and playful activities can add spark to your relationship. Being playful in adult relationships is a good thing. It's perfect for a first date and can even help light a fire under long-term couples whose affections have cooled.

Life happens in a blink! Take advantage of it. Your childhood is calling!

Love is eaten away by routine! Be playful.

Being playful isn't something logical. It's being the little kid in a big body, having fun, being happy and enjoying each other without concern about whether what you're doing is proper.

swing set

It's doing things with a sparkle in our eyes and with a laughing face. It's being a free-soul, with a sense of humor and in action with one another.

It's having an "I can hardly wait" attitude and taking a break from the fixed framework of your everyday life; it's celebrating distraction.

It's having the self-confidence to be or do something without the concern of what others might think. It's being okay with looking dumb, acting silly or stupid in a childlike way.

Bankrupt in the playful department? Spend an afternoon watching children play. It's childlike frolicking and drawing gleefully outside the lines.

It's being spontaneous with a childlike curiosity. Being playful is to be more candid, intimate, and outrageous. Being playful is being full of high-spirited fun: frisky, frolicsome, impish, mischievous. It's letting your playful spirit come out and play.

If they're not okay with you being who you are, that might be a clue as to whether you have a second date. Is that a great time saver or what?

You can also schedule a "PlayDate!" where you only play and focus on fun; no coversation about issues. Being playful is a great icebreaker, especially if sharing childhood memories - or favorite foods, worst nightmares, most embarrassing moments - is involved. Such honest revelations sometimes help determine if this is someone with whom you'd enjoy spending more time or you can learn more about the partner you're with.


"We don't quit playing because we grow older,
we grow older because we quit playing."

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Select a special day each week to compliment your mate. Be sure the compliment is personal and handmade; send an e-mail, a card or love poster, or a handwritten sweet note.

Take crayons to a family-friendly restaurant and draw pictures or write notes to each other on the placemats. Go to a Kids Cartoon Movie together.

Go out for ice cream, a movie, a concert or just take a walk. Attend church together. Play Frisbee in a park. Visit a local high school football game on the spur of the moment. Make it a weekly activity for you and your love partner to share throughout the year.

Slide down the hill on a large, flattened cardboard box or, in the summer, on a large block of ice. Go bicycling together. Have a food fight.

If you are walking by a park, visit the swings and give your partner a ride.

Jump rope. Read a Dr. Seuss book together. Get down on the floor and spend an evening together playing children's games or playing with children's toys.

Have some fresh-air fun. Get outside for a change. Wade in a stream. If you are brave, climb a tree. Notice the shape of the clouds. Pitch a tent (rent one for the night) and relax in each other's arms listening to a symphony of crickets or other sounds of nature.

Skip flat rocks across a pond. Mix up some soapy water and blow bubbles. Buy some bubblegum. Have a bubble-blowing contest.


"Let's embrace the day with little-kid delight, age-old gratitude, and cat-like curiosity."

Leslie Van Romer

Blow bubbles during a slight breeze before sundown. Blow them big and let each one carry a secret wish.

Buy two large water guns and take them to the park. Pull them out and hand one to your partner and then have a huge water gun fight.

Go out and buy a music CD together. When you return home, turn on the music, sit on the back porch and enjoy hot cider or a cold drink and each other's company.

Plan a picnic on a playground for children and play on the swings. Enjoy the feeling of flying through the breeze. Play on the slide or in the sand box.

Blindfold your date, drive him to an ice cream parlor and make him guess the flavor of as many samples as they'll let you try.

Power walk through the park, then stop for some social lubricant, relax and catch your breath.

Go to the library. Each quietly read a children's book, then go sit under a tree and take turns telling each other the story you read.

Buy a couple of disposable cameras and snap a few pictures of you and your partner "just being a kid again." Drop them off at a one-hour photo shop, then check out your adventure over some yummy desert.

Reminisce about some of the funny things that have happened in your relationship. Laugh! Tell a funny joke. Laugh! Make funny faces at each other to see how long it takes for your partner to laugh. Laugh!


"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."

Victor Borge, Musician/Comedian

Go jump in the lake (or pool)! Be playful. Take a splashy, childlike swim. Remember to take your rubber ducky!
Dolphin being playful

Visit a candy store. Suck on a lollipop. Sit under a tree and watch the squirrels. Recall a childhood memory or activity and engage your partner in reliving it. Whistle a happy tune. Create some lively conversation.

Take a hike! Leave your destination to chance. Carry a penny with you and when you come to a corner, flip the coin to see whether to go left (heads) or right (tails).

Dance in the rain, jump in a puddle, make mud pies. Kick a ball around or climb a tree and hang upside down. When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

Drive into the country, find a grassy hill and lie with your partner and look up at the clouds.

Make a "spur-of-the-moment" bouquet of freshly picked wild flowers or weeds with flowers and spontaneously present them to your partner.

The best things in life are free. Flinging dollars on a date is not what fun-focused dating is about. Sunsets, picnics in the park, walks on the beach, celebrating Love together and are all priced right! The same is true about special occasions and gifts. Design some of your own memorable moments. You don't have to be a "big spender" to have fun.

chalk heart on driveway

Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up! Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screen-saver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun. taking life lightly, and laughing.

Make your date the luck-of-the-draw. Have each partner take some crayons and draw several possible dates, put them in a hat and pick one.

Date your mate! Plan it in advance. Preparation is the key to successful dating. Focus on having fun. Committed love partners know it is wise to plan their time together. Go on a date. Talk about it. Don't wait until the last moment.

Slow down the pace a little. Moving 70 mph through a date is not a good idea. Give yourself time to focus on fun. Take turns planning these events. Lovers show their consideration for each other this way. To do otherwise is to take your togetherness for granted.

And most important - pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, having FUN and laughing.

It's never too late to begin a new, playful tradition. Being playful is a good thing!

•    •    •

A special "thank you" to Janie Magruder, The Arizona Republic for the inspiration for this article.

Copyright © - Larry James. All rights reserved.

Need more "romantic" tips and ideas? Read Greg Godek's book, "1001 Ways to be Romantic!"

1001 Ways to be Romantic - Gregory J.P. Godek - Truly a best seller from "America's Romance Coach!" This book will help you if you are bankrupt in the romance department. Pick a number between 1 and 1001 and get busy re-creating romance in your relationship. Also check out 1001 More Ways to be Romantic.

Larry's Review: Need an idea that will help you put the romance back into your relationship? You must read both of Greg's books. Do what I do. Pick up one of these books and surprise your partner with some creative romance. I've known Greg Godek since 1991. He knows more about romance than anyone I know. Highly recommended!

1001 Ways to be Romantic

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