That’s why weekends are a much-needed time for couples to slow down, connect and just enjoy each other’s company, while also taking care of their individual needs and preparing for the week ahead.
We asked relationship experts how the happiest couples spend their weekends. Here’s what they told us.
1. They strike a balance between “me” time and “we” time.
“With all the busyness of daily life, many of us can end up feeling more like roommates than sweethearts. Weekends are prime time to reconnect as a couple. Maybe your thing is to cook dinner together or curl up in front of the TV or head out to a movie. But what about the Saturday morning Spin class you like? Or the mystery novel you’re dying to finish? What about breakfast out with the best friend you haven’t seen in a month? The happiest couples are able to feel connected without needing to being joined at the hip. They know the importance of both ‘me’ time and ‘we’ time and make sure to support plenty of both.” ― Winifred M. Reilly, marriage and family therapist and author of It Takes One to Tango
2. They plan something fun to look forward to.
“Many couples are so overwhelmed by their week that the weekend rolls around and they don’t have any fun plans. The workweek can be way less of a slog if couples do a bit of advanced planning and have something fun to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate weekend getaway, even just booking a cooking class or dinner date can make all the difference. The happiest couples also realize that not everyone is a planner. If one person is better at planning, let them do that and the other person can offer something else that is their strong suit!” ― Celeste Hirschman and Danielle Harel, sex experts and co-authors of Making Love Real: The Intelligent Couple’s Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion
3. They have sex, make out and cuddle.
“I find that often during the week, couples in my practice have a difficult time creating space for intimacy because they have to wake up and go to work, and at the end of the day they’re exhausted and just want to veg out and watch Netflix in their PJs and bunny slippers. Making time for the physical connection in one’s relationship, which often gets neglected, is necessary for healthy relationships to thrive. The weekends are a perfect time for prolonged pillow talk to foster this.” ― Kari Carroll, couples therapist
4. They work together to prepare for the week ahead.
“It’s rare to find people who love laundry, bills and grocery shopping, and these mundane tasks often fall to the weekend. Through good communication and a fair division of labor, these chores can be tolerable or even enjoyable. Healthy couples accept these realities of life, work together to minimize the strain, and maximize their relaxation and entertainment time.” ― Ryan Howes, clinical psychologist
5. They draw clear boundaries between work life and home life.
“With many of us working more and more hours each week, a healthy balance between work and life can be hard to achieve. There we are, answering emails at night in bed, carving out time in the evening and weekends to just keep afloat. Hard as it may seem, drawing firm lines around work time and preserving quality time as a couple sends a loud and clear message that your relationship is a priority.” ― Winifred Reilly
6. They get outside and explore.
“The couples who get out of the house and experience the world together beyond their favorite brunch spots maintain a sense of discovery that breaks the monotony of domestic routine. Whether it be a walk in a park or an undiscovered neighborhood, a trip to a nearby town or a swim in a lake, heightening the senses and creating new memories doesn’t have to be limited to international travel. Experiencing your partner in a new atmosphere can create a lingering energy to your relationship and strengthen your bond.” ― Kari Carroll
7. They go out of their way to make sure their partner’s needs are met.
“A happy couple knows the needs and wants of their partner and makes room for that, even if that means alone time. If one partner typically wants to sleep in, hit the gym, get a pedicure or balance the books on the weekend, their partner is aware of this and does what they can to facilitate this. They’ll tend to the kids, vacate the home to give their partner some time, schedule their activities around the other’s events and prioritize the importance of those needs. Healthy couples know what makes their partner feel their best and help them achieve it, even if it’s a sacrifice.” ― Ryan Howes
8. They take a few minutes to reflect on the past week.
“I recommend that couples use the weekend to reflect on the previous week and anticipate the week ahead. I generally imagine them having this conversation on a Sunday night. It might only take 20 to 30 minutes, but each partner should ask and answer these four questions: 1) What did we get right last week?; 2) What good thing can I thank/praise/acknowledge you for from last week?; 3) Is there anything we need to revisit or repair from last week?; 4) What’s coming up this week and how can I support you? Couples who ask and answer these questions on a regular basis will experience a deeper sense of connection.” ― Zach Brittle, therapist and co-host of the “Marriage Therapy Radio” podcast
9. They dream about the future together.
“Great relationships include fostering a deeper meaning beyond just the daily grind. Using the imagination to get out of work and parenting mode and explore fantasies about the future will help to reverse the slow death that daily monotony can bring to any relationship. Dreaming about spending retirement writing poetry in the mountains of Japan or teaching children to farm in Kentucky can keep you going and bring purpose to your lives together. ” ― Kari Carroll