Couple kissing on a walking bridge over a gorge - two great relationship-building activities.

7 Relationship Building Activities for Couples

25 April 2024

So you finally found that someone special with whom you feel you can develop a lasting relationship! How wonderful is that! I have found that the first six months to a year of a relationship is usually a make-it-or-break-it time. Once you’re past the age of 30, you usually know if a relationship at least has potential in that timeframe. And my clients usually know within three to six dates if the relationship feels right and can move into exclusivity. During that timeframe, there are many relationship-building activities for couples that will solidify the relationship and illuminate the strengths and weaknesses within. And ultimately, you’ll know if this relationship has what it takes to be a lasting one.

Here are some fun relationship-building activities for couples that I recommend to nudge this evaluation process along:

  1. Enjoy the Outdoors or Play Sports Together

    When you spend time together outdoors, taking a hike, biking, skiing, rollerblading, kayaking, or sailing, these relationship-building activities take your partner and you away from your hectic lives. Some of these activities take planning and coordination which can tell you a lot about each other. Do you have your routes planned out? Are you prepared with snacks and drinks? Do you have to learn new skills? Do you have to coordinate duties? And who decides where to go and what to do? Hopefully, you’re having as much fun during the planning process as well as the activity itself.

    I once learned about a boyfriend’s inability to adequately plan, from going on a hike with him. It was over 90 degrees in DC, and he suggested a short, easy hike. I was all for it. As it turned out, the hike was NOT short, nor easy! It was 2-hours up and down a rocky, steep, and dangerous trail. When I asked about water, he’d told me he didn’t bring any and we’d be done soon, which was an exaggeration. All in all, I realized he didn’t plan ahead and was a very spontaneous person. While this isn’t always a bad thing, I had to ask myself: was he considerate of my needs, does he think ahead, and is he someone who I can trust in times of crisis? Not at all. That and several other experiences showed me he wasn’t the guy for me!

    On the other hand, my husband and I tried kayaking which was an interesting experiment! We were both in the same kayak which required coordinated paddling to move in the right direction. It took working together, but we eventually made it to our destination!
  2. Take a Class Together

    Do you enjoy learning or expanding your skillset? There are so many types of classes designed for couples to take together. From culinary to artistic, from entertainment to athletic, even educational or spiritual classes are out there.

    A dance class for example can be a great relationship-building activity. Since you have a leader and a follower at most times (unless it’s line dancing or square dancing), it takes patience and coordination. It can be fun or frustrating! And you’ll be able to quickly tell whether someone is easygoing or uptight.

    My husband isn’t a dancer, but he was willing to take dance lessons to try and learn Salsa, which I enjoy. We had fun at the lessons and when we were dancing afterward for practice. I truly appreciated his efforts even though he really doesn’t have any muscle memory for dancing.
  3. Take a Trip Together

    Traveling together is a great relationship-building activity for couples. It requires that you agree on your destination, the accommodations (if it’s an overnighter), where to eat, and what places to visit or activities to take part in on your trip. It can be a real test of a relationship! How do you research and decide? How do you both get what you need and have the experience be a pleasant one?
    I have seen couples fight over the kinds of places to stay (3-star versus 5-star), the climate- warm weather or cool, the beach or the mountains, sightseeing or resorts, domestic travel or international? Again, making these decisions can be either relationship-building or relationship-busting for couples!  
  4. Play Games Together

    When you play board, card, or computer games with someone, you get to see a different side of them. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Are they competitive and a sore loser? Do they need to win? Do they cheat? Or are they playing for fun and can be a good loser?

    I’m a backgammon player and pretty good at it. I’m not the type of woman who would throw the game for a guy, so I’ve seen many bruised egos along the way! But my husband takes it in stride. A man must have a strong sense of self to be okay losing to a girl!

    One of my retired boomer clients plays Scrabble with her partner. They enjoy the mental challenge and having fun competition. It’s something they do together and I see it as an excellent relationship-building activity for them!
  5. Make Stuff Together

    Creating things together can be fun and a great relationship-building activity for couples. It can be going to the pottery studio and making bowls or mugs, or taking a painting class with wine! Or how about having to assemble a piece of furniture together (Think IKEA!).

    Not everyone has the ability to put stuff together. One person might pull out all the pieces and organize them, while the other reads the directions. Sometimes it requires both of you to put the screw in just right while the other holds the two pieces being put together until the screw is in tight! This can be funny or maddening! Will you get frustrated and argue or work together as a team?
  6. Go Deeper to Learn About Each Other

    Another relationship-building activity for couples is to take the time to learn more about one another. Couples coaching, for example, helps to deepen the awareness of each other as a couple and build a greater connection. It can be fun to explore the relationship and learn what each partner needs or desires! This is not the same as therapy or counseling and I usually hear, “I never knew this about you!” from one person in the relationship.

    Similarly, there are many books and games on the market, that provide questions for couples to ask one another, allowing them to get to know each other better, gain awareness of one another and build the relationship more quickly.

    One of my clients did both of these things with his girlfriend. He was in Washington, DC and she was in Australia during the Pandemic! However, they were able to deepen their knowledge of each other by using Zoom to do couples coaching, as well as to spend time discussing those relationship-building questions. It may have seemed unconventional at the time, but they are now happily married and living in the same city!
  7. Spend Intimate Time Together

    Having a physical, intimate relationship is something that most couples desire. So, making time to explore the physical side of the relationship is one relationship-building activity to consider! Find some time alone away from everyday demands. Discuss what you both like and dislike to learn to be compatible. You might watch a video together or get a book on Tantra to try out.

    Just make sure that you’re both comfortable before moving forward with any intimate activity. Even being in agreement (or not) on this can tell you a lot about your partner.

So there you have it: 7 relationship-building activities to build your connection. Which ones do you want to try in your budding romance?

If you need some guidance and support with a new relationship, then reach out to me. Go to to set up a time to talk. Some of my clients are in new relationships and not sure how to move it towards exclusivity or how to get the relationship on the track to a lasting, committed relationship. Other clients are questioning the relationship and need some guidance about if this is the one. Whatever your situation, I’m here to support you.

PS: Here are some great relationship-building questions if you just want to have a meaningful conversation.