Family Starts with Two
Telling stories is an ancient way of communicating that still has great power. Think of how storytelling helped you and your partner get to know one another when you were first dating; sharing the tales of your lives before you met can be a sweet, engaging way to relate important information about what’s valuable to you and how you became the person you are today.
Just because you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean the storytelling has to stop! In fact, it can be a fun and meaningful activity to keep your connection strong and help you to continually discover new things about each other.
Here are some activities you can try together to keep the storytelling spark alive in your relationship:
Read your favorite children’s stories to each other.
It may sound silly, but finding that old copy of Harold and the Purple Crayon in your parents’ attic could spark a nice moment of togetherness that you’ll both treasure. Snuggle up together, turn off the TV, and share a favorite book from your childhood. Before you read, reflect on what makes that story significant to you, and share that with your spouse.
Tell “i can’t believe i….” stories.
Even when you think you know everything about each other, there are some memories you probably haven’t shared—like your most embarrassing moments or things you regret. Telling the story of a less-than-stellar moment in your life can be cathartic, and trusting your partner with those hard-to-tell tales can help to build intimacy between you. If you take turns and keep the mood light and supportive, you may even find that those embarrassing memories become less cringe worthy and more amusing.
Play “two truths and a tall tale.”
No matter how well you may think you and your partner know one another, there are always fun facts to discover! Playing this game can help to bring out those little details that you may not have shared before. To play, each person lists three “facts” about themselves — two that are true, and one that’s entirely made up. Then you take turns guessing which were the truths, and which were the tall tales. It’s surprising how much you can learn about each other this way!
Imagine your shared story.
If you were looking back on years of commitment, what stories would you like to be able to tell? Spend some time dreaming together about the adventures you’d like to have together, places you want to see, and goals you want to achieve as a couple. You may even find that you’re able to make a plan to put one or more of those ideas into action.
Be a part of storycorps’ “wall of listening.”
StoryCorps is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the stories of people’s lives. Their National Day of Listening, which is the day after Thanksgiving, promotes interviewing those you love and hearing the stories they may not have told you before. Through the StoryCorps DIY app, you and your partner can record your own interviews with each other and become part of a larger project that you can revisit over and over again.