Ep 24: How To Make Love Fun

Love is not a burden. It is not something that should feel exhausting. Loving doesn’t have to leave us feeling like a martyr by the end of every night. So why are so many women feeling this way about their marriage?

It’s time for a shake-up! It’s time to flip the script on Love and start seeing it for what it is –  a whole lot of fun!

Yes, there are times when Love requires us to dig deep and see what we’re made of. It requires strength and intention. But what if even those moments can be easier by knowing how to bring more fun and joy to our relationships?

Listen to Episode 24 and be inspired to be the one … the one to bring the fun back to your relationship! 

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How Love can be more fun
  • How growing together during the hard times can include fun
  • How bringing the fun is in your emotional power, not the activity.
  • Ideas to bring more fun to your relationship

Mentioned On The Show:

Hi! This is Rachael Cunningham and you’re listening to Joyful Love, Episode 24!

There are three pillars I talk about for a healthy marriage. Last week we covered pillar #1, which is Loving and caring for yourself. And the importance of truly owning that that is your responsibility … no one elses!

If you haven’t listened to that, go back and do so!

Knowing how to nurture and take care of yourself is truly the foundation of a healthy marriage –

And the NEXT pillar is truly, unupologetically embracing and LOVING your partner without condition.

People usually want to bring up the worst case scenarios when I talk about loving others without condition, but I want to remind you of two things … #1 Loving without condition doesn not mean that you don’t care for yourself in the process, or that you people-please, or that you don’t set boundaries where you need to.

So – if you’re having a hard time knowing where to set boundaries … or people pleasing – go back and revisit episode 7 and 12.

And for this episode – that’s all I’m gonna say about that – because today i want to talk about the SHEER Joy and FUN of Loving someone else Unconditionally!

And when I say unconditionally…  I mean going ALL in … even when they’re having a bad day – even when they’re grumpy – even when you can’t imagine them being fun to be around!

I want to challenge the belief that someone else has to be enjoying life for you to enjoy life with them!

You might be saying, “What the hell, that sounds awful … when my husband is a grumpy butt, I just want to run!”

And of course you do … because you’ve been taught that it’s either your job to fix their situation … OR you think you’d be happier just being alone…

And sometimes – you are happier leaving the room and giving them and yourself some alone time! There’s nothing wrong with that!

But I want to challenge you to dig a little deeper today.

How can you make LOVING your partner SO intensely fun this week that you genuinely feel excited about the fact that you are married to this person and that they are the one you get to get really good at loving with!

And That YOU get to be all in with them FOREVER!

How can you be responsible for BRINGING the fun in your own life?

And .. what if Love is EASIER and more fun than you’re making it?

I’ve had a lot of fun with Cris over the last few decades – some times it’s been with intentional adventures … but most of the time it’s looked like this:

Taking walks with our dog or our kids.
Dancing in the kitchen after the kids were asleep.

Taking a long drive to listen to an audio book.

Laughing about how tight money is. (yes – you have the option to laugh about such things!)
Shopping – driving our kids places – doing the dishes – making our own version of our favorite fancy coffees.

Or even … Intently listening when he’s had a stressful day.

Yes – all of those simple mundane things in life can be upleveled if you lighten the hell up!

And in order to do so – in order to lighten up, and start enjoying every day life… you gotta stop focusing on all the things you find irritating.

Try it this week!

Yes even if you’re partner is having a challenging time and isn’t ready for fun – how can YOU bring the fun to them?

Now – if your partner is having a difficult time mentally and emotionally right now, you’ve got to meet them where they’re at of course – Pay attention to what they are saying with their own words and body language and respond accordingly.

Don’t invalidate their emotions with your excitement to go have fun!

But even in this situation when your partner is having a hard time,You have way more control over the fun in your relationship then you realize. If you stop trying to fix them and simply hold space for them and love them, that is going to make it easier for them to destress quicker than you trying to fix the situation. I know when I'm personally in a foul mood, if Cris tries to fix me and help me know what to do … it does nothing for me. If he meets me where I'm at and says I'm sorry it's so hard and I'm here for you but at the same time if he's able to manage his emotions in a way that exudes peace and enjoyment of life, I am much more likely feel free to meet him in that peaceful and light-hearted space as well.

 And the same goes for him, if he is in a foul mood if I come in to try to fix it, I can tell that sometimes it just doesn’t land right.  But if I hold space and listen and just bring the hope and peace to that situation, it's much more likely that he's going to respond with his own hope and peace.

And even if one of us aren't struggling a ton. The amount of fun and joy that I have in our relationship is always in my control every time.

I have a choice to wake up and look for the fun. or I can look at all the things that are wrong and focus on them. I've done enough of that in my life and I am so over it.

Am I always 100% on with this? Of course not! I have human emotions that include sadness and frustration … and grief – and there are times to simpley sit with and process those emotions.

But – to KNOW – that I am in charge of creating joy and pleasure and fun in my life and relationship – and to intentionally create that fun on purpose – has been an incredible shift – in my internal world and in my marriage …

I want that shift for you too!

Now I 100% believe that if you wake up with that thought I'm going to bring the fun today, your eyes are going to be open to seeing new ways of doing just that!

As human beings we are mini creators. Our brains were created to constantly create. And when we learn to use our brain properly, we can absolutely create fun in our lives.

And that starts with really practicing believing the thoughts that are going to inspire you. So if you listen to this and you say you don't know my partner, it's impossible to have fun with them right now …. You're not going to see those opportunities to bring the fun, because you're already believing it's impossible. So why would you waste your time?

But if you wake up and start to think to yourself there's fun to be had in this relationship. We're not done yet. I’m not done learning and growing and enjoying this relationship yet… Yes you might hit some rough spots occasionally throughout your relationship, but there is a massive amount of Joy inside of you that's just waiting to be created. So get busy creating it.

Tell yourself every morning this week, “I'm going to get get busy creating more fun in our relationship. And I'm Going to be willing to look for and see those opportunities that are right in front of me!

A great marriage includes many things And sometimes the focus becomes on one instead of all of them.

I believe a good relationship includes friendship, intimacy, romance, passion, adventure, and growth.  And we do not have to wait for our partners to be incredible in these areas to create this growth.

And even the process of growth in these areas can be enjoyable!

I’ve come to the full, unashamed belief that any opportunity to GROW and dig deeper into Loving my husband – especially during the times when I’m grumpy or he’s grumpy and having a hard day … Can be enjoyable and exciting if I let it be!

Yes – even difficult growth can be enjoyable!

Think about it this way — What does an athlete do to become better and better at their sport? They practice – and they have routines in place to get excited and pumped up about the growth they’re getting ready to go through.

My nephews love working out at the gym. They are quite impressive in their ability to stay consistent to meet their goals of getting stronger.  and I’ve seen pictures of them working out where they LOOK like they should be in pain … but you know they are so excited and truly having fun lifting weights in order to grow their muscles.

The bodybuilding itself isn’t necessarily fun.

Just like The training for a marathon or practicing to become the best at your sport isn’t where the fun is …

The fun is in the athletes INTENTION to make it fun. They’re excited to grow in this area – so they allow themselves to feel the excitement of that growth even before it happens.

I believe we can do the same as we grow better and better at love.

So how can you make love so much fun today?

I don’t think i thought i would get emotional about this – but i am…

Because so many of you are waiting for your partners to get on board – so many of you are still handing over your enjoyment of life and marriage to a struggling partner.

I want you to own – truly own that you have the strength and power to Thouroughly bring fun to your life.  

And to see the act of loving as something that is incredibly fun!

Don’t overthink this! I promise, it can happen in the next 5 minutes … whether your partner is near you or not!


You can send a flirty text!

You can simply tell them you’re thinking about them.

You can kiss them out of the blue!

You can say, let’s go for a walk after dinner to change things up!

Let’s go to a movie and discuss it afterwards!

Let’s start a new book together with our kids!

You can LISTEN … TRULY listen to how hard their day was at work … without trying to fix it.

As you notice yourself drifting off, thinking about other things or wishing he or she would stop complaining … ask yourself – how can I listen better? How can I GROW in this area?

Listening is a skill – a skill that if you’re like me, you’re still learning and figuring out!

But what if … what if … just like my nephews’ body-building can be fun or how fun a difficult bike ride can be on the Peloton with the right instructor …  What if, learning to Listen better could be more fun too?

We don’t tend to view life this way do we? When something gets hard – we want to avoid it. We want to say, “Ugh, I cant stand this thing about my partner!”

But friends it is so much more fun to embrace it!

I’m serious! Embrace that thing that irritates you about your partner! It’s part of them! It’s part of their human journey!

That little pet peave you have that irritates the hell outta you … embrace it. It’s their unique quirk and I promise it’s okay.

How can you smile and say inside – I love that this is my person – even with that way they do that thing … I love that they are the one I get to grow with – to love – to enjoy this crazy life with!

THAT is so much more fun that WISHING they would change this strange quirk about themselves!

But when you’re stuck …. Write down these next three steps in your notes on your phone and look at them…

#1 Intentionally THINK about where you can bring more fun to your relationship in everyday life.  Tell your partner your’e thinking about this! Say, hey babe! I love you so freaking much – and I want that LOVE to include some more fun! Let’s think of a few simple ways we can laugh more and enjoy each other more … every day if possible – but even just once a week is going to bring so much more Joy to your relationship.

Cris was the leader last week in this area for us … he said, Rach – let’s start our mornings with a bit of connection instead of rushing into our day.

And I’ll be honest …. At first, I didnt’ want to. Because I’ve worked really hard at protecting my mornings for myself over the past few years.

But …. I knew he wanted this … so I said, alright, let’s drink our coffee together while we walk the dog!

I was skeptical that I had time for this. I was skeptical that I could start my day with as much peace and joy if I rearanged what was already working!

But instead of pushing the idea aside … I reminded myself that this was one more opportunity to grow – another opportunity to LOVE – and another opportunity To learn how I can combine my personal needs with our relationship needs…. And to purposefully BRING the fun to our walks!

And I’m so glad I gave it a try … because I’m loving those walks! And so is our dog! And occasionally our 16 year old if he wakes up early enough!

But if I would have halted the conversation because of my initial thought that I wanted to protect my alone time … I would have missed out on another opportunity for fun, growth, connection, and love in our relationship.

And don’t worry –  I still create plenty of alone time in my morning routine!

SO Open your mind to BELIEVING that LOVE IS FUN again!

You believed it in the beginning of your relationship! – you can believe it again.

The 2nd thing you need to do to is to bring awareness to those times when you want to argue or avoid your partner.

These moments are where emotional adulthood comes in. Remind yourself that these sticky situations are an incredible opportunity to grow and learn how to love more.

Remind yourself that if athletes can have fun pushing themselves to greater strength that you can have FUN — YES, excited fun that you are learning more about your partner, more about yourself, and more about how you work together! Just like a cat has fun getting curious about what’s in a box … we can have fun getting curious about ways to relate with our partners better!

Now … if your partner is having a hard day … Definitely don’t blurt out “hey this is fun! We get to learn more about each other!  Thats just insensitive and rude!

But DO tell yourself, “Okay, I’m excited to learn and understand him more.” I’m excited to grow in my listening and LOVING skills!” And then… have FUN showing kindness – have fun asking them, “how can I love you best through this?” Right! Thats so much more joyful than WISHING they were more perfect than they are!

The 3rd thing you want to do is to truly view your relationship as a friendship. And intentionally, continually and actively build a friendship with your partner.

Ask yourself these questions:

How would I want to be treated from a from if I was having a hard time?

How would I treat my best friend if she had a stressful day?

How can I bring those same skills and understanding to my life partner?

The best lovers are friends first.

The most romantic relationships are build on healthy friendships.

Seek to befriend. Seek to create an amazing friendship with your partner. What would you do with a friend that came to town? Give yourself a break from the pressures of romance – the pressures of parenting, the pressures of making money, and the pressures of your future together – and drop into friendship.

One step at a time — how can you be an incredible friend to your partner today?

And with those three things in place:
– Intention to look for fun in everyday life

  • Awareness of how the hard times can be an opportunity growth … and that growth can be fun too
  • And then #3, actively creating a friendship with your partner.

With these three in place, you will start to see more fun – more joy – and start seeing this truth that LOVE is fun!

So with that mindset in place … I know you like ideas … so here are a few:

– SNUGGLE EXTRA HARD – like you can’t snuggle hard enough

  • Spend a saturday morning making pancakes and fancy coffee
  • Send  text telling your partner how amazing it is that you live this life together!
  • Take 10 fun selfies together and print your favorite
  • Kiss for 6 seconds – remember, a 6 second kiss has potential!
  • Play your favorite album and clean the house together
  • Choose new bed coverings together
  • Go to a restaurant you’ve never been to
  • If money is tight right now – sign up for door dash, and do it together! drive around listening to a good book or fun music and make enough money to go to a fancy dinner this weekend!  Dress up and toast to your ability to create your own fun … now matter what life throws at you!

Go grocery shopping together and drop the stress so you can BRING THE FUN!

  • Go plop on the couch by your partner and genuinely tell them how much you love them. Tell them you want to spend time together. And trust yourself to old kind-hearted, friendly space for their response.

    Every moment is an opportunity for fun! Every opportunity is a moment for growth.  

    And the more you can combine the two – the more you’re going to truly believe that LOVE is so, so fun!

I’m excited to go put my own words into practice! Cris is a lucky man that I get to practice this stuff on him!

And you know what? Your partner is lucky that you’re going to intentionally practice this stuff on them too!

Ok, that’s it for today!

Life is good y’all!

And what a gift it is to choose to love someone forever! Have fun with that this week!

alrighty ! Thank you for showing up again for yourself and your marriage!

If you love this podcast, please leave reviews on itunes so others can see it too! I always forget to ask you all this and I know it helps so many – so go leave those reviews and I appreciate it and YOU so, so much!

Have a great week bringing the fun, y’all!


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