Sharing a hobby with your significant other has proven to be nothing but beneficial to the structure of your relationship. I’m not saying you have to sit on the same side of the booth at dinner, but it’s undeniable that shared interests will make your relationship stronger.

There are literally hundreds of hobbies you can dabble in as a couple, so I did a quick friends and family survey and narrowed it down to my favorites. Print it out and mull it over, you’re certain to find something you both love…or at least tolerate. Relationships are also about compromise, friends.

1. Kayaking

Yes, there are many outdoor activities I could have chosen to improve your relationship other than kayaking. If you’re thinking “water, paddles…just no”, that’s okay, but hear me out. Kayaking not only provides a fantastic physical workout along with beautiful scenery, but it also requires teamwork.

I once went on a family hike with my sister, father and stepmother. The latter two decided that renting a kayak would be a great idea, and my sister and I settled onto a nearby rock to watch the disaster unfold. While we were busy arguing over the last chocolate chip granola bar…it happened.

Thkayak tipped and they both fell out. I was laughing way too hard to hear the entire argument, but I remember my Dad yelling “If you had communicated with me we never would have tipped!”

Apparently, my Dad had instructed my stepmom to sit in the direct center of the kayak. She scooted to the right to look into the water (we still don’t have a clear reason as to why), and over they went.

For those who love to kayak and partake on the regular, you know that it’s an incredibly intricate and involved hobby. Kayaking with a partner involves choreographed rowing and balance. You have got to be in sync, or at least on the same page. What couple wouldn’t benefit from that?

2. Yoga

Working out in general as a couple is a great way to add a little shared interest to your relationship. You are motivating each other to stay healthy, getting into a routine, and it’s an overall wonderful way to start or end the day together.

Yoga, specifically, is a fun way to switch up your workout routine while you revitalize your body and mind as a team. Coming out of a good yoga session is incredibly refreshing. Yoga reduces weight, increases muscle strength, tone and flexibility all while improving cardio and circulatory health.

Plus, partner yoga is incredibly fun and challenges you to work together. There’s a lot of laughing involved because trust me when I say, you will fall. Your local gyms will have schedules jam packed with yoga classes.

3. Foster a Shelter Dog

Calling all animal lovers! This might seem like a hobby that’s out of the ordinary, but my husband and I have done this in the past and it’s really rewarding. Do a quick internet search, and you’ll find that your local animal shelters are in need of fosters.

The role of a foster is simple but incredibly fulfilling. You’ll fill out an application at the shelter of your choice, and once approved based on their guidelines (fenced yard, approved references ect.), you’ll be enrolled in their foster program.

Next, you’ll take in an animal, and the shelter will flip the full bill. This includes everything from food to vetting. Before you sign the agreement, make sure the financial commitment is completely covered. I’ve never come across a shelter that burdens fosters with finances, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure.

You will be asked to specify which type of animals you’re willing to take. Since our pup isn’t crazy about cats, we went with canines only. We loved everything about it. We spent more time than ever together prepping our foster dogs for their new homes, and we felt incredible that we were assisting the shelters in making room to take in more animals.

Training a foster dog, or even your existing dog, is a really good way for couples to work towards a mutual goal. We had a great time with it, and only stopped because we had kids. Kids are similar to foster dogs, only they’re messier and everything is sticky. When they get older, fostering is definitely something we’ll start again!

4. Thrifting and Refinishing Furniture

Not only does this activity get you both out the door and off the couch early on the weekend, but it is so much fun. Going through the paper or online advertisements over coffee and picking out estate and yard sales to dig through is exhilarating. You have no idea what to expect, and the thought of a hidden gem is very exciting.

When you do come across that perfect end table or nightstand, don’t fret if it needs a little bit of love. Basic furniture refinishing is fairly easy and the tools required are sandpaper and paint. Doing this together calls for quiet conversation and therapeutic, methodic work.

Refinishing a piece of old furniture can fuel compromise and creativity while you discuss what to do with it and the visions you have in your minds. The finished piece will always be a rewarding reminder of an amazing time you had with one another.

5. Cooking

I hate to cook. Cooking to me is punishment. I just don’t see the need when there are so many places nearby that will bring me an entire pizza for a mere $20. My family does not feel the same way, and they enrolled me in a cooking class against my will.

I begrudgingly went, with my sister as my partner. While I was burning entrees and screwing up desserts, I I took note of three couples that had signed up (willingly) as well. They were having a blast, laughing and complimenting each other. Reading recipes, following instructions and sharing food. Doubling over in hysterics when the result of a carefully executed recipe came out all wrong.

While my sister and I were trying to figure out the difference between chopped and diced tomatoes, it occured to me that learning to cook with your significant other would be incredibly entertaining. You’d be saving money by not eating out, and you would no longer be embarrassed that the pizza place consistently recognizes your voice.  

The bottom line is that cooking allows for couples to interact and collaborate on a different level than binge watching Netflix. Cooking has the ability to create a deeper bond, and according to this study, eating the same food as someone at the same time helps builds trust!

Something for Everyone

You don’t have to be in a struggling relationship, or even romantically involved to get out there with someone you love (or like) and enjoy a hobby together. Finding a hobby in common with anyone will strengthen the relationship you have and leave you both looking forward to making the time to do something you enjoy. From hiking to taking night classes, nothing is out of the question. Which hobbies have you tried as a couple?