Ever been on a date or an outing that your partner thought was so much fun and you did not? Or participated in an activity that to your partner was full of fun and laughter and you dreaded the prospect of ever having to do it again?
Or perhaps your partner has several fun activities that he likes to participate in regularly and is always eager for you to attend. And for you these activities hold little fun or enjoyment – so your presence is as an unwilling participant or onlooker.
And no doubt the same applies to you. That there are some activities that provide immense fun and pleasure for you that your partner does not share – and perhaps grudgingly participates in. Never as much fun is it, as when you’re both having fun together sharing an activity or interest?
Well there is a well-researched reason for these differences. It is now understood that different people derive fun from different activities or outings. And surprisingly enough it has NOTHING to do with the activity or outing itself but rather the TYPE of activity or outing.
We each have what many refer to as a fun tank. It’s much like your love tank – which can feel full and overflowing or deplete and in need of replenishment. And just as you experience love when your unique love language is being spoken, you experience fun and enjoyment when your unique or personal fun mode is either full or being replenished.
Recent research explains why and how some people derive fun from one type of activity that may not appeal or fill the fun tank of another. And it’s your unique fun mode that determines if you are having fun or not. In other words your unique fun tank gets replenished by certain TYPES of activities. Activities that fulfil certain criteria for you.
And from my experience there is every chance that you have never considered what fun means FOR YOU from this perspective.
So let me recap. Having fun has nothing to do with the activity per se but rather the TYPE of activity that is engaged in that fills your fun tank. And that TYPE of activity may not resonate with your partner.
In other words the latest research indicates that there are different modes in which your fun tank is replenished and that depending on your perspective these modes differ from one person to the next.
So what does this mean? That it’s not unusual for you and your partner to derive fun from different sources. And that if you want to have fun together learning what type of activities replenishes each of your individual fun tanks is important.
Understanding the Different Modes
… Understanding the different modes by which individuals replenish their fun tanks has two distinct advantages.
It provides greater clarity on what type of activities fill your fun tank. And with your fun tank full enables you to have fun sharing with your partner in one of his preferred activities that intuitively may not resonate or seem fun to you. When your fun tank is full you can engage in an activity that does not naturally replenish your fun tank and enjoy the experiences that fill the fun tank of your partner with your partner…And you too will have fun.
Having More Fun Together
In other words when your fun tank is full sharing in activities that fulfil your partner’s fun tank are now also fun and enjoyable for you…And vice versa!
Now that has to be a win!
This puts a whole new dimension on how to have fun together… and participate in different activities together which previously may have seemed a task or simply not possible.
Simply put – Fill your fun tank first…and then you can have loads more fun with your partner. Operate on an empty fun tank…and doing something that you don’t enjoy will be laborious…
When your OWN fun tank is full…it’s then and only then that you can have fun with your partner – sharing with them and doing something that they love.
In other words, when your fun tank is full… you will happily accompany your partner in an activity that they enjoy…that fills their fun tank and BOTH of you will have fun! Irrespective of the activity!
The secret then is to discover what fills your fun tank … and when you have figured that out… Take action to fill it.
So what is fun for you as an individual?
So What’s Your Fun Tank Profile?
Alison Armstrong a renowned expert on men and teaching women how to appreciate men… suggests that there are 5 primary or different modes from which each of us experience fun. And that your experience or source of fun is derived from ONE of these primary modes…
Your partner’s source of fun also falls into one of these five primary modes…
She explains that fun is NOT as we typically consider it, activity based. It is rather more complex than that. So the question she poses is… ‘How is fun sourced for you? What does fun and play and passion look like for you?’
Let’s explore this together. There’s a very, easy exercise that reveals your fun modality…
Discovering Your Source of Fun
If I said to you that I am learning Mandarin Chinese. What would your response to me be? Think carefully…and write down in a private place your response to this simple piece of information…
What is the first response that comes to mind when you hear this? It’s not a trick question… So don’t think about it… Just write down the first thing that comes to mind.
I’ll repeat the statement again.
If I said to you… ‘I am learning Mandarin Chinese…’What’s your response or what would you want say to me?
Have you written something down? Please don’t read any further until you have…
What Your Response Reveals
There are 5 different types of responses or modes of responding to this small piece of information. Each response type provides an insight into HOW your fun tank is filled…
So go ahead… And compare your response to my statement with the 5 possible response modes…below…
– Creator or Builder
Your response could have been something like… ‘Why would you do that?’ If this is the response you made then you’re what might be termed a Creator or Builder.
Your fun tank gets filled when you create or build something… This might be a small project like building a veggie garden or something much larger like building a house or creating a business.
For Creators there is always something to do or to be done. The inherent values of a Creator are just that – to create. At the end of your life you would evaluate its success by what you have created or built.
Or maybe your response was … ‘Is that fun for you?’ If this were the case then you’re what’s termed an Enjoyer.
Fun for you is all about the experience. And if this was your response then at the end of your life you would assess its value by the experiences that you have had.
According to Armstrong Enjoyers are often underestimated – often seen as being superficial. But for them joy is a spiritual practice. There’s nothing superficial in this individual’s perspective.
Or maybe your response was… ‘Who are you doing it with?’ If this were your response then you are a Sharer.
Fun for you is all about relationships and connections. If this were your response…At the end of your life you would assess its value by the relationships and connections that you have made.
– Expresser or Communicator
Or perhaps your response was… ‘What do you want to say?’ In this case you’re an Expresser or a Communicator.
Fun for you is all about the search for truth and meaning…And at the end of your life you would assess its value by the success of your search for the truth.
– Grower or Knower
Or your response may have been… ‘I know it or I want to learn it too’ If this were your response then you’re known as a Grower or Knower.
Fun for you is all about learning new things. The question Growers ask themselves is what did I learn today?
As a Grower, you know or learn in order to grow. Like a bank you invest in learning and have fun when you are learning new things.
So I Know My Profile, What Now?
How does all this relate to you having more fun with your partner or putting more fun into your relationship?
As I’ve mentioned several times before… it’s important to understand that fun looks different to different people. And by understanding your fun modality and that of your partner you open up the dialogue between you and fun, and start to appreciate what fun looks like for each other.
When you understand how your fun tank is filled and what fills the fun tank of your partner… you can start to schedule in time and activities to successfully fill those tanks and increase the fun… and sharing in your relationship.
Schedule in Fun Together
Yes… scheduled. If you really want the relationship of your dreams then it’s important to take responsibility to make things happen. Consciously increasing the fun factor!
Mind reads are not a successful strategy for successful relationships and in the busyness of life spontaneity rarely happens.
Either both or one of you needs to take responsibility for ensuring that YOUR fun tanks are maintained. So share the responsibility or take turns… And make a game of it… When both parties feel the fun… and can openly share in each other’s fun…the relationship blossoms. Deliciously so…
Talk to your partner and schedule in fun times….aware and conscious of your different fun modalities. Things to discuss and agree with your partner are:
- Who’s going to be responsible for scheduling in time to fill up the fun tanks?
- How is this going to happen?
- How much fun is enough fun? Learn to share with one another when your tank feels full or is feeling deplete…
And when your own fun tank is full… notice how much fun it is to accompany your partner on those outings you may have once found tiresome…or challenging.
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