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Rewild your relationship

Rewild your Relationship

It’s all too easy to let your relationship settle into a passion-quenching routine of household chores, TV and choosing dinner. We were sure that the outdoors was the answer, so we spoke to the gurus at Project Love about how to rewild a relationship. With their 16 years' experience in coaching, psychology and helping love flourish, they produced a report showing how a lack of time outside can lead to “nature deficit disorder” in a couple.

“Time spent outdoors in nature with your partner is essential in helping you to cultivate a happy and healthy relationship.”
- Project Love, 2018

We wanted to put this theory to the test; so one sunny weekend in October we invited four couples to head out into the woods.

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The Project Love Rewilding Weekend

Four couples who entered our competition and told us why they needed a bit of wild in their lives joined us and the Project Love team in the peaceful setting of Brook House Woods. The weekend included a woodworking session, the chance to “check in” with each other as a couple and an exploration of the enormous benefit provided by a simple change of scenery.

Mandy & Russ

belle

Why did you need to rewild your relationship? Being the parents of two wildly wonderful 6 year old twin boys our energy is focused on them and we forget to just be a couple that 'hopefully' is still wild about each other! 

Did the weekend have any effect on your relationship and how? Yes it was lovely to just stop, pause and take stock of what we've got without the kids around! We have definitely been nicer to each other since being home!

What was your favourite moment from the weekend? Ooohhh difficult question as the whole experience was wonderful. We particularly loved learning to whittle a spatula and eating yummy home made chilli round the campfire.

Bethany & Johnny

bethany

Why did you need to rewild your relationship? We have just found out we are expecting our first child, after a long journey and a round of IVF. One of the things that helped a great deal during fertility treatment was getting time in nature... it made the whole emotional process so much calmer and more magical. 

What was your favourite moment from the weekend? The Project Love workshop was really enlightening. We had a moment where we both were sharing our answers with each other to the question, ‘if you could wave a magic wand and change something in your life...’ where we both realised the magic wand moment had already happened when we’d found out we were expecting. It was so moving to have the space to slow down and let that sink in.

Megan & Callum

megan

Why did you need to rewild your relationship? We've just moved back in with my boyfriend's mum to save money and we spend very little quality time together. We're like ships passing in the night! The closest we've got to 'wilding' at the moment is a cup of tea next to the Sainsbury's herb pots on the windowsill!

Did the weekend have any effect on your relationship and how? We'd had a discussion before the weekend about how we needed to prioritise date nights every week, not just randomly when there was a gap in our schedules. The weekend really proved how important that is to us.

What was your favourite moment from the weekend? Waking up in the almost pin-drop silence of Brook House Woods on Saturday morning - having had one of the best sleeps in weeks - with a view into the forest was pretty sensational. 


Project Love's top five

Get a little relationship help from Project Love wherever you are, with their top five rewilding tips. These simple exercises give you a few ways to connect to nature and each other. Do try these at home!

Photos from tips one and four are from The Project Love Rewilding Weekend at Brook House Woods.

Tip1v2

Get out and check-in

Go for a walk in nature and check-in with one another. How is life and how are we? Take it in turns to answer three simple prompts:

  1. What would you like to celebrate right now in your life?
  2. What is a challenge for you at the moment?
  3. What positive intention would you like to set going forward e.g. ‘three times a week I am going to switch my phone off every night at 6pm’ or ‘I’m going to make my wellbeing a top priority this month’
Tip2

Dream big

Taking time to step back, reflect and ask ourselves if we’re creating lives that we love is vital. Doing that together with your partner is all the more powerful. Gaze up at the open sky and share the deep ambitions you normally keep hidden. Promise mutual support to each other in fulfilling them and make plans for doing so. 

Tip3

Hearts and crafts

Have a go at creating a mandala, out of natural ingredients. Gather (no cutting or picking) natural items and arrange them in a circular pattern. Making something together in this meditative way helps to foster intimacy and presence in a space of stillness.

Tip4

Grow together

According to research one of the key things couples can do to grow closer is to try new things and learn new skills together. Find something that you both want to learn and that gets you outdoors - whether that’s paddle boarding, green woodworking or straw bale building - feel your relationship strengthen as your new skill grows.

Tip5

Read and share

Learn together about the wonders of nature. Read books like The Secret Life of Trees, How Animals Grieve or Forest Bathing - take it in turns to read excerpts from the book as you lie out in the open. As you deepen your understanding of the natural world, you deepen your connection with your surroundings and with one another.

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