Most of you reading this blog know Kristi and I primarily from the geocaching world so it shouldn’t surprise you that this post is about geocaching but today it is also about relationships. We have recently taken on a new hobby, no that doesn’t really address it properly. We have recently taken on a new project. No, that still doesn’t quite describe it. What I am trying to say is that we have launched a new mission – to improve our relationship. Don’t worry – the mafia is not in trouble. In fact, we are better than ever and some of that is due in part to our efforts over the years to stay connected and always be improving ourselves and our relationship. On our next anniversary, our marriage will be old enough to drink (21 years) and we are very happy. Some would even say it is annoying how happy we are but that doesn’t happen by accident.

For the last several years, specifically since 2011, geocaching has been a major part of our relationship and something that we think has played a part in our success as a couple. While at first, it may seem overly dramatic to credit geocaching as being influential in our marriage. However, I hope to explain my point as succinctly as possible while still keeping this post to a reasonable length. Even though geocaching is a fun game that helps us travel, that alone would not be enough. It does however exhibit one piece of relationship advice that  I would give if it were solicited.

One of the keys to a successful relationship is the need for a couple to engage in a common hobby. More than just a new hobby, it needs to be something that can be competitive and can imbue the couple with a sense of pride for their accomplishments personally and within the community of the hobby. The competitive part is important as it brings the couple together as a team with a common goal. This means that the new hobby can’t be something like watching the Bachelor. That just won’t cut it but I’m guessing you know what will suffice. You got it – geocaching.

For couples, geocaching can be a powerful team building exercise. If anyone tells you that geocaching can’t be competitive, move on as they are probably just a muggle in a geocacher’s clothes. Geocaching has tons of goals and challenges that can be adapted to fit the abilities and interests of just about any couple. Whether you are more comfortable behind a keyboard or climbing a 50 foot tree, you can find something on which to set your sights. Having a common goal and experiencing that surge of adrenaline and pride with each new challenge marked off the list is a great way to strengthen the bond between a couple.

Geocaching doesn’t have to be the hobby chosen but it is what we picked. When we look back through the gallery page on geocaching.com, we fondly recall trips and special moments with our family. We also remember struggling to meet a certain goal or the need to travel for hours to check one more item off the list. Geocaching has been great for us and I would and do recommend it to couples and singles alike. However, I would suspect that any hobby with a competitive element, a built-in community, and that can be equally enjoyed by both partners could accomplish the same thing that geocaching has for us. I wouldn’t trade our time spent geocaching as a couple for anything. It can even be taken a little further than just geocaching together as even the times when we geocache separately, we are still working toward a common goal therefore anytime I go out geocaching, I am working on my relationship.

That is one heck of a life hack, huh? It sounds as though I am stretching this one a little far but I truly am not. If I stop and grab a cache on the way home, I will later share this with Kristi. It inevitably gets us one step closer to another goal and another shared celebration. I know, this post sounds like I am advocating for geocaching as a relationship saver.  Not exactly. What I am actually proposing is that a shared hobby (like geocaching) is one thing that will help to strengthen even the healthiest of relationships. If you are reading this post and you are a geocacher, take advantage of what it may offer. Share your love of the game with your partner. If you are not a geocacher and have no desire to become one, consider a similar hobby and see if it doesn’t offer you and your significant other some benefits.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on the post (memfismafia@gmail.com).

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