Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Cooking Together for Fun and Connection

Do you have plans for this Valentine’s Day?
A third pandemic Valentine’s Day in a row might not sound super exciting, we know. Depending on what’s happening in your local area there might be some restrictions on where you and your partner can even spend the day celebrating!

If you’re trying to think of something to do this Valentine’s Day, consider simply cooking a meal with your loved one.

It might sound simple, but cooking a meal together can be a great (and fun!) way to spend quality time with your partner and build intimacy between the two of you.

And of course, this doesn’t have to be limited to romantic relationships! While Valentine’s Day is primarily about romantic relationships, you can expand the meaning of the day to celebrate any sort of meaningful relationship in your life! Because even if you aren’t currently involved in a romantic relationship, you have plenty of other significant relationships in your life.

And intimacy isn’t inherently romantic. Being intimate with someone is just about feeling comfortable being vulnerable and your authentic self with someone else. You can build that connection in any sort of relationship!

So why cook a meal together?
It’s a simple thing, but there is so much intimacy in it! Here are 6 reasons cooking together can help build intimacy:

firstly, you have to remain present:
When you’re cooking, you have to be fully in the moment, thinking about the food you’re preparing, how it will work together, the step you’re on, the smells and sights in front of you, etc. Cooking is basically one big mindfulness practice! And when it comes to spending time with loved ones, it’s quality over quantity–meaning, it’s better to be fully engaged and present with a loved one for a short amount of time, than to spend all day together when neither one of you is really existing in the present moment. So cooking a meal together is a great way to ground yourselves in the present moment and really enjoy your time together meaningfully.

you’re connecting over a shared goal:
Does that sound silly? It might, but it’s true! In order to even get to the stage where you’re cooking together you need to: agree to cook together, agree on what you want to eat, get the ingredients and materials for what you want to prepare, and only then can you start actually preparing it together. This is a lot of cooperation! It might not feel big to you, but think of how long it takes you to decide what you want for dinner on a day you’re burned out. It’s seeming more impressive to do it with another person, and then work together to make that meal happen, right?

it’s dependent on communication:
Unless you’re both naturally instinctive chefs, you’re going to need to communicate with one another about what you both need to do and how you need to work together to get the meal prepared! No, you don’t need to map out a battle plan, but this shows up in the small things like “can you chop the onions while I melt the butter?” Having a whole activity that requires the two of you to really listen and respond to one another can help you appreciate how well you work together.

nourishing one another is inherently intimate:
Taking time to lovingly prepare a meal for someone and then make sure they eat it is one of the biggest ways humans connect intimately with one another! Think of parents and children: one of the most significant relationships in our lives, and so much bonding within that relationship happens over meal times. Whether that’s the contact from holding a baby as you feed them or sharing stories over meals at family dinners, nourishing one another is a wonderful way to bond. Taking time to prepare a meal for someone says: I care about you, I want to make sure you’re well nourished. What could be more loving than that?

cooking is a sensual experience:
Cooking and eating engage all of your senses, and often link it with pleasure! While you’re cooking you’re focused on: how does this food look? How does it smell? Does it taste good? What can I do to make it more enjoyable? Connecting with your partner over what’s pleasing to your senses is a wonderful way to connect intimately (or even erotically) without needing sex to enter the picture at all.

cooking can strengthen your emotional ties:
Cooking can be a very personal experience. We so often learn to cook from loved ones (parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles, etc.) or people with significant relationships to us. There is a lot of emotion and nostalgia tied to cooking. It’s something that engages all of your senses which means your memories tied to it will be strong! Cooking with a partner gives you an opportunity to share those memories–you can teach them how to cook something your parents taught you, or something connected with a happy memory that you get to share with them.

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