Carving out quality time with your partner is increasingly challenging in our busy lives. After a long day at work, many partners arrive home just in time to prepare a rubber chicken dinner, prepare young ones for bed, and then crash themselves. Weekends are often spent catching up with friends, attending soccer games, facilitating play dates, and getting ready for the week ahead. Supposedly, you and your partner are building your relationship during the daily grind. Yet, we all know how impossible it is to really connect at the culmination of these long days and weeks. How about bonding over something besides, "How was your day?"? If you and your partner lay side-by-side in bed each reading a book, magazine, or blog before bed, beginning "Word Club" may be the perfect way to re-connect.
I've replaced the commonly seen idea "book club" with the idea of a "word club" to include sources in addition to books. A "word club" is similar to a book club in the sense that you and your partner read the same piece of written material and discuss your thoughts about it. "Word clubs" can be 15 minutes or they can be 2 hours. The written material can be a novel, blog post, poem, newspaper article, or something else. You can read the material together or separately. The conversation can take place in person, over the phone, via text, or online chatting. This is your "word club" and it needs to work for you, your partner, and your relationship.
My guess is that you're mentally listing all of the reasons this would never work (we tend to do that!). These lists likely begin with "This will never work because [fill in the blank]". Before reading any further, I'd like for you to write down the top 5 reasons why a "word club" with your partner would not work. The "fill in the blank" may include but is not limited to: "we don't read the same kind of things," "we never have any time together," "we don't know how to talk about writing", "we don't have the time", "he/she doesn't understand why I read what I do." Okay, all of your reasons are valid for why this may be challenging. They are also indications for why your relationship may need some help. Your reasons also provide a hint as to the books that may be most helpful for you.
For example, let's say that two of your reasons for resisting a"word club" included you and your partner not having enough time and not sharing the same taste in written works. The solution to not having time is to make time. Where are the moments in your week where you and your partner are in a vegetative state? How much time do you each spend watching television? Browsing online? Talking on the phone? Every moment counts. Find 15 minutes in your week where you're doing something unintentional and inconsequential. Give those moments to your partner.
Not sharing the same taste in written works? Your partner reads conservative political blog posts and you read Sci-Fi novels? No one is asking either of you to give up what you love and adopt the other person's taste in written work. Opting in to a "word club" with your partner is more about understanding each other than it is about delving into a new literary genre. It won't kill you to read a political blog post that means something to your partner with the intention of learning more about the person you love. Give up being rigid about your reading choices. If the last Sci-Fi book you read was in elementary school and you hated it, extend yourself again with an open mind. Explore why your partner loves this particular genre or paragraph or chapter.
Learning more about your partner's inner world is one motivating factor for beginning a "word club". Another could be to expand both of your horizons and also your relationship. Adults can be really up-tight. If you're both taking life too seriously, consider reading a playful, fiction book like "Alice in Wonderland". Maybe you're on the other end of the spectrum and need to get it together. If the last thing you need is to fall into (another!) rabbit hole, read a book that will help you set goals or a finance magazine to build savings for a house. Whatever you decide to do, the first step is talking it through with your partner and committing to a plan. Creating a "word club" is a fun, lighthearted way to spend time with your partner in a world that is not your own.