The expert’s view: Ammanda Major
Head of service quality and clinical practice at Relate, the relationship counselling service, Ammanda Major believes there are definite advantages for couples who cycle together.
“It is about having a bond,” Major told us. “Whether that’s cycling or birdwatching, it is about that fun element of being together even when it is hard work — like cycling uphill — you’ve got that shared endeavour.
“You’re doing something healthy which maintains good mental health and contributes to that sense of the two of you getting away from it all and spending time in each other’s company, which is important for a couple.
“Being competitive might also enhance the relationship, but the downside is if that becomes blaming. The person who is better needs to make allowances and that should be part of helping them improve in ways that make sense and feel nurturing and supporting. You need to adjust your own priorities.”
Even if we find time to occasionally ride with our partner, cycling is a time-consuming pursuit, with the potential to take you away from your loved one, something which Major says should be addressed to retain harmony within a relationship.
“Strong, healthy relationships are able to tolerate separation when a partner might be pursuing a hobby. However, that needs to work for both partners and the couple need to be able to negotiate that. What can sometimes happen is that people get more and more into it without the couple discussing the implications for their relationship. The key thing is to keep checking in with a partner about how they’re finding it.”