A few days ago I noticed a woman (with beautiful curly hair) pause on her way into a store to adjust the heel of her shoe. As she was bending over a gentlemen passed her and without breaking his stride, thumped her on the butt. The woman immediately popped up with a laugh and hurried to catch up with him. As they approached the entrance, the gentleman pulled ahead so he could hold the door open for her. As she passed him, he swatted her once more and the woman laughed heartily for a second time.
Observing this interaction made me smile for several reasons. For one thing, I have always enjoyed being around happy couples (even when I was single) and for another thing, it was really refreshing because this was a middle-aged couple. They both looked healthy, happy, and entirely unconcerned with what the people around them might think.
We talk about a lot of important topics on this sub, but there's one thing that doesn't really get a lot of spotlight: playfulness and flirting. If you have a happy and stable relationship that is well maintained - it's so much easier to simply enjoy yourself and have fun with your SO. Ample amounts of tom-foolery and flirtation are easy ways to perk up your dynamic. Humor is so important, as is the ability to laugh at yourself and not take everything so seriously.
My SO and I flirt with each other every day without ever really thinking about it. We joke around and never hesitate to engage in casual contact (hand holding, hugging, arm around the hip, kiss on the cheek etc) regardless of where we are. There are no mundane tasks, because if we're spending time together, we always manage to make it fun.
I know couples that are very anti-public displays of affection, and it always makes me a little sad. I am very private about many things, but I do believe that being able to express fondness for one another in social settings helps to strengthen your bond. That doesn't mean you need to go to extremes (I dislike full-blown public make-out sessions where the people in question might pass out from a lack of oxygen), but communicating your preference for one another through flirting, joking, and affection has value. You're simultaneously signaling that you are both off the market, as well as showing that you have a happy and healthy relationship. It strengthens your reputation as a couple (again, there is a certain amount of balance to this - if you go overboard with the ooshy-gushy, people will get annoyed) and advertising that all is well on the home front. Friends, family, and acquaintances will take notice if you are consistently having fun together. Furthermore, don't be surprised if seeing you happy makes your SO's friends respect him even more. That said, general perception is a very peripheral concern, the main thing is to simply have fun with your SO/husband and enjoy the moment. After all, if your relationship isn't enjoyable - why be together at all?
Please feel free to share your personal experiences. Do you joke around and flirt with your SO? Have you seen interactions between other couples that have made you smile?