I cannot recommend highly enough the practice of making a recovery ride also serve as a ride with your sweetheart. (Unless your sweetheart is more of a hammerhead than you are, in which case, maybe you should ask her/him to do a recovery ride with you.)
Mrs. V. is a fine cyclist, but her talent is not hammering (at least, not yet). She is a champ at riding for the enjoyment of it -- a precious gift, which I have lost to a rather embarrassing extent. However, without external motivation, she doesn't really get out much.
So, for the last few weekends in a row, I've asked her to accompany me on a quiet Sunday ride, and the results have been very fun and convivial. Pretty country lanes, burbling brooks, quiet, shady cemeteries, frequent stops, lots of good conversation, and an emphasis on pleasure.
For someone who often takes his riding more seriously than his talent merits, it's a terrific change of pace, a reconnection to why I started riding a bike all those decades ago. It's a re-direct from all the obsession over mileage, goal events, and invidious comparisons.
It's also a nice opportunity for Mrs. V. to feel a bit of excitement about this "hobby" on which I lavish so much attention, time and, occasionally, money.
You've probably heard of the Slow Food movement, a response to the inundation of fast food. It looks like I'm starting my own personal Slow Ride movement. Won't you join?