Relationship rituals provide stability and increase a couple’s connection.
We all have habits. Some of them are positive, while others are negative.
Rituals are positive habits that we select intentionally. We commit to doing them because we believe in the power of rituals to improve our lives.
Couples can create relationship rituals that they both commit to doing.
Sometimes these rituals start out as habits. For example, a couple may always say “I love you” at the end of a phone call. Noticed, and continued intentionally, this is a small ritual.
Other times, rituals may be more deliberate. In fact, couples may have to work to get used to them. The payoff is well worth it.
Relationship Rituals Create Stability
A ritual is something that you can count on. Therefore, it lends stability to a relationship.
Consider, for example, the case of the couple that always says, “I love you” at the end of a phone call. If one partner suddenly stops saying it, the other will immediately know that something is wrong.
The lack of the ritual creates insecurity and destabilizes the relationship.
In contrast, completing the ritual is a small way of consistently, repeatedly, saying to your partner, “I am here for you.” It is shorthand for saying, “I love you all of the time. Furthermore, I care enough to remind you every time that we speak on the phone.”
Being able to count on your partner to show up for your relationship rituals gives you the sense that you can count on them for bigger things as well. The safer you feel, the more stability you experience. Furthermore, you may feel more inclined to open up to your partner.
Relationship Rituals Create Connection
There are also many other ways that relationship rituals foster intimacy and encourage connection. They’re the things that add up to make you a unique “we.”
Spend Time Together
Rituals can be a way to get regular time together. Having dinner together every night, snuggling before bed, and showering together in the morning are all ways to connect with each other each day.
These rituals help you to reconnect on a busy day, making time for one another.
Have Fun Together
Rituals can also be a way to remember to have fun together.
So often couples get so wrapped up in talking about the minutiae of life that they forget to just enjoy time together.
Have a date night or schedule a weekend activity. Find something that you both enjoy and then commit to doing it together regularly.
Create Space to Talk
Couples need to be able to talk to one another. On the one hand, you need to be able to have serious conversations about big issues. On the other hand, you want to be open to continuing to get to know your partner’s thoughts about life.
Rituals can create the space to have conversations big and small.
Rituals for Connecting to Your Partner
Every couple has their own rituals. Inside jokes and nicknames can be rituals in some relationships.
Take a look at the habits you already engage in and consider ways to make those into relationship rituals.
Here are some additional ideas:
- Share breakfast in bed every Sunday.
- Set synchronized “thinking of you” phone alarms.
- Say one thing you appreciate about each other each night before bed.
- Eat dinner together every night without devices.
- Share one good thing and one bad thing about the day when you first get home.
- Go for a walk together after dinner.
- Try one new activity together every month.
- Trade back rubs whenever you’re watching television together.
Couples can make daily, weekly, monthly, and annual rituals.
Therapy can help you to define your relationship rituals, deepening your relationship. Learn more about my approach to couples counseling HERE.