Rituals strengthen your bond: steal one of these ideas, or get inspired to think up your own.
When you first get together with someone, everything seems fun and magical.
You can have a good time running even the most boring errands together (I remember making out with my boyfriend in the aisle of a hardware store, buying picture-hanging hooks.) But after a while, it’s easy to fall into a day-to-day routine that sucks the romance right out of your relationship.
One way to combat those long-term relationship blues is to have one or more traditions that only the two of you know about, that keep your marriage fresh and fun. Like the couple who sing the alphabet to each other every Sunday morning, or whenever they’re in a fight. It’s something just for you – a reminder of what you mean to each other and how important your relationship is.
Rituals help provide structure in our lives, and create a sense of unity that strengthens the bond between partners. They keep us emotionally engaged, and help us key in to a mindset or mood that we want to foster in our relationships. Creating rituals together that are meaningful for the two of you, no matter how small they might seem, can have a big impact on your relationship.
Need some ideas? Here are 13 fun traditions to inspire you…
1. Start the day with a selfie
Every morning, no matter what you’re doing, send each other a selfie. Whether you’re at the gym, eating breakfast, on the train heading to work, or just waking up with a bad case of bedhead, snap a quick selfie and send it, sans comment. Whoever receives one first has to send theirs back as soon as they see it.
2. Celebrate small anniversaries
The day you swiped right on his profile. The first fight you ever had. The first email you sent him. The first time he farted in front of you. You get the idea. The more ridiculous the anniversary, the bigger the celebration.
3. Have code names for each other
Don’t let anyone else know what they are: you are secret agents, and no one else must know your identities. Use them when you need to remember that it’s the two of you against the world.
4. Leave each other love notes
Make a habit of scribbling little notes to each other and stashing them where your partner will randomly find them. They can be heartfelt or hilarious, sweet or silly, but they’ll always make you feel loved and special when you find them.
5. Ward off fights with a dance-off
Humor is one of the best ways to lighten the mood when a fight is on the horizon. Next time you’re on edge and things are getting tense, crank up the music and start dancing, no matter how awkward it feels. Once you start sweating, you’ll forget what you were fighting about.
6. Establish a “no phone” zone
It could be a certain area of your home, or a time of the day. Whatever you decide, at the appointed time or when you cross the threshold of a particular room, your phones get put away. Designate a place for phones – a shoebox or a drawer works well – and leave them there for a predetermined amount of time. Whether you talk to each other, make out, or sit in silence, we bet you’ll soon look forward to your enforced unplugged time.
7. Create your own holiday
Everyone loves Taco Tuesday, but have you ever heard about No Pants Thursday? Or Random Road Trip January? If Hallmark can invent holidays to sell greeting cards, you can invent one that’s just for the two of you to celebrate.
8. Read a bedtime story together
Never read Moby Dick? Take turns reading it to each other before bed, one chapter a night. The two of you can have your own private book club and catch up on all the classics. Or read each other your favorite books. Your book club, your rules.
9. Come up with a secret signal
Remember Ross and Monica’s secret way of giving each other the finger so their parents wouldn’t know? Make up your own private gesture that no one else will understand. (Preferably one that means something sweet, but hey – it’s your marriage!)
10. Make yearly resolutions together
Having shared goals and dreams keeps couples on the right track, feeling like a team and working together toward something that’s important to them both. Choose a day every year – a birthday, an anniversary, maybe New Year’s Eve – when you sit down together and make resolutions for the upcoming year.
11. Set a “cuddle alarm”
Take ten minutes to snuggle every morning before you have to get up: set your alarm for ten minutes before you actually have to be up, and when it goes off, it’s cuddle time.
12. Have a “drop everything and dance” song
Whenever that song comes on, wherever you are, you have to stop what you’re doing and dance. The sillier the song, the better.
13. End the day with gratitude
Before you go to sleep, find something to say “thank you” to your spouse for, no matter how small. Did he stock up on your favorite seltzer when he stopped at the grocery store? Are you grateful for the dimple in his left cheek? Is it nice just to know he’s next to you when you fall asleep? There’s always a reason to be grateful, even on the worst day.
Image via shutterstock.com.
Comment: Do you have any traditions that keep your marriage fun?