Most couples go through the honeymoon phase where everything is exciting, fresh and new. Then the honeymoon comes to an end and life becomes a routine where the relationship is no longer a priority. This is true for people in relationships and for married couples. That is why it is important to set up rituals. I strongly believe rituals can keep a relationship going strong for years. Chances are, you and your partner already have rituals, you just probably are not aware of them. Creating a “Couple’s Ritual” is creating a conscious recurring exchange between two people in a relationship that is meaningful and fulfilling. Using these rituals on a consistent basis will create a daily reminder of the connection and love you share with one another. I personally have found that having a daily Couple’s Ritual has helped build and solidify a deeper connection between my partner and me.
Here are 6 Rituals for a Deeper connection with your partner:
Spend Mornings in Bed Cuddling together
This ritual is by far a game changer for me. Most of us wake up in the morning, turn off our alarms and rush to work. By taking just 5 minutes to cuddle, snuggle, hug and feel each other’s skin creates a bond that allows you to connect on another level with your partner. Even if your significant other wakes up at a later time than you, just spoon in bed and initiate the cuddle. They may be half asleep but they will surely remember the warmth of your skin and automatically feel connected to you. Also cuddling releases oxytocin and endorphins, hormones known to make you feel good and create a deeper sense of connection. These are nonverbal cues that let your partner know how you feel. They convey the message “I feel safe” “I love you” “I feel understood” and “I get you”.
Talk about the Good Things that Happened Every Day
Most couples come home and complain about the day (I was guilty of this until my husband pointed out my sudden negative outlook on work). I recommend not asking your spouse automatically “How was your day?” But to making a simple shift in the question and asking instead “What GOOD things happened today?” You see, the slight shift in the question emits a completely different response. Instead of focusing on the stress of work make the conscious decision when you leave work to leave the troubles of work at work. This way your home will always be a place of love and happiness. If you still feel the need to vent or talk about the happenings at work or of life follow the ritual number 3.
Going on Nature Walks to Express Gratitude
We don’t realize it often enough but nature and being in the outdoors makes us happy. Researchers have found that people who live close to parks or green areas tend to have less stress and a more positive outlook on life. If you feel stress or have negative thoughts or just feel in a rut go on a nature walk. Couples can do this too. And a great tip is, as you walk start to think about the things you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big. The smallest recognition will make you realize that the problems in your life are not so significant. And when doing this with your partner, you will feel more connected to each other. I find that taking a quick walk around the neighborhood park after dinner or on the weekends helps to diffuse any situation.
Cooking a Meal and Eating Together
You know what they say: The couple who cooks together stays together! Although cooking may not be your forte. Taking the time to cook and eat together as a couple brings the opportunity to communicate and enjoy the fruits of your labor together. Too many times we create relationship roles which can get mundane. By cooking together, both your partner and yourself will be spending time together and learning something new. Regardless, cooking will create fun memories and even your own recipes!
Having Open and Non-judgmental Communication
Communication with the opposite sex can be challenging especially if we do not want to hurt the other person’s feelings. I found that many couples refrained from expressing their feelings and instead bundled it up inside. This is very detrimental to yourself and to the relationship because when you are not dealing with an issue right away it will eventually come out like a storm. In order to avoid this from happening, I recommend having hard conversations earlier in the relationship and when you feel something is bothering you. Too often we expect the other person to know what is going on in our heads and express disconnect but unless you speak and express yourself clearly and without judgment, the other person may have no clue of your emotions. Take your partner aside and look him or her in the eye and let them know you have to talk about something that has been bothering them. Also, make sure you hold your partner’s hand when you say this so they feel you are coming from a place of love and vulnerability. Once both couples have expressed their feelings and resolved the issue, hug, kiss and express love. This will let your partner know you love and accept them no matter what happened in the past.
My husband and I created this ritual called “Dream Day” when we came back from our honeymoon. After spending a week on a cruise dreaming about life and the future we realized how happy it made us to constantly be reminded of what we were working towards. And now our typically Saturday morning start with us waking up and talking about our dreams and goals. We even look online at the places we want to travel and dreams we want to accomplish. We realized this exercise brought us closer together as a couple and made us realize why we are meant for each other. We have a common vision for our lives and are working towards it.
I hope these rituals are helpful to you and your partner. One last tip though, choose one ritual at a time or incorporate your own slowly. The key here is to create Your “Couple’s Ritual” with your significant other in order to have a stronger sense of understanding and connection for one another. One way to start incorporating rituals into your life is to just do it. Once you do the ritual consistently, you will see a change in yourself, your partner and the relationship.
If you try these rituals, please let me know how it has worked for you and your partner. Also, share other routines or rituals you may have tried and the benefits it has brought to your relationship below. I’d love to read them!