Happy couples have many things in common. One common denominator is their creative use of rituals to keep the spark alive in their relationships. Here are some ideas from several blissful couples.
Send candid selfies to your partner. Married for over three years, businesswoman Priyanka and her doctor husband, Ragu, got creative when their schedules kept them apart. They decided to text each other a coded message, “send face,” and the other partner must take a selfie of her or himself engaged in whatever activity she or he is doing at the time. The happy couple says that this ritual keeps them connected despite their active work life.
Use a message board to send positive vibes. Even though they have only been married for 10 months, Peter and Shannon have found the secret to marital bliss: showering each other with uplifting messages. Using a message board that fastens to the couple’s refrigerator, Shannon and Peter post sweet nothings and inspirational messages for each other on a daily basis. If they forget, they send the message by texting each other instead.
Make up crazy nicknames for each other. It takes a great deal of effort on both people’s end to make a long-distance relationship work. Kristen and Adam, who have remained together despite the miles which part them at times, created a goofy couple name that they share when they message each other. Humor goes a long way towards soothing the pain of living in separate cities.
Create dances to entertain each other. Brian and Ashley love to create dances to celebrate every day as if it were a holiday. They invent dances to celebrate days of the week, dishes they enjoyed for dinner, or whatever else their imaginative minds come up with. Even though they have been together for three years, the couple have never run out of ideas.
Start the morning off right with a meaningful conversation. Married two years, Mathilde and Paul created a ritual that helped them connect each and every morning. Before they leave for work, they sit down on their bed and ask how things are going with each other. Beginning the day by sharing their feelings, hopes, and dreams with each other gives them the energy they need to have a happy, productive day.
End the day right with positive vibes. Not only should couples start the day on a positive note, but they should also end the day with a ritual designed to create warm feelings for each other. Having been together for 13 years, Scott and Liz share their nightly ritual. Each spouse tells the other the reason why they love him or her every night, no exception.
Share common hobbies. Even though they have only been married for six months, Smith and Harris have discovered the secret of happiness: bonding over a shared ritual. This couple combines their love of cooking and music to create time to spend together. Several times during each week, the couple unplugs from the digital world, puts on some music, and cooks dinner together. The couple says that this ritual helps them to better “focu[s] on each other.”
Create goals as a couple. Instead of writing down individual goals when New Year’s Day rolls around, happily married Joe and Kaitlin sit down together to write their collective goals for the next year. The couple says that doing so helps each other feel supported in both personal and professional endeavors. They credit this ritual for helping them achieve their highly-successful professional lives.
Create rituals that recognize personal preferences. How does a morning person learn to live happily together with an evening person? By creating rituals that pamper the other during their favored time, say Laura and Drew, who have been partners for six years. In the morning, night owl Laura takes special care to make Drew’s morning happy, while early bird Drew does the same during evenings for Laura.
Create a special holiday once a week. Together for three years, Matthew and Ashley have kept their love alive, despite conflicting work schedules, by designating Mondays as their special “couple holiday.” In Matthew and Ashley’s case, Ashley began the tradition with what she calls “Matthew Monday.” On this day, Ashley pampers her husband by doing all sorts of chores, sending him love notes, corny jokes, and thanking him for the things he does for her. Matthew, in turn, uses the day to help Ashley out around the house.
If the spark has gone out of your relationship, take a lesson from these happy couples. Using their rituals as inspiration, create your own special way to celebrate each other.