Making the Routine into the Romantic
Everyone wants to know the secret to ‘happily ever after.’ Many studies and countless poems, books, movies and articles have tried to solve the mystery of a healthy relationship. Several weeks ago, a great article was posted in The Atlantic showing that lasting relationships come down to kindness and generosity. Without question, Global Glue Project couples talk at length about the importance of giving and basic kindness, but there is another word that both experts and couples agree is crucial to long-term happiness in relationships. That word is ritual.
In Stan Tatkin’s book, Wired for Love, he presents 10 key principles for a secure and happy long-term relationship, and one of his principles is the importance of creating rituals. He talks about using bed and morning times as crucial opportunities to connect, as well as hellos and goodbyes, which he refers to as “reunion rituals.” These simple rituals tie back to John Gottman’s work on kindness, as they are just that- acts of kindness, but calling them rituals instead of kindnesses ensure that they are practiced daily. The success of a long-term, healthy relationship depends on this daily dedication to the simple things.
Even if you lead hectic lives and don’t have time for date nights and romantic getaways, you can still create romance by simply going to bed together. Whether or not you and your partner go to bed at the same time can dramatically affect your connection. Does one of you stay up to watch television while the other goes to sleep? Changing this pattern and committing to spending even a few moments together before bed will do wonders for your relationship. If attuning your sleeping schedules is not possible, then at least create a bedtime ritual where the partner who stays awake puts the other partner to bed. This can be time to cuddle or to talk about the day or read something together.
How do you and your partner greet the day? Do you bring tea or coffee to your partner in the morning, or do they do this for you? It is astounding how many couples talk about the sacredness of this simple act. Try it for a month or even a week. When you leave for work in the morning, or return home at night, do you say goodbye and hello with an embrace and “I love you,” or do you let these moments pass with little acknowledgment? Taking the time to connect in these moments will drastically impact the feeling of security and happiness in your relationship.
Global Glue couple MC Yogi & Amanda beautifully articulate the power of recalculating schedules in order to go to bed together, and that attuning in these small ways ground and reconnect them as a couple.
If you don’t already incorporate rituals in your relationship, try these, and let us know what you think.