A couple in our orbit was out to dinner, barely a week after they had officially started dating, though they already knew they were pretty serious. Dinner and drinks were followed by a long conversation and more drinks on an lovely outside beer garden on a beautiful summer night, during which he said “I love you” for the first time. Later, as they walked home, a powerful summer rainstorm started, the kind that the midwest brews every July. They happened to be walking past a fountain, and the wind and the rain and the drinks and the heat and, most of all, the love, compelled them to strip down and dance in its waters. Every year they go back under the cover of darkness.
The “mostly-naked fountain dance” isn’t very traditional, but it is their tradition. It is something significant for their relationship, as it reminds them of that magical summer. That’s something that is important for any relationship- the secret tradition, the private ceremony, the public declarations. Something that is yours. It can be, like Global Glue couple Tatiana & Alexander, a yearly trip to Europe, which they treat as a new honeymoon every time.
It doesn’t have to be extravagant of course. A couple we know goes to the park where they got married every year on their anniversary, just the two of them, and repeat their vows and exchange new rings. The old rings are sewn onto a pillow, which is something they can look at and cherish forever, as it becomes more and more ring-filled.
The point of these is that they are a reminder, not of love, but that your relationship is different than everyone else’s: it is yours. No one else is you two, and no one else has your memories, your history, your secret jokes and shared sadnesses and no one else was standing in the exact spot, holding those hands, when the moon rose red over the dusk-shadowed mountains that time you were camping. You might never see that moon again- you might never go camping there- but having a yearly remembrance of it, maybe putting on “Moondance” or “Moon Shadow” and dancing reminds you that you made this decision to be with each other for a reason. Through all the work it takes, you wanted to be here. These traditions are a way to always keep that fresh.