08 – Relationship rituals. – 2:45

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#8 Relationship rituals. – 2:45

With the passage of time, relationships will tend to fall either into negative or positive routines. Many of these contribute to the nurturing of the relationship, while others can undermine its success.

One of the things I have discovered over the years is that developing some rituals that become a routine part of the relationship can ensure that the relationship can stay on a positive track. Although no relationship is perfect or ever will be, all relationships are either getting better or getting worse. They all experience ups and downs at various times. And these rituals can help keep the relationship focused on those attitudes, behaviors, and feelings that you want to see continue, as well as help eliminate those that are no longer contributing to a healthy relationship.

Let me give you a few examples of some of the simple rituals I have come across over the years.

Have a date night on the same day of the week or days of the month. This date night isn’t subject to cancellation, regardless of career or other issues. It takes priority, no matter what. Spend one day, or a portion of a day, at least once a month discussing the positives in your relationship, as well as some of the things that you would like to change.

Next, play odd and even. Each partner is either odd or even. Not in personality, but the day of the week, the week of the month or the month of the year. If you are odd, that means you call if you are out of town on odd days. Even days, then your partner calls. Odd years, you get to choose where and when you go on vacation. Even years, it is your partner’s choice. You can even have some fun with this. It can include things like who cooks, cleans the house, or walks the dog.

Next, once a quarter, one partner surprise the other with a special weekend retreat. Take turns.

Next, every morning, one partner brings the other coffee and juice while the other sends flowers or some small token that says you are special. I thought of you today and I want you to know I appreciate you.

Next, develop a list of 13 behaviors you would like to work on as a couple. For example, better or more honest communication, more fun or intimacy, better listening, or emotional support. Write each of them on a small, separate piece of paper, then put all 13 pieces in a jar. And once a week, one of you pulls from the jar taking turns each week and that is what you both focus on as a couple that week. Put this piece in a separate jar at the end of the week so you don’t pull the same one out again. Now pull out a new piece and work on that for the next week. And so on for 13 weeks. At the end of the 13 weeks, put them all back in the original jar and start all over again. Repeat this four times so that at the end of the year, you will have worked on each of the 13 behaviors for a total of four weeks.

What are some rituals that you have in your relationship that keep it centered, focused and on target?