Although most of us wish we could have connected relationships, our busy lives tend to get in the way. Instead of gazing deeply into each other’s eyes, we find ourselves bickering about household chores, finances or children. Not only are we slowly but steadily drifting apart and disconnecting from our partner, but worst case, this can in the long run lead to resentment.
In my experience as a relationship counsellor, one of the most important things a couple can do to remain connected and happy is to establish relationship rituals.
A routine becomes a ritual when it has meaning to the relationship. The different habits you commit to can vary between couples, but the key is to consistently keep the connection with your partner through the little things you do together every day. This can keep your relationship strong and vibrant.
Here are five relationship rituals you should consider committing to today, to help you strengthen your relationship and keep you connected with your partner on a daily basis.
Sleeping and waking together
According to research, about three and a half years into a relationship, couples tend to stop going to bed at the same time – which is a big mistake, in my opinion. Talking about your day and cuddling before you go to sleep is one of the most intimate moments in a couple’s day. So try to stay on the same sleep schedule and go to bed together so you get the chance to connect. In the morning, set your alarm five minutes early so you can wake up and cuddle, which will give your day a great start to your day.
Hellos and goodbyes
Hellos and goodbyes are really important throughout the day, so never leave the house without looking your partner in the eyes and kissing them goodbye. When you come home, rather than going to your children or pets first, go straight to your partner, look them in the eye and kiss them hello.
Compliment each other at least once daily
It is easy to take each other for granted especially if you have been together for quite some time, but train yourself to get in the habit of praising your partner every day. Not only will it make your partner feel appreciated, but it keeps the intimacy alive and it shows that you are a team. Another bonus of giving each other compliments is that it boosts the number of overall positive interactions you have. Research shows the strongest couples have a ratio of five positive interactions to one negative.
No screens at mealtime
When you eat together, try not to do so in in front of the TV or with your smartphones on the table. This way, there are no distractions and you can focus on spending quality time together, sharing stories about your day and catching up. By not being distracted by screens, you are acknowledging your partner and having eye contact together.
Do things for each other
Whether it’s helping with chores, making your partner’s coffee in the morning or sending them a cute text message when they’re at work, commit to every day doing things that you think will make your partner happy. This will boost their well-being as well as your own.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.