There is no better way to create wonderful memories and meaning in one’s relationship than with rituals. Rituals are a special way to show love, appreciation and importance for the partners throughout time in the life of the relationship.
Relationships are made up of interactions between two partners which can be negative or positive. Their repetition provide the overall feel of the relationship. Rituals collaborate with this process.
Couple rituals play a central role in giving color, substance, and style to the relationship and mark off one couple from another, giving each a special character. They make a major contribution to the stability and continuity of the life of the relationship. They assist in creating and maintaining a couple’s identity (unique values, standards, role prescription, and perceptions).
Rituals encapsulate the essence of who partners are within their relationship through the reenactment of specified behaviors. This is a tool that can help change that overall feeling and enhance the meaning of the relationship and its satisfaction quotient.
There are specific characteristics to positive couple rituals. They are symbolic, consistent, respectful and meaningful. They have a sense of specialness and importance. They provide a sense of “weness” and organize partners’ behaviors. Partners feel a void when they are skipped or absent.
Rituals can be creative and exclusive to celebrate anniversaries of events and holidays, or repetitive woven into our routines. There are actually three categories of rituals:
1) Celebrations. These specific to the couple such as engagements, weddings, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day; and family celebrations in which couples partake. Family celebrations can be religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter, The Passover Seder or secular holiday observances such as Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, or the Fourth of July, within the American culture anyway.
2) Traditions. These are less culture-specific and more idiosyncratic to the couple and their family and recur with regularity. These might include: Summer vacations, dates, birthdays, parties of various kinds, special meals.
3) Ritualized routines. These are the ones most frequently enacted and the ones least consciously planed. To this category belong rituals such as a dinnertime, bedtime routines, leisure time activities on weekends or evenings, everyday greetings and good-byes, contact during the day, ways of staying current, etc. These interactions help to define partners’ roles and responsibilities and are a way of organizing daily interactions.
When rituals play out over time their richness reaffirm symbolism of values, affects, and perspectives hence their power to be conduits of change.
Which couple rituals in your relationship capture the essence of who you are as partners in your relationship? Which rituals promote positive feelings in your relationship? Which rituals promote meaningful and satisfying interactions? Which rituals allow your relating to create the relationship you want?
Use Positive Couple Rituals to change and enhance your relationship today!