'Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.' — Gustav Mahler

Why should you care about rituals? Well, for starters, they are necessary to have in any healthy relationship. Like it or not, we are creatures of habit. Making sure you have healthy habits in your relationship—practices you can count on to stay connected with your partner—is essential. We call these rituals of connection. Bill Doherty first coined this term in his book The Intentional Family.

Two people reaching for each other.

Two people reaching for each other.Rituals of connection work best if they are thought out and planned. Here’s what to think about: When will the ritual happen? How often? Where? Who will initiate it? How will it unfold? How will it end? Here is what I recommend: Have a conversation with your partner about a ritual of connection you would like to create as a couple. If you would like inspiration, the Gottman Card Decks app has a deck with great ideas to consider, called, aptly enough, Rituals of Connection. Choose one of these and first share with your partner why you chose the one you picked (what’s important about this for you). If your partner agrees with the suggestion, answer the questions above to make practical plans to incorporate it into your relationship.

It’s a good idea to have a conversation about rituals of connection regularly, at least once a year. You want to see if there are any changes you wish to make to tailor these to what you need at that moment. For instance, if you think of bedtime rituals, you will realize that these rituals change as children grow. It should be the same in your relationship. Make sure that you have rituals of connection in your life that keep you connected consistently! For other examples of rituals of connection, take a look at these blogs: Holiday Survival Kit, 7 Valentine’s Day Date Ideas, and Is Technology Ruining Your Relationship?

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LeMel Firestone-Palerm, LMFT, LPCC, CGT
LeMel Firestone-Palerm, LMFT, LPCC, CGT About LeMel...
Helping Create Healthy Relationships Since 1997
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist MFC 42162
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor LPC 1534
Certified Gottman Therapist