How to Keep The Love Fresh In Your Relationship

 

By Debrena Jackson Gandy, author of “The Love Lies”

How to keep the love fresh in your relationship? 

Debrena2 It started with Date Nights one Friday night a month consistently, and then expanded eight years ago, to him bringing me my favorite Starbucks espresso drink, a venti decaf breve latte, on Saturday mornings while I was still tucked cozily under the bedcovers. Now it includes praying out loud together, at least one night per week, for each other, our children, and family members, and also for friends and others outside of our immediate circle.

So what is “it” you may ask. “It” is a special ritual between you and your significant other or spouse that creates closeness, supports you in being present and attentive to one another, and strengthens your connection.

Lets Start at the Very Beginning.

I’ve found that the best time to initiate rituals is at the beginning or near the beginning of a relationship, and then you can continue to build upon those you had from the very start. The possibilities are endless and should reflect what works for the two of you.

Maybe your ritual is a walk, jog, or bike ride together on Saturday mornings, or tea or coffee together at a usual spot around town or even a certain place at home. Maybe you have your “check-in chats” for 15 minutes after you’ve both gotten home from work sitting at the table or the counter, while sipping a certain wine or beverage together.

What Makes Couples Rituals Powerful

What makes a ritual powerful for a couple and different from a routine you do together is that it has the effect of increasing your appreciation for one another, and creates a space where time and attention are the most important investments. A ritual is particularly powerful when it becomes a consistent ingredient in a relationship. Couples rituals should serve each couple, regardless of whether they work or not for other couples. Though the rituals may change, the key is in the constancy of having a ritual or rituals over time, in the face of changing circumstances and despite life changes. A couples ritual can be counted on to keep them tuned in to one another, valuing the other, and cherishing quality time that carries special meaning.

Even after 21 years of marriage, I still look for rituals to add to our relationship. Retiring to bed early and then both reading together, me a book and my hubby, the newspaper. Leaving him a love note on the bathroom counter once a week since he gets up very early to head out to work, long before I’ve arisen. Him opening and closing my car door for me when we go on our date night; sharing a favorite dessert, one plate and two spoons, whenever we go to a certain restaurant, or having Pillow Talk together on Monday mornings, his cherished weekday off from work. Greeting him with a hug as soon as he walks in the door (I have an in-home office for my business) at least a couple of days of the week.

Keeping It Juicy

Having rituals also helps couples keep their connection energized and fresh, and can keep you from two all-time relationship-killers: the contempt of familiarity and taking each other for granted. If you need some ideas for rituals, the site couplesrituals.org offers a broad range of rituals, from the bedroom to the bathroom, from traveling to talking, and some with food, too!  Couples can have parting rituals, greeting rituals, texting rituals, phone rituals, bathing rituals, bedtime rituals, eating rituals, and the list goes on. The key is to be creative, and to do what works for the two of you.

A writer was quoted as saying, “Love doesn’t sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, re-made every day, made new,” and I would offer that these couples rituals help us to re-make our relationships every day, make them anew, and keep them fresh.

Where to From Here

According to couplesrituals.org, the average “very happy” couple has 12 rituals. If your relationship is a little skinny on rituals, now is a great time to begin to incorporate them into your modus operandi as a couple.

To get started, you both can contribute some ideas for rituals, and then you can choose one from each of you to start incorporating into your love life. I agree wholeheartedly with this approach.  I believe that having rituals as part of my relationship with my husband helps to keep it juicy. It also helps me to see him with “new eyes” and get excited about him every day.  As I also share in my book, The Love Lies, I’m not interested in just a “good” marriage–I’m interested in having a juicy marriage. And this is what we have; and we have rituals to thank as part of what keeps our marriage juicy.

 

About the Writer: Debrena Jackson Gandy is a national best-selling author of two books. Her newest book is titled “The Love Lies: 10 Revelations for Women that will Transform and Enrich Your Relationships.” She is the self-proclaimed leader of the Relationships Revolution. Debrena is a popular radio show guest and has participated in more than 50 radio shows; has appeared in Oprah’s O, Essence, Ebony, and Woman’s Day magazines; and has been seen on Oprah.com, Redbook.com, Jet.com, and SoulofAmerica.com, as well as on TV on CNN, CNN Live, Good Day New York, Good Morning Texas, Good Day D. C., The Better Show, and numerous regional morning news shows. She lives in Seattle with her family. You can order her book through her website, www.MillionDollarMentor.net.

 

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About Donna Beasley

Donna is a romantic travel expert who encourages couples to create memorable romantic moments, honeymoons, vow renewals and other special romance occasions in travel locations throughout the world. She is the founder and publisher of Romance Travel Magazine. A romantic at heart , she hopes to inspire everyone to find love in their own special place.

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