Appropriately chosen rituals can help couples feel more connected throughout their day-to-day life. Rituals provide a sense of stability, predictability, and purpose. For instance, you and your family members can agree to take your shoes off before coming into the house. This sets the stage for experiencing “home” as distinct from “non-home.”
Or your family can decide to spend dinnertime together, without television, phones, or other distractions. This sets the stage for communication, daily updates, and relaxation. There are many such rituals that families and individuals can practice, but here I’m going to focus on a few specific rituals for couples.
In the course of daily life, romantic relationships tend to pivot on the axis of separations and reunions. How you handle these junctures can have a big impact on your relationship. In this way, adults are not so different from children.
Children, for example, are aware of needing to be tucked into bed at night and awakened in the morning by at least one of their parents. A child who doesn’t routinely get the needed attention at those moments will be unhappy and insecure. Yet, as adults, many of us think we don’t have these kinds of needs now that we are all grown up.
Based on what I know about attachment theory, I believe that all human beings—whether children or adults—benefit from rituals that honor times of separation and times of reunion. These rituals may take only a few minutes, but they can reinforce your sense of connection to another person. This connection provides you with a foundation of safety and security that can take you through your day and help you sleep at night.