It's not what we do every once in a while that defines our lives; it’s what we do consistently. Simply put, the quality of your life is a reflection of your daily rituals. We all have rituals—some empowering, others disempowering, some conscious, but most are unconscious. For better or worse, those things we do on a regular basis determine the quality of our lives.
For that reason, it's critical that we make a proactive effort to act with intention each day, in our careers, our pastimes, and our relationships. The trust, intimacy, and passion in your relationship are determined by the investment you and your partner are willing to make in it on a regular basis. Here are five simple, game-changing rituals that you and your other half can—and should—make an effort to incorporate into your daily routine:
1. Kiss—for at least 30 seconds.
Call me old school, but nothing says, "you're special" and "I love you" like a genuine, passionate kiss. Take note of the words genuine and passionate. Take a few seconds to be present, make eye contact, and savor a good kiss. Sharing this intimate experience with the person you're most passionate about will not only help keep that passion alive, but it will also help maintain the intimacy between the two of you.
2. Communicate—even when you're dealing with something stressful.
It’s important that we know what's going on in each other's lives. Communication is a way to alleviate any uncertainty your partner may have about what’s going on with you. Communicating consistently will also help them understand more about whatever you're going through and make it easier for them to give you what you need. We need to set aside some time to share things with our partners even when we aren't prompted to—and especially when we're dealing with something hard. It can be difficult to imagine dedicating time to telling your partner how stressed you are when you could just be working instead, but taking that time will pay dividends in support and encouragement.
Connecting is about understanding and getting in tune with what's going on with your partner while also specifically reassuring them that you’re interested, present, and available. Whether it's a nonverbal expression of emotion via touch or an intellectual conversation, make an effort to connect with your partner by getting in tune with what they're going through and how they feel each day. You don't have to try to fix or change things for them, but it's important to at least know what mental and emotional state they're in and to remind or reassure them that you care. The key is to be present and on the same wavelength.
We all love compliments, but we love hearing them most from the person we love most. Paying compliments is a great way to boost your lover's self-esteem and make them feel special but also to create variety and spontaneity in your relationship with the element of surprise. Take five seconds each day to make a verbal deposit in the emotional bank account of your partner (in person means most but via text will suffice if that’s not an option).
Anything positive coming from you that relates to them personally will be a plus. The compliment can be about something obvious, such as what they’re wearing, or something subtle and unexpected, like how hard they work or how compassionate or brilliant they are. It can be random and out of the blue about something from the past or something in particular they did the night before. Either way, make sure the compliment is something you really think or believe to be true.
The only thing better than laughing is laughing with someone you love. Laughter naturally releases feel-good hormones, so sharing laughs with your partner helps to anchor those feelings and associate them with your other half. Whether it's telling a joke, retelling a funny story, or watching something online that you both find amusing, be sure you have a good laugh together at least once a day!
The hallmark of a healthy, happy, fulfilling relationship is a couple that has consistently made these five rituals a priority for so long that they have become daily habits that don't even require effort. Make these rituals a part of your daily routine with your partner and you will not only increase the love, trust, passion, and intimacy, but you will create a new standard that increases the sustainability of your bond for the long term.
Want more insight into your relationship? Find out the things you should always be selfish about in your partnerships and the questions that could keep your marriage from ending.
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