Rituals of connection are core to positive, healthy relationships. The things you do as a couple create shared meaning and intimacy in a relationship. And if you have shared meaning in your relationship, then there is a good chance that your relationship is healthy, stable and happy.
If you don’t, then you might be asking yourself, “Is that all there is?” Sure, fun things to do as a couple, like date nights, weekend getaways and making love, are all part of a relationship. But people also want to connect at a deeper, more intimate level.
How is your spiritual connection? Your emotional connection? Do you feel you are creating an inner life together? Consider how your everyday behaviors make up the “culture” of your relationship — the symbols, rituals and appreciation you have for your roles and goals as a couple, which link you together.
One of the best things to do as a couple to create shared meaning and intimacy is to talk about your dreams with your partner. However, big or small they might be. You don’t have to agree with your partner’s dreams, but you need to be respectful and supportive of one another’s goals.
Another way to deepen intimacy is to create your own traditions and rituals as a couple. Start by talking about the traditions and rituals that you had growing up.
Tell your partner you best and worst memories. What do they mean to you? Would you still like to celebrate them? If so, then how? Share your past experiences with your partner, even if they seem small. Share all the details.
Then, consider how you and your partner can create rituals of your own to deepen intimacy and improve your emotional connection through shared meaning.
Here 21 things to do as a couple to create shared meaning that deepen intimacy in healthy relationships.
- Having breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and/or coffee together.
- Hosting guests at your home.
- Working out together or going for a walk.
- Taking care of each other when sick.
- Renewing your spirits with self-reflection and self-care.
- Going to concerts, plays and cultural events.
- Apologizing or repairing feelings after an argument.
- Going dancing.
- Doing charity work together.
- Attending religious services or celebrating festivals and holidays together.
RELATED: 6 Things To Do With The Person You Love When You’re Bored
- Going out to the movies.
- Watching television together.
- Playing card and board games together.
- Taking vacations, weekend getaways, or doing local travel together.
- Making art as a couple.
- Making love.
- Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other special moments together.
- Spending time away from one another.
- Reuniting after time apart.
- Going to bed together.
- Waking up together and waking one another up sweetly.
There you go, it’s not that difficult to build intimacy in your relationship! Play around with this list, and add your own. Couples that create shared meaning in their relationship not only are happier, but they are more likely to stay together.
Think of your relationship like an emotional bank account. Like any account, if you want it to grow, then you need to make deposits. You’ll find the small deposits add up in a big way in increasing your emotional connection.
Lianne Avila is a licensed marriage and family therapist dedicated to helping couples, who has spent the last five years learning and applying The Gottman Method for Couples in her practice. For more help, please visit her website.
This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.