Why are rituals so important?

Rituals foster deeper meaning in your relationship and create a deeper connection with your partner.

What rituals are already in place within your relationship?

Maybe you kiss your partner good-bye each morning. Perhaps you two go out for ice cream on a Sunday afternoon. It’s possible you two schedule a getaway on the same weekend every year as a way of reconnecting.

How many rituals were you able to identify within your own relationship?

If you have less than 12, you may need to start creating! Why 12? I’ll get to that later.

But for now, let’s look at how you can create new rituals.

Dr. John Gottman has created an exercise to help guide couples in creating new family rituals. You begin by talking about what you want, followed by a discussion about what rituals (or lack of rituals) were like for you growing up.

Here are a few questions Dr. Gottman has identified that will jumpstart some ideas for building your own rituals:

  • How do we, or should we, eat together at dinner?
  • How should we part at the beginning of each day?
  • How should bedtime be?
  • What is the meaning of weekends?
  • What are our rituals about vacations?
  • Pick a meaningful holiday. How should this holiday be celebrated?
  • How do we each get refreshed and renewed?
  • What rituals do we have when someone is sick?

When creating or redefining rituals, Dr. Gottman has identified the following questions as a guide:

  • What is meaningful about this for you?
  • When will this be done?
  • How often will it be done?
  • How long should it last each time?
  • Who will initiate it?
  • Who will do what in this ritual?
  • What will happen next?
  • How will it end?
  • How can we integrate this into our lives so we can count on it?

Are you still curious about rituals?

If so, you must check out Couple Rituals. This is by far the absolute best resource around if you are curious about rituals and their place in your relationship. And if you are wondering where the 12 came from, as mentioned above, Dr. Randall Grayson of Couple Rituals states that the average happy couple has at least 12 rituals of their own.

If you have identified the rituals you already practice with your partner, created a few new rituals with Dr. Gottman’s method, and are still short of 12, I suggest that you check out the Gottman Card Decks app (it’s FREE!) and get started with the Rituals of Connection card deck.

Cindy Norton

I absolutely love providing helpful relationship education to couples so they can have happier, healthier, and more fulfilling relationships.

So if you’re a committed couple seeking to enhance the quality of your relationship, you’ve found the right place.

I offer my support with Premarital Counseling and Relationship Coaching.

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