7 Old-Fashioned Ways To Build Meaningful Traditions In Your Relationship

by Carina Wolff

It feels good to have special traditions and little routines with your partner, but when you're starting a relationship, it's not so straightforward how you begin to build them. Sometimes, it can help to look at what couples did in the past, as there are a number of old-fashioned tips for how to start traditions in your relationship that are fun, and worth it to consider. There's a reason old-school traditions last for so long: They're timeless and create natural bonds that transcend generations.

"It’s important for couples to create their own traditions because then it can become a habit that you share," psychologist and relationship counselor Paulette Sherman tells Bustle. "This then becomes part of the fabric of your lives and will regularly improve your relationship. Regular habits can positively shape your relationship because you do them without having to regularly reinvent the wheel."

Traditions don't happen overnight, but once you get going with coming up with habits you both enjoy, you might find that your relationship feels stronger and you feel closer because of them. If you're looking for some ideas, it can be useful to look at what has worked well for couples over time. Here are seven old-fashioned ways to build meaningful traditions in your relationships, according to experts.


Create A Designated Date Night

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There's no better way to keep the romance alive by having a consistent dates. Pick a time — whether it's once a week or once a month — to do something out of the ordinary together. "Make an effort to plan something interesting, to have fun, and to show your partner that you care," says Sherman. You can take turns planning the date, or you can have a go-to place that you stick with. Whatever it is, having dedicated time to each other regularly is a great way to keep your relationship strong.


Bring Home Something Special

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Just because you’re in a committed relationship with someone doesn’t mean that you should stop showing little gestures of affection. Pick a day to bring something special over to your partner. "Old-fashioned habits like bringing home flowers on Fridays make it easier to remember to show affection," says Sherman. It doesn't have to be flowers, though of course. Think of something that will make your partner happy, or maybe even something that can make their life easier, and show you them you care with that thoughtful surprise.


Have A Day Of Rest

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Back in the day, a day of rest was common, whether it was a day of going to church or the synagogue. But even if you're not religious, take a full day off with your loved one. "Today couples are so booked and busy that they often don’t see each other," says Sherman. "Having a quiet day at home allows people to unwind and spend peaceful time together before the work week."


Have A Technology-Free Evening

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Generations ago, no one had to worry about being distracted by Instagram at the dinner table. Find time to eat a meal together, or explore other activities you both enjoy, technology free. "No TV, phones, DVR, Netflix, eating on the couch, etc.," Erin Parisi, MA, LMHC, CAP tells Bustle. "Ask questions about their day, and use this time to continue to 'date' them."


Catch Up In Person Instead Of On Text

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Rather than texting your partner what's happening in your life throughout the day, hold on to your stories for when you're together in person. "Back in the day, there wasn't the same constant communication, so when you got home, you could trade 'How was your day?' stories, and not already know the answer," says Parisi. "Whether it's good, bad, or ugly, the face-to-face communication allows your partner to absorb information differently, and allows them to give you feedback differently as well." Try to carve out a time for this that works for the both of you, and it can be a great bonding experience.


Celebrate The Holidays

"This one might be super obvious, but I would say holiday traditions," says Parisi. "In building a relationship with your partner, you each bring your own family's traditions into it, so negotiating a blend is extremely important." Decide which holidays you celebrate, how you celebrate them, what kind of meals you cook, who you spend them with, etc. Then, think of some new ways to incorporate both of your favorite past traditions into something that is uniquely yours.


Watch Old Romantic Movies

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If both of you guys are movie buffs, find time to watch old, romantic movies together. "Old-school music and movies are popular for a reason," Racine R. Henry, Ph.D., LMFT tells Bustle. "These songs [and films] talk about idealistic love and often mention cute dates or romantic gestures that you can incorporate into your modern relationship. Old movies depict traditions around holidays and birthdays that you can replicate with your partner."

Everyone has their own traditions, but use these as starting points to create a lasting habits in your relationship that feel personal to the two of you.