7 Traditions To Have In Your Relationship That Help Couples Stay Together Long-Term
Dating someone for a long time can come with its up and downs, which is why it's important to create some regular habits, patterns, and rituals that help give you a sense of stability in a relationship. If you are wondering how to stay together long-term, there are a number of relationship traditions that can help bring you closer together, and maintaining them over time can help strengthen your relationship. People and relationships constantly evolve, but knowing that you can always count on your traditions allows you to find comfort and ease in your ever-shifting partnership.
"Traditions are a good way for couples to connect through shared meaning and purpose," relationship expert and psychotherapist Lena Derhally MS, MA tells Bustle. "Traditions also evoke nostalgia and comfort. Nostalgia increases feelings of connection and makes people feel loved and valued. Traditions are a way to keep those feelings of nostalgia going, and instead of feeling sad about them, keep those feelings in the present and for the future as something to look forward to."
Not every couple will celebrate their traditions in the same way, but implementing them can work wonders for your relationship. Here are seven traditions you can implement in your relationship if you want to stay together long-term.
1. Going To Bed At The Same Time
If you live with your partner, going to bed together at the same or similar time is a beneficial ritual, psychologist and sexologist Barbara Winter, PhD tells Bustle. "Ending the day with a kiss, embrace or even sexual connection is critical as is beginning the day with the same. Not all couples can do both and some none, which requires them to find other ways to welcome or end the day together." When possible, cuddling up next your partner before bed can be a great way to end the day on a good note.
2. Having A Special Spot
"It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but having a place you both love and look forward to going to is something unique and special to your bond that no one else can really share in," says Derhally. "When times get stressful, this special spot can be a place the couple goes to destress and reconnect." Whether it's a park or your favorite restaurant, having a special spot that is uniquely yours can help you feel closer together.
3. Honoring Milestones
Celebrating anniversaries can be beneficial because they also create nostalgia. "For example, you may have a tradition that you celebrate the day you got engaged," says Derhally. "By honoring and celebrating this, you reconnect to those happy and euphoric moments that you shared together in the past. Some people like to go back to the place they got engaged every year to celebrate — that's a great way to continue to remind yourselves why you fell in love."
4. Celebrating Holidays
Create new traditions together surrounding the holidays you both celebrate, or incorporate some traditions from both of your pasts to make new memories. "By creating your own unique holiday traditions, you are creating more shared experiences that make you feel like a unit and have things to look forward to that are personal to you," says Derhally. "Holiday traditions can be grounding and centering. In a chaotic world, people often like having something that's predictable and safe."
5. Date Nights
Create a designated time to have date night, whether it's weekly or bi-weekly. "It is so important for couples to have designated time together," says Derhally. "If you don't schedule it or are mindful about it, it often won't happen. Couples that have quality one-on-one time and make time to enjoy each other's company on a consistent basis are generally happier."
6. A Shared Hobby
Find a shared hobby or activity that you both enjoy that you can regularly engage in. "An example of this would be taking a walk after dinner every night, or reading the paper together over coffee every morning," says Derhally. "These are simple, bonding, and connecting traditions that couples often report enjoying the most. This is because the simple, ritualistic ways in which couples connect provide safety, stability and comfort."
7. Writing Each Other Letters
Write each other letters, and exchange them every year on your anniversary or on another chosen date. "The letter reflects on the past year and forecasts your goals and hopes for the year to come," relationship strategist Dr. Venessa Marie Perry tells Bustle. "It becomes something to look forward to every year."
These traditions can help you maintain a long-term, healthy and happy relationship.