Recently, at a family wedding, they hosted a “Legacy Dance” where all the married couples come out on the dance floor. Then, beginning with year one, year after year, couples are dismissed from the dance floor, leaving those married the longest as the winners. Bill and I, soon to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary, were out almost to the very end and earned second place. They asked the winning couple to share their advice on how to make love and romance in marriage last.
Reflecting on just what advice we would give to couples hoping to create a lifelong love, we both concluded that romantic rituals that create patterns of love would be high on the list. We believe these healthy habits have kept love alive in our marriage year after year.
Create Your Own Romance Rituals
Creating romance in marriage is all about finding rituals that matter to you. Bill and I have a tradition people always comment on that would definitely be considered one of our romantic rituals. We always kiss after we say grace at every meal, no matter where we are or who we are with. We’ve never missed a kiss in over 38 years! If we even look like we are going to get distracted and forget, one of our kids will scream out, “The kiss! The kiss!”
Other patterns in our love life include always kissing hello and goodbye, always praying for each other each time we part, and praying and holding each other each night before we fall asleep.
Ideas For Routines Of Romance In Marriage
Dick and Kathy explain their marriage ritual: “We were married on the twenty-second of August, and we celebrate each month on the twenty-second. We do something special. It’s not necessarily a big thing, but it is every month. This past month, in June, we were married 430 months.”
Here are a few other romantic routines couples have shared with us over the years:
- Read aloud to each other at a certain time, perhaps in bed or while one of you does the dishes.
- Kiss or say “I love you” anytime you exchange the keys to the car.
- Go to sleep holding hands. Even if you actually go to sleep at different times, meet at the bedside to pray or kiss.
- Take an evening or morning walk and talk.
- Establish an evening activity, like a game of chess or cards each night by the fireplace.
One couple created a very unique morning ritual: “For twenty minutes every morning, it’s just the two of us enjoying a breakfast by candlelight. It’s especially romantic during the winter when everything is dark and we talk by candlelight only.”
Use these ideas for inspiration, or come up with your own unique romantic rituals. Either way, you’ll be creating healthy relationship habits that bring you closer and remind of you of your love for one another in those everyday moments of life.
Take Time Out For Reflection
United Marriage Encounter is a program that trains couples to “dialogue” daily by writing on a topic for 10 minutes and then talking about it for 10 minutes. This laid a fantastic foundation for us, and we have seen it be instrumental in saving rocky marriages and strengthening solid ones by providing intimate emotional connection.
We have added a Monday morning marriage meeting to our romantic rhythm. This planning and preparation session helps ensure that we don’t let the business side of life distract us from romance and intimacy. Each Monday morning, we look for and plan for ways to stay romantically and sexually connected, even on the busiest of weeks.
Romantic rituals are a great investment in your marriage. If you do something every day that keeps the romance in marriage, all those expressions of love are banked away for a rainy day. If things get tough, you have accumulated a wealth in the love bank – and it accumulates with interest!
You may also be interested in Beating Marital Mediocrity: How to Keep A Relationship Fresh