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The power of rituals can be more powerful than you know. Think of the times you’ve been most stressed, perhaps in grief or in an overwhelming family moment. Sometimes, we freeze; we simply don’t know what to do with ourselves. We return, then, to whatever rituals we’ve developed in our lives. Whatever routine we have, we stick to. It can provide a great comfort to know what we’re doing next; it can help us move through that stressful time with more ease.

Romantic rituals can do exactly the same thing. Not only can they provide moments of joy, shared meaning, planned connections — but they can help us get through stressful times. They act as an insulator against the normal strain many relationships face. Whatever stressor we find ourselves in with our partner, if we have rituals to return to, we have a reliable way to make sure we stay connected.

What are a few ways you can add romantic ritual to your life together? Perhaps you’ll always give your partner a long, loving kiss at the start and end of every day. Or maybe you’ll incorporate a random act of kindness or beauty every week. Maybe it will be a gesture of support for your beloved — folding their laundry on Sundays, or making them brunch on Saturdays. Maybe it’s as small as “We always hold hands while we watch our favorite show.”

Rituals have power. State them out loud — stick to them — and they’ll give your relationship untold strength.