Food and Mealtime

Halvsies

Another ritual that I thought would be uncommon, and, yet, is actually mentioned frequently…

Special Delivery

Bringing food to your mate – breakfast in bed, coffee or tea at a certain time of day…

Hide and Seek

The children’s game is fun for adults as well!

Cooking and Cleaning

For most people, cooking and cleaning qualify more as tasks or chores than something very enjoyable for themselves…

Halvsies

Another ritual that I thought would be uncommon, and, yet, is actually mentioned frequently!  It goes like this . . . take a delectable piece of food that only one of you has, and divide it in half . . . often at a restaurant, but could be anywhere.  Each eat a half (of the half).  Repeat.  When the morsel is too small to divide, one person eats the remainder – who eats the remainder changes, and is “negotiated” in an unspoken manner.  Some couples end this in a kiss.

Principal Purposes Served

  • Create stable touchstones
  • Provide regular opportunities for play
  • Emotional money in the bank

Special Delivery

Bringing food to your mate – breakfast in bed, coffee or tea at a certain time of day, or ice cream for a late night dessert – is a very common ritual.  Another variation is that whenever they leave one another’s company outside of normal/routine comings and goings, each would take care to stop and bring back something for the other – a drink, a flower, a picture of something to talk about . . .  These acts can come dangerously close to routines unless efforts are made to create a moment of emotional closeness.  Couples sometimes accomplish that by feeding each other, taking a moment to appreciate the act of giving and receiving and what that means in a relationship, or by just gazing into each other’s eyes and touching for a long moment.

Take the example of one person bringing the other coffee in bed (usually whoever gets up first).  The ritual aspect is usually the exchange of the coffee.  Sometimes both people’s hands linger over the mug and each other’s hands while they silently mouth I love you.  Other times it is a gregarious thank you and response like one couple who said, “Oh, thank you!  You are the coffee Goddess.  Thank you for being so nice and special.”  The reply would be, “Your company is all the thanks I need.”  They said the same thing every time.  It was silly, but it was also the highlight of their mornings.

One couple varied the weekend breakfast by having one do breakfast in bed on Saturday, and the other on Sunday.

Principal Purposes Served

  • Create stable touchstones
  • Build the relationship culture and history
  • Emotional money in the bank

Hide and Seek

The children’s game is fun for adults as well!   Some games are simply part of the human DNA, such as throwing stuff at stuff (e.g., all ball sports, weapon activities, etc.).  Another human DNA game is the fun of stalking and searching and capturing . . . universally loved!  And, speaking of love, it makes for a lovely couple ritual, too.

Variations

  • At random times (usually at least once a month), each person would take a food that the other person really liked and hide it somewhere in the home with a note.  Foods that have been noted are chocolate, pastries, a special drink, or a favorite fruit.  Commonly, when one person was out, they’d get the other something they liked (especially drinks), and then casually hide it in the house while the other was in the house unwittingly, and then the game would begin with a clue.  Rarely were items entrees or things that would get cold after a while.  Flowers were common items as well.
  • Combo ritual:  After the person found the item, and the other person, they would hug for a minute and simply say “I love you.”
  • A small note was hidden in the house, and the scavenger hunt would begin.
  • Airport . . . when one person came back, the other would hide somewhere in the airport, and try and surprise their partner from behind with a big hug.  At first, it was easy with some more choice hiding locations.  Then, it got quite difficult as the other was very vigilant for the other . . . looking like a paranoid person in the airport!  Other people in the airport would be recruited for human screens, or for creating a distraction, so the other could sneak up on them.  The game increasingly requires cleverness, yet the playful cat-and-mouse game was a treasured part of their reunion.

Principal Purposes Served

  • Build the relationship culture and history
  • Provide regular opportunities for play
  • Emotional money in the bank
  • Fulfill needs for predictability and novelty

Cooking and Cleaning

For most people, cooking and cleaning qualify more as tasks or chores than something very enjoyable for themselves, especially cleaning.  However, a great many couples take this “unpleasant” task and turn it around into something that is a connecting and appreciated moment together.

Variations

  • Putting on music and dancing and/or singing
  • One person rubs the other shoulders as they wash the dishes
  • One person reads to the other while they do the cooking or cleaning
  • Taken as a time to do the task together and talk about their day and tomorrow (like Grumbles and Gratitudes), without drifting into the realm of conflict or planning logistics, so that the time is primarily centered around meaningful, appreciated connection.

Principal Purposes Served

  • Create stable touchstones
  • Help to accomplish tasks
  • Emotional money in the bank
  • Foster nurturing, affectionate, loving contact