Celebrating Small Milestones

No "Official" Occasion Required

When you first get together, every moment feels memorable enough to commemorate. "Sweetheart, it's the two-week anniversary of the first time we said, 'I love you.'" "Aww, it's been three months and four days since our first kiss!" "Oh, honey, remember when we first ate hot dogs together? It was six weeks ago today (sigh)." But once the relationship evolves from thrilling and new to cozy and familiar, the act of recalling small ‑- sometimes silly, but no less meaningful ‑- milestones often falls by the wayside. But why forgo fun rituals that can keep you feeling connected?

According to Brenda Schaeffer, Ph.D., author of Is It Love or Is It Addiction?, doing things together to honor an anniversary, no matter how insignificant it may seem, "helps keep two people emotionally connected." Bonus: A relationship running on fumes, says the Minnesota-based psychologist, can regenerate if the couple engages in rituals that link them to their past and therefore guide them toward their future.

Intrigued by the idea, but not sure how to put it into practice after months (or even years) of ignoring your relationship's red-letter days? Not certain you and your partner even agree on when the milestones occurred? These and other wrinkles can be ironed out with the proper 'tude.

Making It Happen

First, decide which milestones to celebrate ‑- and make sure you agree on the details of the event. Sure, a wedding anniversary is pretty obvious. If he forgets the exact date, there are plenty of witnesses to remind him (and photos and videos of the event to aid with summoning up specifics). But what if you two have fond but vague, and perhaps differing, memories of other uber-romantic snapshots from your past?

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