High Five to Keep the Love Alive
If you take your marriage seriously as a lifelong commitment and, let's be honest, lifelong piece of work, you know how many advice books are out there. Because experts have already covered the deep insights, I'd like to share something fun.
When we were dating, my husband, "Lovey," started our high-five tradition. I don't think he imagined how it would stick; he was just being playful. I think that's exactly why we enjoy it so much.
High fives are pretty common in our culture, but our game has specific "rules." We started the habit while watching shows together. One of us would guess an outcome such as, "There's no way they're actually gonna to kiss. Someone's gonna come in and interrupt them." And if someone comes in and interrupts as predicted, the one who made the prediction gets a high five. (In case you're wondering, we watch "Castle.")
It's gotten to the point where the person making a correct guess automatically holds out their hand upon seeing the guess confirmed. I'm particularly bad about noticing my cue sometimes--Lovey might get something right, extend his hand and find me so wrapped up in the show I forget to offer him his congratulations.
That's a no-no. Getting it right is supposed to be rewarded right away.
We don't really get upset over the rules of this game, but they've evolved into a well-rehearsed series of expectations. Usually the person who owes the high five will give it along with the affirmation, "You called it!"
Maybe this sounds silly to you, but I think this ritual has strengthened our marriage. It's trained us to listen to each other's thoughts about what might happen--our predictions extend well beyond shows now. In fact, a couple weeks ago I got a
high low five during a wedding ceremony because, as I guessed based on a photo of the bride (my cousin's now-wife whom I had never met), she came down the aisle in a full-skirted traditional dress. Lovey was skeptical of my confident assertion, but the moment he saw her, he turned and offered me his hand, which I tapped quietly, a tiny grin on my face.
The habit of high-fiving has cultivated a tendency to affirm each other. I think one of marriage's best aspects is the safety it creates for us to be ourselves, vulnerabilities and all. When we high-five each other, we meet that need to be told we're getting things right--even if they're trivial things. Then, because of the "mutual admiration" practiced in play, we're aware of its importance in the rest of our interaction as well.
What about you? Has a sense of humor breathed life into your relationship? Do you share any mini-traditions with your spouse? Describe it in the comments and maybe you'll inspire someone else!