Anniversaries are significant milestones that couples need to honor and celebrate. When referring to anniversaries, my clients often assume that I only talk about their wedding anniversary or when they started dating. However, anniversaries can be any special day which has meaning to you as a couple such as when you first met, when you first started dating, when he or she proposed, or when you moved in with one another, well, you get the idea. In fact, research has shown that celebrating important anniversaries can help strengthen your relationship big time. And so just that you know, celebrating many anniversaries does not have to come with a big price tag and doesn’t need to be stressful at all. In fact, honoring and showing appreciation can be as simple as preparing a candle light dinner with his or her favorite meal, or instead of watching your nightly TV and being sucked into Facebook, pull out old pictures to reminisce about, go out for dessert or your favorite coffee shop, or simply go for a nice walk. Especially here in the Tampa Bay area there are many excellent places to stroll during the day or at night such as the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa, or many other places closer to the beach.
Mostly important though is to understand why celebrating and honoring anniversaries is so essential and I even like to say ‘necessary’. One of the most famous couples’ therapist of all time Dr. John Gottman believes that our memories of the past can and will change over time which can be a good thing but it also can be a bad thing. He, and I fully and totally agree, believes that we literally brainwash ourselves to remember some memories and some we simply forget. The problem with that is though if we remember more negative ones, it can start taking a toll on our relationship and it may start to deteriorate.
However, when couples celebrate their anniversaries and thus remember more positive tad bits from their past, their ability to foster a healthier and deeper and therefore longer lasting relationship is much much more likely. So, folks, ensure to continue celebrating your special days and if you haven’t yet, go ahead and start with new traditions.