RELATIONSHIP 101 ACCORDING TO REAL COUPLES
From cooking to caring for their plants, here’s how these four couples keep the spark alive.
– KEYS SOULCARE
The relationship you have with your significant other can be one of the most important connections you’ll make in this lifetime. And, whether you fell for each other at first sight or developed feelings over time, there’s nothing quite like bonding with one another to keep your spark alive. We spoke to four couples about the rituals that bring them close together— ones that you may be inspired to try year-round.
Jaileene & Nick
“When I first met Nick a few years ago, he was in school for air traffic control and I was studying public health. How our two worlds collided is beyond me, but I’m glad that they did. Airplanes are something that have always fascinated Nick; every single time we are out, if he spots a plane, I can always count on him to tell me the exact kind it is. Since moving to Dallas, we’ve made it a thing to pick up fast food, drive out to a park close to the nearest airport, and eat while we watch the planes arrive and depart. No phones, no social media, no interruptions — just the food, planes, and us. Because we both work full-time, little moments like these are very special to the both of us. They may be meaningless to others, but they mean the world to us.” — Jaileene
Gabby & Julius
“Self-care is one of our go-to rituals after winding down from a long day of work. Our jobs are very on-the-go and busy, so a nice, hot bubble bath has been our self-care ritual every Friday night. Julius was not the biggest fan of baths before meeting me, but after trying them out, he rushes to take a bath with salts and essential oils. [When I am] coming home from a long Friday, it is sweet that he has a bath ready for me with a towel, candle, and my soft jazz music.” — Gabby
Meron & Saie
“This may be the healthiest ritual we have: cooking. Only one of us cooks. Or, to be fair, only one of us really loves to cook, and the other loves to be present and sprinkle in a few spices. Since we don’t live together, the most time we get in during the work week is at meals—and maybe an episode of a show before bed. I’m not the quickest cook. I do almost everything from scratch, and I can be a bit controlling in my kitchen (thanks, Mom). So, our ritual became this: during my lengthier recipes, Saie hangs out by the counter while we recount our days to each other, plan for the weekend, maybe snack, and karaoke to whatever Taylor Swift song she has playing in the background. This has been a healthy way for us to talk through our highs and lows, and it gives us peace of mind to enjoy the absolute chaos of the Byrde family in the Ozarks.” — Meron
Lani & Elle
“My girlfriend Elle and I love to garden. [We have] never lived in apartments with yards, [so] it’s really more urban gardening. Elle has the green thumb; I’m just the eager apprentice. When we moved from Washington DC to Honolulu, we had to start our garden all over from scratch, leaving behind our plants as gifts to friends and family. Now, our lanai (Hawaiian for patio), front door, and most of our rooms are covered in thriving, green plants. Every few days, no matter Elle’s grad school schedule, we water and prune the plants and look over them [together]: harvesting the mint and lavender, sighing at the birds taking our papaya buds, and poking the cacti and dragon fruit and kalo plants to see if they are well. And they are. We buy each other plants for anniversaries and build shelves to hold them high. We’re always looking for new spots in the apartment to host new pots.” — Lani
How do you keep your love growing in full bloom? Share your relationship rituals below.