Photographic evidence

Here’s another ritual that, surprisingly, sporadically popped up amongst couples.  Surprising as photographs together is such a ubiquitous practice that it is almost akin to saying brushing one’s teeth together would be a couple ritual.  Indeed, both photographs and brushing one’s teeth are not couple rituals, as they fail the benchmark of being particularly meaningful.  Photos are meaningful in their own right for what they represent – a memory, and that memory is often an unusual event (thus the picture is not a ritual in and of itself).  If it is a recurring and meaningful (and planned) event the photograph represents, then it is the event that is the ritual, and the photo simply the reminder of it. 

Soooo . . . what makes photographs sometimes a couple ritual?  Glad you asked! smiley

When the act of taking the photograph has some special quality/character to it, you’re in couple ritual territory.  Below are some examples couples have shared over the years.

  • The self-portrait photograph has a cheesy smile, a similar background, a familiar look, framed in a particular way
  • Time of day . . . pictures while eating dinner in various locations with a particular pose that remains the same
  • Item of clothing that is the same in all the pictures (or flowers have been mentioned as well)
  • Body part is in the photos.  One couple had their feet in the picture (lying down of course), while another had thumbs up on their hands bordering the frame of the photo on the left and right. 
  • Both people would do a handstand, and be in museums, parks, restaurants, etc., doing a handstand in front of something


Principal Purposes Served

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