A good friend met his wife at a party I hosted some time ago, and I had just one question for him after he proposed: When did he know she was the “one”? “I knew she was going to be my wife when we were standing in your kitchen talking for the first time.” he answered. Wow! With a unbelievable love story like this one, the likelihood of staying in love is much easier. But how do you stay in love with your mate?
I know people who seem to be in and out of love every month, sampled occasional love, and those that are only lucky once in a blue moon, but there is no doubt that the institution of love is beyond a thing of beauty—it is what living is all about.
But life isn’t easy, and relationships even less. Financial issues, demands at work, and whatever else is going on, all equal less quality time spent with your significant other. To prevent drifting apart, consider these four steps to stay smitten lovebirds.
- Do things on your day off—get out of the house.
Make a list of things you guys have never done, or rarely get to do, and go do them! Both of you call in sick, and explore the city during business hours. Pick up that liberal neighborhood paper loaded with the newest restaurants, plays, museums, and concerts notices and get cracking. Stroll the trendy part of town, and be engaged with your love for hours—or at least until her feet begin to hurt.
To save money with your outings, perhaps you can barter with another couple to offset babysitting or other cost. Set aside a date allowance and don’t touch it. Change things up and keep your relationship fresh. The same boring regiment is the beginning of the end if you don’t
- Take a moment to let her know she is thought of.
Skip the run-of-the-mill text message, and opt for a more unique gesture. Mail her an awesome card, for no special reason, with your favorite love quote inside. Show up at her office and surprise her for lunch. Take her car in for maintenance, and have it washed too. Pass on watching the game this Sunday, and share time together like you both did in the beginning. It’s not the major holidays and special occasions that make the difference; it’s all the small moments that she will never forget.
- Make a decision to stay with the other person no matter what.
If you’ve let past relationships fall by the wayside, I challenge you to do more the next time you’re in one. Why are my parents still married after nearly five decades together? They both made a decision long ago to do whatever it takes to stay together. Many want the fairy tale wedding, the fab photos, and the unbelievable honeymoon, but do not want to put in the work to stay forever happy in Camelot. Remember the words of your pastor: “…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…” He didn’t say only if your spouse remained gainfully employed, or the two of you never argued.
I’ve heard it said that great couples are great friends. Having lots in common with your life partner will help to ensure the bond between the two of you remains strong. The foundation of a great relationship is communication. Yes cards, candy, surprises, and even your favorite love quote are all terrific, but consistent communication through good and bad times will help sustain your relationship. Voice your opinion in difficult times, don’t keep things bottled up. Your partner will appreciate and respect you for it, and it is paramount if you are to stay together.