Falling in love is easy,
Staying in love,
That’s the challenge.
Often we hear couples say, “We’ve been married for years and we love each other but we are not ‘in love.’ The magic is gone. Can we get it back?” Our response is YES!
We mistakenly think we’re at the mercy of our feelings and that they can’t change. The truth is, feelings don’t just happen. It is what we do and what we think that creates the feelings we have. Since we can control and change our actions and our thoughts, we can change our feelings.
Feelings are the result of what we intentionally or unintentionally do every day. Become more intentional about how you live your relationship and your love will grow and flourish.
Loving intentionally is the way to maintain and
grow your relationship over a lifetime.
Here are 5 easy and intentional ways to “stay in” or “bring back” that lovin’ feeling:
1) Express gratitude daily.
It’s easy to focus on the “to-do” list or the stress of mundane everyday life.
Take time each day to find something about your relationship that you are grateful for and share it with your partner. Bob and I practice this. We’ve been married for 26 years and we still tell each other we are grateful for our marriage and our life together. We don’t take it for granted.
Ask yourself often: What am I grateful for?
2) Create romance.
For the first couple of years together, the magic may just “be there,” without having to do much. Then life happens. Kids come along. Partners work on climbing the career ladder and spend a lot of time at work. There is too much to do and not enough time. Whether it’s kids, work or just routine and familiarity, at some point in relationships, romance takes a hit.
If I could give one pointer to every couple getting married it would be this:
You must feed the love, every day, over the years or it won’t last.
Sounds easy, but often couples get so busy that the marriage insidiously is put on the back burner. One day you wake up and realize you are more like roommates and you haven’t had sex in weeks (or months or years).
Ask yourself every day: What will I do today to show my partner that I love and desire him/her?
3) Find a mutual interest (outside of the kids).
Having an activity, a hobby, or a cause that brings you together is vital. It could be skiing, going on walks, cooking, creating your family tree, doing yoga, playing games, giving mutual massages, bike riding, reading a book or volunteering for a cause that is important to both of you. Working or playing together will help you and your partner stay connected, have something to look forward to and share.
Bob and I have worked on political campaigns and worked for marriage equality together. These activities create shared meaning for us.
Ask yourself: What can we do together that will create more connection for our marriage?
4) Go away together.
I feel like I’ve written this a thousand times but I can’t say it enough. There is nothing like going away together – getting out of your environment; out of your routine; away from the house; away from work; away from the kids and the dog; away from the electronics. It’s paradise. Not only does this nurture the connection but you will remember why you married each other. You can focus on enjoying each other’s company, having fun together. And sex is more exciting in a different environment.
Several times a year, Bob and I would go away for one night and two days when our kids were young. It felt like being away for a week; it recharged our batteries.
Ask yourself: How can we “get away” and carve out time for our marriage?
5) Appreciate your partner (for the things they should be doing anyway).
It’s easy to take the people closest to you for granted. So often it takes a crisis to realize we could lose the person closest to us. Don’t wait till that happens.
Appreciate the little things that your partner does. It feels good to hear, “Thanks for cooking dinner;” or “I appreciate that you folded the laundry.” Some say, “Why should I have to appreciate the things that he or she is supposed to do?” Three reasons:
- It makes your partner feel cared for and not taken for granted.
- It’s a small act of love that makes a big difference.
- It’s food for the relationship, and nurtures the love connection.
Ask yourself: What are the small things my partner does that I can let him/her know I appreciate?
It’s not really that hard to maintain and deepen the feeling of being in love with your partner. The little everyday things that you do really do add up.
Your relationship deserves the highest level of support. Relationship Experts, Bob and Lori Hollander are committed to helping individuals and couples build connection and deepen bonds in a world that often makes it difficult.
Call them at 410-363-2825 or email them today, firstname.lastname@example.org.