Do you and your partner have the “habit of love”?
There is a great myth about love. We grow up thinking that once we fall in love, it will last forever. It does feel that way in the beginning, when you are in the honeymoon phase of a new romance.
The truth is, once real life sets in, the honeymoon is over. For marriages and relationships to last, partners must create the habit of love.
In other words, you have to “do” loving acts and nurture feelings of love. It truly is like a fire that will burn out if it is not fed and nurtured.
Here are some examples of love habits I have seen with our couples over the years in practice. And of course, Bob and I have created some of our own.
1) Be mindful of your partner.
It has become such a busy world that couples may not spend more than a few minutes together each day. After working a long day, coming home, making dinner, taking the kids to their sporting or other events, most couples tell me they are exhausted and don’t have energy for any kind of meaningful interaction with their spouse.
It’s vital for every couple to address this and work out a way to make time for the relationship, to show interest, to share your day, to connect, to appreciate each other, and to express love.
2) Thank your partner for the things they are supposed to do anyway.
I know that sounds convoluted. What I mean is – appreciate the little things, the everyday things your partner does. It may be his job to do the laundry. Thank him anyway. It may be her job to give the kids a bath. Thank her anyway.
This is one Bob and I do. It is a precious reminder that we notice each other and don’t take each other for granted. Bob has done the laundry for 30 years and I still thank him each time.
3) Do the small things that make a big difference.
There are so many little things you can do to show love, if only couples would think about it. Leave little love notes, give 10-second hugs, tell your partner they look beautiful, find something you like and give them a compliment, buy their favorite candy.
4) Make time for sex.
This is a big one. Many couples tell me they are too tired, or their libidos have faded. Sex is one of those things where the more you do it, the more you will want it. And conversely, the less you do it, the less you will want it.
Get into the habit of having sex. If you’re tired at night, try the morning or meet for lunch when the kids are at school. Don’t wait for your libido. Do it anyway, and the joy will come afterward.
5) Laugh together.
How much fun are you having together? Chances are, not much. Being an adult becomes very serious and we “forget” to relax and have fun. Schedule some activities without the kids and go play. It could be a picnic, a movie, ice skating, taking a hike. Go into nature.
If you feed the love, it will last. Now go talk with your partner about how you are going to create the habit of love.
If you are in a relationship that hurts and feel disconnected, have difficulties communicating, and/or are experiencing a crisis, Bob and I can help. Call us at 410-363-2825 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit Miroslava on Unsplash