For most people, falling in love is easy! That amazing rush of emotion and closeness that two people feel when they connect on a deep level of friendship, trust, and LOVE! However, the tricky part comes later. That part where you are supposed to stay in love for the rest of your lives.
In the beginning stages of your relationship, love usually comes easy! You can’t wait to be together and you think each other constantly. But, as you become more comfortable in your relationship, the extra effort and romantic gestures may begin to dwindle as bad habits enter your relationship and start to destroy it.
You may call this “just being real” or “settling in”, but it can slowly take its toll on your perfect romance. Regardless of what you call it, a decision to stop putting in the effort is centered on a self-centered attitude, laziness, or the unrealistic belief that your partner will never leave you.
Remaining in love takes dedicated commitment from both individuals in the relationship. You have to invest in each other on a daily basis – something that is often easier said than done!
Below are 9 habits from couples who have remained in love through thick and thin! Implementing these in your relationship has the ability to keep your love strong for years to come.
1.) CHECK IN WITH EACH OTHER THROUGHOUT THE DAY
This tip seems easy enough, and yet so many couples completely ignore it! They think that letting their partner know where they are is somehow infringing on their independence and privacy.
Well, my independent friend, this is an important part of every strong relationship! In a recent interview, actor Hugh Jackman said that he and his wife, Deb, keep their marriage strong by calling and texting each other every single day. Checking in with each other has helped them maintain trust and a sense of closeness no matter where they are.
My husband calls me every single day at lunch. He started doing it while we dating and it has just stuck with us. Rarely do we have anything important to tell each other, but it is a wonderful and comforting way to say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.”
Send a loving text or a funny meme – whatever works for you! Checking in is a wonderful way to create a secure and loving relationship.
2.) IMPROVE YOUR PDA SKILLS
Some couples have a problem with PDA – it may feel uncomfortable, too romantic, or simply unnatural. However, public displays of affection can make you much closer!
Most men are instinctively protective and enjoy putting their arm around their girl or holding her hand as a sign of protection and ownership (in a healthy, nontoxic way). Women love to feel protected and secure in their relationships – PDA being a wonderful way to increase these feelings.
Personally, I love holding hands with my husband, kissing him, or tucking my arm in his in public! “Attention everyone! This is MY MAN and I am so proud to be his wife!”
Show your spouse that you love them and want the world to know it too!
3.) DON’T HIDE THINGS FROM EACH OTHER
Are there things that you hesitate to tell your significant other? Why? Is your spouse overly sensitive or jealous? Or are you doing something that you know is wrong and hurtful?
In today’s society, there is a common misconception that it is healthy to keep some parts of your life separate from your spouse. I’m not talking about agreeing to keep separate bank accounts! I’m talking about keeping parts of your social life and social habits hidden from your spouse. This concept is dead wrong – and today’s ever-rising divorce rates are living proof!
Your spouse is supposed to be your best friend and confidant. If you are going to spend the rest of your life together, you need to build a relationship built on trust. This means telling them about any problems in your past and being honest about anything you are struggling with currently. The worst thing you can do for your relationship is to withhold information or lie.
4.) FIND SIMILAR INTERESTS
In many cases, opposites do attract! They find strengths and interests in the other person that they do not find in themselves. However, for a relationship to last a lifetime, you must find activities and interests that you both enjoy.
Think about it. When you first dated, you put your best foot forward! Even if you hated a certain activity, you would have gone just to show them love and support. You can’t stop doing this once you are officially together!
Make an effort to take interest in a few of the activities that your spouse enjoys! YES, this will take some sacrifice for both of you, but it will be worth it.
You don’t have to pretend to love hunting, fishing, football, shopping, or watching a certain TV show; but you should try to find some common ground on at least a few of each others’ favorite pastimes.
5.) LEARN TO SOLVE PROBLEMS RESPECTFULLY
Every couple argues a different way! Perhaps your spouse is loud and dramatic. Or perhaps they get very quiet and unresponsive when they are upset at you. Or maybe they are direct, stern, and unrelenting.
You have to realize that your spouse is very different from you and they need a chance to have their opinion heard in a respectful manner – even if you think they are completely wrong!
When it comes to arguments, my husband and I are very different. However, we have learned how to solve problems in a way that is conducive to both of our temperaments and personalities.
When we disagree on something, we don’t try to “talk it out” right there and then. We give it a little time until we have both cooled off and are able to have a respectful conversation that isn’t hurtful and damaging to our relationship. However, we never go to bed without talking about the issue! Even if we don’t completely agree on it, we have a policy to never go to bed angry at each other without having at least tried to talk through our differences.
Perhaps you feel the need to talk it out immediately! You and your spouse will have to learn whether this method works for you or not. However, the key is to not disregard it for too long. Talk it through, work at it, and find some common ground.
6.) DON’T TALK BEHIND EACH OTHER’S BACKS
Most people don’t understand the damage that a hurtful and disrespectful comment can cause in their relationship – especially when said to someone behind their spouse’s back.
Privacy and mutual respect are two building blocks in every successful relationship! If you choose to tell a friend or family member a private fact about your spouse, you are betraying their trust and tearing down an invaluable part of your relationship.
No, I am not talking about abuse, addiction, or any other toxic relationship habits. You should always confront the person and seek professional help when you are in these types of situations.
I am referring to the bad habit of having a BIG MOUTH! You do not need to tell anyone about your last argument, your spouse’s weird habits, or any other private facts that they wouldn’t share with anyone other than you. By doing this, you are betraying their trust!
Long after you have forgotten what you disclosed to others, they will still remember and may hold it against your spouse. If your significant other ever finds out that you betrayed their trust and confidence, it could have a serious effect on your relationship!
Make privacy a sacred part of your relationship. You should always know that your spouse is someone you can always trust, no matter what!
7.) COMMUNICATE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
I didn’t want to just write the term “communicate”, simply because everyone should know by now that communication is a VERY IMPORTANT part of your relationship. I want to stress the fact that you should communicate your expectations to each other.
No, your spouse cannot read your mind and shouldn’t have to try! In the beginning of our relationship, I thought that my now-husband should be intuitive enough to know what I wanted in our relationship. FALSE! I had to learn that I needed to use my mouth to voice what I wanted from our relationship. And guess what, it worked!
Let me use some real-world examples that I have seen people deal with recently.
What are your social media habits? Is it a big deal to you for your spouse to comment on your photos or write a nice post about you on your birthday or anniversary? TELL THEM!
Do you hate how often your significant other is on social media or playing video games? Do you dislike how they are always late for everything? Does your spouse have a little habit that gets on your last nerve? Are you sick and tired of them leaving the toilet seat up and clothes lying on the bathroom floor? Are you looking for a way to divide household chores evenly?
TALK ABOUT IT! Little concerns and annoyances can grow into big problems in your relationship. My husband and I make it a priority to talk through even the smallest of expectations. This doesn’t mean that we get our own way all the time, but it does mean that we remain sensitive to the needs and expectations of each other.
8.) ALLOW YOUR SPOUSE TO HAVE THEIR GUILTY PLEASURE
No, I am not talking about something secretive, inappropriate, or damaging to your relationship! I am talking about that one thing that they have always loved, but you really hate!
My sister swore that she would never marry a man who loved video games! Her fiancé had been an only child and had spent much of his childhood playing video games – he loved them! And yet, he willingly gave them up for her, selling all of his games and gaming systems. After they got married, she could tell that he missed them. On his next birthday, she bought him a new gaming system and a few of his favorite games. He was absolutely thrilled! No, he didn’t get addicted! But every once in a while, after a busy day at work, he pulls out a game and has fun playing it for an hour. Even though she doesn’t like video games, she doesn’t object to her husband’s one guilty pleasure.
My husband HATES fast food, especially soda or pop! Although I don’t eat and drink it very often, I absolutely love it! When I would buy a Pepsi, he would wince in pain because he knew how awful it was for me. I told him that his wince and look of disgust made me mad at him! So, he stopped making me feel guilty and allowed me to eat and drink my guilty pleasure in peace! (Again, very rarely, but it does happen.)
These examples are very trivial, but you get the point! Don’t make disparaging comments, give disapproving glares, or discourage your spouse from holding on to a few things that you personally dislike. If it isn’t damaging your relationship and taking precedence over you, let them have it!
9.) NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SEX
I can’t leave this one out because it so so so important!
Today’s society likes to make it look like women want sex as much as men! However, the majority of women have never felt the intensity of desire that a man feels when he wants sex! TESTOSTERONE OVERLOAD, BABY! (Yes, women can crave sex…but in a different way than a man.)
Women don’t experience that physiological drive for sex in the same way a man does. Instead, hormonal fluctuations drive our sexuality.
For men, sex is a legitimate physical need. Just like the need for sleep, food, and water – men need sexual release.
Many studies have been done on this subject. The majority of women will say that sex makes them feel closer and connected to their partner. Men, on the other hand, will say that sex makes them feel satisfied and relieved.
As a woman, I need my husband to be affectionate and emotionally there for me. If he is distant and unaffectionate, I will feel deeply hurt. Your husband needs you to be there for him emotionally, which oftentimes means sexually.
In your wedding vows, you promised to be faithful to each other for life. If you are no longer interested in him sexually, he will feel hurt and resentful. When faced with this dilemma, many husbands choose to go find sex elsewhere.
When he married you, he trusted you to meet one of the biggest needs of his life – sex. If you feel uncomfortable or unsatisfied yourself, talk to your husband or a marriage counselor/therapist. Educate yourself on each other’s needs and learn ways to fulfill them together.
Sex can be a fun and bonding experience! Since it is such an important part of staying in love, find ways to make it sexy, mutually enjoyable, and adventurous!
Well, we ended this article off with a BANG! (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist).
Love is a wonderful part of life and finding the person that you are supposed to be with for the rest of your life makes it even better! What are some habits that you have in your relationship that have helped your love stay strong?