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Remember what attracted you to your partner? Know that all relationships no matter how short or long go through a variety of phases. There is the initial dating and courtship and infatuation period. If the relationship continues, it settles into a more stable time of building a history as a couple. If children enter the picture, that is a new phase. Later, there is another phase of being together as a mature couple with the wisdom of experience. Life is what happens while you were making other plans.

Romance is about real life, not about dreams and fantasies of the perfect partner, someday on a Pacific island. Romance and passion are about taking time to enjoy the company of the person you love.

We all know that it is possible to keep passion, romance, excitement and sexual intensity alive through the years, but we also know that many relationships settle into a kind of friendly (or not so friendly) roommate situation. Every relationship has it’s ups and downs, but there are tools that can keep passion perking right along there are also a lot of other distractions away from harmony such as nosey friend, family, money issues, a lack of time together and so on, but if you tackle your relationship day by day in each phase the issues don’t seem so big any more. If there is a momentum of positive attitude most relationships survive a lifetime! Look at some of the tried and true ways of love:

  • Have a vision. Talk with your partner about your dreams for the future. Know where you both want to go and how you’d like life to be. Have something to look forward to together.
  • Give each other compliments. Saying thanks and showing gratitude, especially in front of the children, leads by example. It shows how important you are to each other and that you are working as a team
  • Be attentive. Paying attention to the details of life is important. Pick up your own trash, and pick up for each other. Put things away, help each other with the small projects around the house. These things are the currency of love.
  • Communicate. Talk through your worries, and concerns. Don’t let things fester. Have lots of open conversations and communicate your needs and listen to his/hers.
  • Be gracious. Small surprises can create huge rewards in a relationship. Taking a moment to put on a clean shirt before dinner, or using the good china, or cutting a flower from the garden and putting it on the table, are examples. All these things add color, spice, and graciousness to our lives.
  • Be patient. We all have bad days. It happens. When it happens to your spouse, be smart! Take the kids to the park for an hour, order Chinese take-out for dinner. Give him/her a break! This is the reality of life. Allow for it.
  • Remember. Remind each other regularly about what it is you love about each other. Take the time to tell your partner what you love about being with them. Show them appreciation and remember the times you make each other laugh.
  • Be sincere. Tell the truth about your feelings, and do it promptly and in a respectful, effective way. Share your disappointments and fears, but also share dreams, hopes, and gratitudes. Keeping secrets kills passion.
  • Be funny! Life seems to have supply its own stress and worry, but we have to provide the humor on our own. Share a joke, take time to tickle each other or rent a funny movie, and do it often. The couple that laughs together, often does other fun stuff together, too!
  • Be generous with love. I’ve saved the best for last. After a survey of dozens of couples, the big 3 items that showed up over and over began with "give little gifts". Surprise each other with flowers, candy, a card, or other gift. Do it often. Do it for no particular reason. Do it because you love each other and thought it would be nice to show it with a gift.
  • Book in special time alone together. Make a date to go out or just have a romantic night in. Treat this as a special event and get excited about it. . Dozens of couples ranked time together as the most critical component in keeping romance and passion alive.
  • Be physical. This is about sensuality perhaps more than sexuality. Couples talked about the importance of scents, of candles and flowers and walks on the beach. They talked about making love, but mostly they talked about back rubs and holding hands, and creating memories. They talked about getting dressed up and going out, and they talked about skinny-dipping. They talked about being playful and finding their own way. You can do this!
  • Be Understanding. Over a lifetime, people change. Hopefully, your relationship will change and grow and mature with as you change. One of you will change careers, the other will change religions. One will have an illness, the other will make a mistake. Relationships either bend and flex with the winds of life, or they break.
  • Work as a co-parenting team. Agree standards, how you want things to be done around the home and how they will be enforced. Also agree on who will enforce them and how you will support each other in doing so. Make sure you communicate with everyone concerned.

By implementing these tips you’ll be able to sustain a healthy, happy relationship with your partner even when the situation seems to be fighting against it.

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