We are a population raised on fairy tales and romantic comedies. Therefore, we often have no problem with embracing the concept of “love at first sight.” But what about reaching our “happily ever after” in relationship? The numbers don’t lie:

  • Roughly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce
  • 10 to 15 percent will separate, yet not file the divorce paperwork
  • Another 7 percent report being “chronically unhappy”

Is anyone happy? Isn’t love all we need?

Love is the foundation and some people are happy. Most importantly, some couples get happier as time passes. One such group we can learn from? Couples in arranged marriages. Are you surprised? So were the researchers who used a “love scale” to study married couples.

The top end of this scale was 91. Couples who married for love averaged 70 after one year. Couples in arranged marriages averaged 58. The more dramatic difference was found in couples married for 10 years or more. Those who married for love had dropped to 40 while those in arranged marriages rose to 68!

One theory for these findings is that those in arranged partnerships had to work harder to create loving connections. Meanwhile, the “love at first sight” crowd too often coasted on the initial magic. The lesson here is clear:

Keeping love alive requires work.

Relationship Basics

Express yourself

We say “I love you” less and less as the years go by. One in three people in relationships of 10 years or more say “I love you” every day. It doesn’t get any more basic than this.

Practice gratitude

While you’re expressing your love, “thank you” is awesome, too. Even better: “Thank you for loving me.”

Choose transparent honesty

Honesty is required for love to endure and evolve. Create a safe space in which you can both speak freely. It can be challenging but also enlightening.

Not everything about relationships should be hard work, though! With that in mind, let’s explore:

5 Fun Ways to Keep the Love Alive in Your Relationship Every Day

  1. Write love notes

Put an irresistible twist on the “express yourself” advice above. “I love you” works just fine. On the other hand, it can be 5 handwritten pages! Brighten your partner’s day with an unexpected reminder of your love. Some places you might want to hide such notes:

  • Lunch bag
  • Laptop case
  • Jacket pocket
  • Gym bag
  1. Team up to get healthy

As long as you’re sticking notes in the gym bag, why not ask your life partner to be your training partner as well? Sign up together for yoga, Crossfit, cardio classes, martial arts, dance, or whatever you’d like to try as a couple. Gym time is bonding time. You’ll encourage each other as you commit to a healthier lifestyle as a team.

  1. Change the routine

You do the laundry, but she does the cooking. He sleeps on the window side of the bed. You drive the kids to school. Take stock of how you’ve both naturally fallen into daily patterns. Then conspire to switch things up.

  1. Laugh together

Shared laughter is erotic, as the saying goes. Laughing together is also an incredibly fun way to release stress while increasing the love connection. Start by watching a funny movie. From there, challenge yourselves to find humor, even in challenging situations. For extra fun, plan an outing and pretend it’s your first date!

  1. Celebrate often

Sure, you have birthdays and holidays, but there’s plenty more to celebrate. For example, make something special happen on the anniversaries of:

  • The day you met
  • Your first date
  • An important promotion or graduation
  • When you first moved in together

Bonus Tip: Be spontaneous!

By CounselingWise on October 10, 2016