How do you react when your mother gives you advice about your relationship? I know what I do. And it's not listening carefully, asking follow-up questions and prudently acting out her well-considered plan. I usually barely tolerate her presence while speaking, grind my teeth into powder and enthusiastically ignore her pearls of wisdom—which, yes, is pretty dumb as no one knows me better or loves me more than she does.
As I am far from alone in this spectacularly ungrateful attitude I set up TopTips.com so that we could all benefit from mothers' advice, even if those mothers are not our actual relations. The second book of tips from the site is called Your Mother Was Right: All The Great Advice You Tried To Forget, here are a few of my favorite relationship tips:
How to keep a relationship interesting and exciting:
1. Write him post-it notes and stick them in places he'll find them when you're not there.
2. Establish a fortnightly date night, where you alternate who chooses the restaurant/movie and keep it a surprise until you get there. 9 Date Night Style Commandments
3. Find fun things you can do together, ideally in the comfort of your own home—where you're most likely to stick to them. This means anything from inventing your own cocktails and naming them, to playing Monopoly.
4. Give each other space! There's no way to kill the romance like spending too much time together. Just think, if you only spent time together you'd never have any funny stories to share.
5. Keep the passion by surprising each other. Think massages, naked Twister, chocolate sauce fights or whatever. Just remember to keep things spontaneous.
How to maintain your relationship after giving birth:
Don't forget each other, as you'll both be showing massive amounts of adoration to the new arrival and either partner can get jealous of that. Make sure you say, "Thank YOU for my baby," so your partner knows he's responsible for your happiness.
How to be gracious when he doesn't bother with your anniversary/birthday:
Tease him about it. This way you can get your point across without any aggravation. He will be feeling guilty anyway. Teasing and joking seems much the best way to deal with any grievances actually. There's no point in being bad-tempered!