All too often in life, people make assumptions about love and relationships that do not stand up under scrutiny—that are not supported by the available evidence. So, what are the facts?
One of the great misconceptions of all time about love and relationships is this—just do the big things and everything will turn out well. And what do the big things include? For starters the list includes “having financial stability in your relationship,” “being in love is all that matters,” “having a good job and a house in the suburbs,” and so it goes. But the truth is, these big things are important, but they are only a by-product of doing the simple things.
No love has blossomed or been sustained without doing the “simple things.” Big things don’t matter until you have mastered the art of doing the simple things in your relationship. By doing the simple things each day to build and sustain your loving relationship you can divorce proof your marriage.
It is an established fact, successful love is based on an accumulation of the simple things. If you want your marriage and your relationship to succeed, just do the simple things! Do them day in and day out. When your relationship has mastered the “simple things” you have a chance to make it work. You have a chance to make it last. But if you don’t, well, failure is an option.
There is another important fact of life when it comes to love and relationships—there will be big challenges to address in your relationship, of that you can be sure. You might have to deal with financial setbacks, serious illness, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one. And trust us on this—if your relationship with the one you love has mastered the art of doing the simple things day in and day out, the likelihood of your marriage being divorce proof through the tough times are multiplied many times over.
So what are these simple things? Here is a list of 50 examples of the simple things that matter to get you started. Don’t wait—start today doing as many of the simple things as you can and then start your own list of simple things you can do to make your love last forever.
1. Be generous with your time for each other.
2. Be more respectful to your spouse than you are to anyone else.
3. Take long walks together.
4. Snuggle in the morning before you get out of bed.
5. Recognize kindness with a thank you.
6. Call when you are going to be late.
7. Share a good bottle of wine while watching a sunset.
8. Compliment your lover about something he did today that made him special.
9. Hold hands often.
10. Bring home flowers for her when it is not a special occasion.
11. Leave a sticky note on your lover’s wallet or purse telling him to come home safely to you because you love him.
12. Ask him about his dreams and his dreams for your future together.
13. Open doors for each other.
14. Take a bike ride together, bringing a picnic lunch for a secluded spot along the way.
15. Walk your dog together.
16. Fix your lover breakfast in bed for no special reason.
17. Say “I love you” several times during each day.
18. Treat your lover with courtesy at all times.
19. Help clean off the table and do the dishes after dinner.
20. Compliment your lover’s cooking.
21. Tell her one reason why she means so much to you.
22. Take him to his favorite restaurant in the middle of the week.
23. Lovingly touch your mate 100 times a day.
24. Surprise him by bringing him lunch when he least expects it.
25. Prepare meals together as often as you can.
26. Spend an evening listening to music and making a CD or playlist of your favorite songs together.
27. Never let things get stale. Upend expectancies and delight your lover.
28. Always point out the positive attributes of your lover, both at home and in public.
29. Give her a massage or a back rub.
30. Look directly into your lover’s eye when you are having a conversation.
31. Be your lover’s best cheerleader for their accomplishments.
32. Plan a bubble bath together and see where it leads.
33. Go dancing together.
34. Talk about everything. No topic is too small or too big. There are no sacred cows.
35. Always demonstrate respect for each other in your words and in your actions.
36. Schedule your annual physicals on the same day to take care of each other’s health.
37. Plan a week of healthy meals together with foods that you both enjoy.
38. Write him a love letter and leave it for him to find in the morning.
39. Sit down and go over the finances together before you pay the bills for the month.
40. Take your lover to a movie, putting your arm around her like you used to when you were first dating.
41. Go for a boat ride, car ride or train ride that isn’t planned and doesn’t have an itinerary.
42. Write personal Valentine’s Day cards.
43. Turn off the television and talk to each other.
44. Sing a song together and to each other.
45. Go to Disneyland—just the two of you.
46. Plant flowers together.
47. Sit in your porch swing and gaze at the stars.
48. Kiss each other passionately.
49. Go to the zoo together.
50. Engage in simple acts of kindness daily.
The point is, simple things matter and when you practice doing them, they accumulate. Simple acts of kindness add up. And always remember, you can’t keep turning on then turning off doing the simple things. You have to consistently engage in doing the simple things each and every day. When you do, you will be surprised at how well this simple notion can divorce proof your marriage. Start engaging in the simple things today so you can make it a habit.
Creating a successful marriage is not always the easiest thing to do. Your visiting our blog suggests you are highly interested in making your marriage work! And truthfully, we have learned over 30 years of marriage research that there are proven effective ways to ensure a happy and healthy marriage. In fact, we took hundreds of tips from the thousands of happy couples we interviewed and put them into our award-winning and bestselling book, Building a Love that Lasts.
**Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world. Take the Marriage Quiz to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.
By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts