Many of our reactions to each other, what attracts us and drives us to want to be with someone of the opposite sex is deeply embedded in our biology and has to do with survival over the eons of time. But today, because survival is not the motivating factor in our lives, we are blessed with the opportunity to fall in love, to pleasure each other with romantic gestures and to want a love that endures and deepens over time.
When survival was the motivating factor in a couple marrying and creating a family, there weren’t the complications of dating. Even today, many cultures still have arranged marriages where the most important factors are political, economic and whether or not the woman seems to have baby-making potential. But in many cultures, like here in the U.S., it’s a lot of work to find someone with whom there is a mutual attraction and even more work to keep that love and attraction alive over time. One thing that can really help people have greater success is to know each other better. It is estimated that 83% of divorces could be prevented if couples asked each other the right questions. For a list of the most important questions to ask, click here.
Most of our role models for modern relationships are from movies and television. With divorce, kids don’t have any kind of roll model of how it might be to have a home with loving parents. So we are making it up as we go, and it’s pretty obvious that we’re not doing a very good job. One of the best ways to stay “in love” is to create triggers that help us let go of the petty grievances and stay focused on the qualities that attracted us in the first place.
During some quiet time, write a description of the man you fell in love with. Focus on the things that you most admire, the things that made you tingle at the thought of him, the things you did together, and the things he did to you. Bring back the feelings you had when you were falling in love with him and you couldn’t keep your mind off of him. Unless he’s changed and is mistreating you, you can re-ignite those feelings of love. Think of the strongest trigger for you and lock that in as the thing that you will think about when you begin to get angry or frustrated at him, especially when it’s over petty things. I always think about how my husband looked during our wedding ceremony. Melts my heart every time.
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship or a perfect man or woman. But there is such a thing as love and it doesn’t have to die. But like any fire, if it doesn’t get tended, watched over, given more fuel to burn, it will go out. Love isn’t that easy to come by, especially love so strong that we actually want to marry someone. So how sad, when that love dies, especially if it is mostly because the relationship became less important than the job, the house, the social life, the shopping. Without love, life is lacking, like hearing a favorite love song, and having no one to ask to dance.
So make that list. Feel the feelings of love as you remember in vivid color, feel the emotions, and enjoy reliving the beginning of your love. Then share your best memories with your partner. Better yet, ask him to make a list of his own, then, on a special date or weekend away, share your memories.