- Don’t stop dating!
- Whether you are on your first date or married for thirty years, don’t stop dating your beloved! Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Make it happen. If on a budget, do it cheaply. Be creative. Swap babysitting with friends. Light a candle once the offspring goes to bed. Play cards. Go on an adventure.
- The Bean can make me laugh like no one else. He usually tries to make me laugh when we are in a fight. He has a 50/50 chance it will work. I bet people didn’t know he was such a risk-taker. By the way, it usually does work.
- When Bean and I first were married, we made a decision we would always forgive right away when we hurt each other. We decided we were not going to bring up past hurts in current fights. When we forgive, it’s over. This is easier said than done. It takes me quite awhile to get over hurts. However, eventually I say, “I forgive you.” (Why is it men usually forgive so quickly? It’s irritating.)
Do fun sh*t, together!
- Take the time to listen to your beloved. Put the screen away and listen. Go for a walk, have a cup of coffee together, go sit outside, go hike a mountain. Listen to their day, their worries, their interests.
Brag about your beloved. Never speak negative about them to others.
- Bean and I love to go on photo-dates together. Also, we are both very interested in worldview issues. We love to discuss the latest article we’ve read or podcast we have listened to recently. Find something to do together!
- I had an acquaintance who constantly nagged about their spouse on Facebook! Yes, on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it. Encourage publicly, confront privately. It’s a good rule for any relationship; also quite challenging.
This is not a comprehensive list, but I believe a relationship can thrive even in the darkest times. It just takes a little effort, a little Astroglide and lots of care.