It's the small things that keep love alive
MORAG MAXWELL examines how to jumpstart your relationship so it goes the distance.
It appears that Irish people are performing well in the love stakes. According to CSO figures from 2010, we have the lowest divorce rate and, interestingly, the highest fertility rate in the EU. Relationships are never easy, but the good ones are most certainly worth the effort. Happy, committed couples understand that it takes a great deal of compromise and mutual understanding to maintain their love lives.
A common mistake made by couples is trying to change each other. Another biggie in this respect is letting the romance die.
Essentially, we should all go back to basics. Why did you fall head over heels for your partner initially? And how can you move forward and build upon your relationship with a view to ever-lasting love?
We have some simple and effective tips to assist you and your sweetie to last the journey.
More than anything else, it’s crucial to clearly and honestly communicate with one another. Talk through problems, reassure and reaffirm. Praise each other and listen to your partner. The lines of communication should be open at all times.
Enjoy simple things
Expressing your love need not cost a bean. Some of the simplest ideas can reignite that spark and even carry you to dizzy new heights. Kissing is often underestimated and even forgotten as a most intimate and important activity.
When did you last hold hands in public? Learn how to do something new together and reminisce about when you first met. Share your secret hopes and wishes, cook your partner’s favourite meal, but most of all keep it simple.
Take a step back
If an argument is brewing, take a little step backwards and organise your thoughts. Shooting from the hip can result in you saying and doing things you’ll later regret. Take a nice deep breath and move backwards from the conflict. You can return to the situation later and be more calm and objective.
Most couples generally argue over money at some stage, and it’s the main cause of relationship strife. Decide how important money is to you; be honest as to how you spend it and how you can save it. Solve financial issues together and in the process, you will strengthen your relationship.
Back to basics. What drew you to this person in the first place? Find time alone from the hustle and bustle of relationship problems and family life. Love each other and find a space for just the two of you. Book a dinner, a break away, take a walk or a run together and enjoy one another’s company.
Send a note
If your partner wakes up later than you, leave a little note telling them that you love them and why. If you’re wordy inclined, extend that to an email or a little letter. Seeing your affection in words will do wonders for your partner’s psyche. Tell them you care.
Talk honestly about your worries, concerns and feelings. Bottling things up will ultimately result in a potentially explosive situation which will cause emotional hurt and inevitable confrontation Keep it open and real and you’ll avoid making mountains out of mole hills.
No two people think and agree the same on all issues. Appreciate your partner’s different viewpoints and respect the fact that diversity of opinion can bring a wonderful richness to your relationship. You can compliment and build on each other’s strengths and weaknesses
Yes, this is a tricky one. We all reach a stalemate situation whereby we simply cannot compromise or agree any longer. Sometimes, giving in may be the only way out of a dead-end situation. This requires maturity and openness. Don’t be stubborn.
A good sense of humour is such an attractive attribute. Don’t take yourself too seriously and try a little joke when the going gets tough. Have fun. Life will throw many challenges your way but if you can laugh, you’ll stay positive and ultimately, together.
Re-stoking those love sparks need not be a chore. Chances are you’ll have such fun exploring, re-inventing and rejuvenating your relationship. Allow Cupid to work his magic.
© Sunday World Magazine