Lifelong love does not happen by chance. It’s an art that must be learned, practiced and honed. Every successful marriage is the result of two people working together to diligently and skillfully cultivate their love. It takes intention, and is well worth the work.
So how can you reach a level of ultimate love in your relationship? Today, we are sharing three tips that will help you and your partner build heartfelt and prevailing love. When you combine passion, intimacy, and commitment, you will be well on your way to a growing and flourishing a healthy marriage and lifelong love.
The loss of passionate romance is a common complaint in marriage. It’s unrealistic to expect the peaks of passion to remain constant. However, marriage in no way requires passion to be put on ice. Excitement may decrease with time, but the real pleasure can still increase. Here are three secrets to maintaining passion:
- Practice meaningful touch – Affection in the form of touch is not only a preliminary to making love; it is language that speaks more eloquently than words.
- Plan mutually enjoyable experiences – Being married doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Passion can only survive and thrive if a couple continues to “date” even after they are married.
- Compliment your partner daily – The most important element of romantic passion is to feel special. Compliments feel good – both to give and receive.
Ideally, husbands and wives are best friends as well as lovers. But studies show that partners seek to fill intimacy gaps in their relationships by being more intimate with close friends. Does this mean married couples shouldn’t have close friends? Absolutely not. But it does mean we need to take special care to cultivate intimacy in our own marriages. Here are ways how:
- Spend time together – One of the greatest illusions of our age is that love is self-sustaining. It is not. Marital happiness is highly correlated with the amount of time spent together. Schedule lunch together, or a “no television” night at home. Heart-to-heart talks don’t happen on the go.
- Listen with a third ear – “Not really listening” is a fundamental error couples make. When we listen with the third ear, we are patiently listening not only to the words, but to the emotions and feelings our spouse is conveying underneath their words.
- Practice unconditional acceptance – The deepest kind of sharing can only happen when there’s no fear of rejection. Nothing drains a relationship of intimacy faster than anxiety. And nothing promotes intimacy more than knowing you are unconditionally accepted.
- Focus on commonalities – In spite of differences, focus on your commonalities. These should be the “we” statements in your life: “we love to travel”; “we laugh at the same things”; “we love trying new food.” The more you focus on what you have in common, the deeper intimacy grows.
- Explore spiritual terrain together – A lack of intimacy can often be traced to a lack of spiritual vitality. When two people have a spiritual hunger or awareness in common, they become soul mates. After all, spirituality is the soul of marriage.
As your relationship progresses, romantic rushes of feelings can fade. However, another kind of love, anchored in commitment, will take its place and bring stabilizing peace into your marriage. Here are four ways to cultivate commitment:
- Assess the high value of commitment – There is nothing more important in marriage than the determination that is shall persist – through the good and the bad. Commitment is the mortar that holds the stones of marriage in place.
- Meet your partner’s needs – Human beings have a fundamental need for security. One of the best ways to give people security is by meeting as many of their day-to-day needs as possible. This can be anything from your partner needing to unwind after work, or having one night a week out with friends. Meeting even the smallest of needs can cultivate the security of commitment.
- Honor your partner’s promise – Don’t overlook your spouse’s promise to remain committed to you. Recognize how faithful your partner is to honoring their vow of love, and you will find your ability to promise keep as well.
- Make your commitment part of your being – Strengthen your commitment to your partner by choosing to making it a vital part of your being. Give it top priority, so much so that to break it is to break who you are.
Every thriving marriage is grounded in passion, intimacy and commitment. Cultivating these three elements will help you successfully navigate the stages of love and make it last a lifetime.
Let us know how you and your partner cultivate lifelong love – we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!