For something that has pervaded everything, from TV, film, literature, culture and society, love is difficult. It is hard, it is complex and even expensive.
This is because love doesn’t JUST mean the romance, the tingly feeling in your gut…
When people are in love, they crave each other’s company. They want to spend more and more time together.
But that essentially means a person invading upon someone else’s private life, even if it in incipient in magnitude.
And that is the thing that ends up messing things up in the long run for most couple.
You know how bitterness builds up and sours the coffee if you boil it too much? It is kind of the same for relationships too.
The external quarrels, arising from things like money, status, societal pressure, build up, pent up and boil; the bitterness inevitably seeps into the sweetness called love and poisons it.
So, the adage should be changed to be very honest. Love isn’t hard. Relationships are.
That’s because despite evolving through sharing and collaboration for millions of years, man is a solitary thinker. And he cannot help but think.
You cannot push problems under the carpet. That is, sex isn’t going to pay the bills or the joint loan you two took now, is it?
Romance isn’t going to either. So, what can we do?
Relationships are based on healthy lifestyle choices and the best ones are made of better lifestyle choices. Simple math.
Here are eight such healthy things you can do to keep your relationship breathing and well:
1. Regular date nights
The funny and tricky thing about passion in a relationship is, that it burns like a matchstick. I.e., things start with a spark, a fizz and a crackle. But, it doesn’t take long for it to burn up into a wrinkly mess.
After the so-called honeymoon phase, couples often find themselves in a life they don’t want to share anymore.
They tend to take each other for granted.
Solution: Actively keep the spark alive. Revisit the places you had your best dates at. And do it regularly.
The spark will be reignited as you remember things that made you fall for the person in the first place.
You know what’s worse than a bad breakup?
A sad and boring relationship, with all agreement on the surface and resentment underneath.
How do you stop that?
Well, argue. If not, at least debate on healthy matters. Movie preferences, stand on issues, books, authors, etc. The choices are pretty abundant.
These will serve two purposes: one, no boredom. Two, you see whole new facets to your spouse’s personalities; things that might have eluded you before.
3. Play flirting
Like we said, keep the spark alive. Flirt like it’s your first date. Be the teenager you once were. Use corny pick up lines picked up from the internet, crack the joke you never thought you could crack.
Make them laugh. Life is short and love precious. You never know what’s going to happen the next second. The world might end.
Also, to quote Captain Raymond Holt: “Bone”. Regularly. Get kinky.
4. Cook together
Build a life together. Adult together. Do chores together.
The sweetest love is bred in familiarity. Yes animal passion is important too, but at one point, you must learn that fried chicken everyday might kill you. Cereal however, won’t. It might just make you live longer.
5. Take trips together
To quote the recent Netflix phenomenon, Chris Rock’s ‘Tamborine’: ‘Couples need to keep comin’ and goin’. Bone and travel, travel and bone. Bone when you’re travelling.
Keep life interesting.
Breakups are more common when you are bored then when you have fallen out of love.
6. Appreciate each other
Whenever it is due. Also, compliment the hell out of each other. Go the extra mile. Show them you care. Show them you notice.
Tell them their hair’s great or that they can still rock their high school polo tees despite the ample love handles.
Communicate everything; feelings, fears, ambitions, loneliness. Let it out.
That is what love is.
When you can shut the fig up and just cry in front of someone and they kiss your forehead and tell you it’s okay.
The incredible featured image was made by Curtis Wiklund