If you missed the previous installments of our Romance series, you can start here with Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.
In this segment, I wanted to give some age old thoughts on the keys of a long lasting romance. What did couples of the past value as important aspects of their relationship and use as the foundation to building a rock solid marriage? Here are some of those elements that I feel still hold true today.
Spending time together should be a priority. Remember when you were dating? You always made time for each other. Making time for your spouse and using that time to "reconnect" shows that your relationship comes first. Take time to relax together, maybe lounging out on the deck, stretched out on the bed, or even just sitting at the dining room table. Just knowing that you are willing to devote some of your time to your mate will go a long way in deepening the relationship.
Without trust there can be no romance. Every effort should be made to establish and maintain trust and it begins with you. You should be a trustworthy person for your spouse. Open up, voice your true feelings and encourage the same in return. When your spouse shares, make sure to treat his feelings with respect and love. Make sure that you allow the time and opportunity for breaches of trust to be repaired and always accept an apology graciously.
This is one of the most important elements in a successful relationship and can be sent in a variety of ways such as body language, in writing, and of course, verbally. As often as possible, tell your spouse that you want, need, and love them. Try a warm look from across a crowded room, blow a kiss, give a loving smile, knowing nod, wink, or flirtatious glance. Also, try to keep each other up to date on your whereabouts. It's nice to know that you can easily reach each other in case of an emergency. Remember not to just focus on the things your spouse is doing wrong but also tell him when he is doing things right, compliment him.
Couples need to be watchful that their manners, speech, and actions match the love and respect they feel for their partner. Harsh words, raising your voice, and hostile body language convey disrespect and can inflict pain. Public displays of respect are uplifting so when in a social setting, be sure that your spouses needs are met. Show appreciation for each others role in the family, regardless of who does what. This support can give inspiration and courage to tackle each day. Make sure you only say positive things about him to other people.
Laughter is a necessary part of life and having a sense of humor is important to keeping life in balance. Playful bantering can be a cherished part of your relationship. Joke around with each other using warm and wholesome humor. Establishing a mood that is conducive to comfort and relaxation will compliment romantic endeavors.
Every marriage has its division of labor associated with, and in support of the family. Romance, and many of the gifts it bestows on the marriage, is increased when both of you cooperatively serve the family and lighten each other's burdens. Work along side each other and share each others company while doing a job. Try trading off chores on a weekly or monthly basis or volunteer to fully undertake a certain duty in order to free him up for some much needed rest or hobby time. Remember to perform these tasks cheerfully and without expectation of a favor being returned.
Conflicts exist in all relationships and constructive criticism and disagreements are necessary in a healthy marriage. Frequently, the cause of a disagreement is stress outside the marriage. Try to be sensitive to what might be underlying the tension. During an argument, choose your words carefully so as to minimize hurt feelings. Be mindful of your body language and stay on the subject at hand, don't bring up a list of past offenses. To truly put a disagreement to rest, both parties must forgive and forget. Take the lead on this one and remember the old adage that a couple should never go to bed mad or leave the house angry has significant merit.
A long standing, loving relationship isn't created in an instant, it's formed and developed over time through a variety of influences and there's no influence that has a more positive or profound effect on a relationship than romance. Using these keys as a foundation for building your marriage will help assure a long lasting romance.