December 13, 2002, Newsletter Issue #69: Maintain Your Relationship

Tip of the Week

If you feel the love fading from your own relationship, first realize that the fierce "I will die if I don`t see him/her tonight!" lust of new love isn`t meant to go on forever. You`d burn out if you felt that way continuously! That lust rush is the initial glue that keeps you two together while you learn more about each other. But when it tapers off, a new, mature love sets in - the kind built on trust, honest, and communication. This is the love that survives good times and bad, that gives you reassurance that your partner WILL be there for you, even when you`re cranky or you`re grubby.

So, while the slew of romantic movies that come out around the holidays are fun fantasies, real life romances take work. They don`t sweep you off your feet forever. After a while, they take maintenance to stay fun and fresh, just like anything else in life. So start maintaining! Here are some inexpensive ideas to keep that spark in your relationship:

* Go for a drive to a nearby famous place that you`ve both never been. It`s always amazing when you look in your local yellow pages, just how many famous sites are nearby that you`ve never visited. It could be a museum, an old house, a scenic location. Look at the sights with each other`s eyes, guess what each other enjoys most about the things, imagine what it was like to see these things when they were new, or 100 years ago.

* Do a charity event together. Bring old items to a shelter, bring food to a food-drop, help serve dinner at a halfway house. You`ll feel really good about helping others, and it might open your eyes about how TRULY lucky your own lives are.

* Read your local paper`s events listings. There are always free concerts, poetry readings, exhibits and other things going on. You might think it will be boring. Give it a try, you might be surprised how much fun it is. And even if it IS boring, you`ll have quite a bit to laugh about during dinner afterwards!

* Build those memories. Couples that have been together for a while savor the memories they had of fun times. Often their favorite memories are simple ones of sharing a sunset or sipping sodas at a sidewalk cafe. It has nothing to do with *cost* - it has to do with *connection*. So make those connections in your relationship, and treasure them.

The best gift you can give each other is time, attention, and affection. Make a resolution to spend more of each with each other, and you`ll find your relationship spark anew!

For a fun movie night, I maintain a MASSIVE list of Japanese movies, from the funny to the samurai epic. Rent one, and expand your horizons together!

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