Article by: April Eldemire, LMFT

If you think the way to eternal love is through grand gestures of romance and passion, think again

Sure, love poems, romantic getaways and surprise flowers are all wonderful for keeping your relationship happy, but the true secret lies in the small, everyday moments.

Remember those first few months of dating? You would spend endless energy storing up all those little quirks, likes and dislikes of your new love. You would dissect everything he or she said, hungry for more. What is her favourite restaurant? What is his favourite cologne? Does she like it when I tickle her here? How does he feel about me putting my hand on his leg here? It was fresh, fun and exciting. It seemed effortless, and in a way, it was. Unfortunately, this level of intoxication seems to dissipate drastically once complacency kicks in. But, why should it?

If you think about happily-ever-after like your dream job, then you have to pursue it with a vengeance

Attack it fiercely and nurture it constantly. Think of your relationship as just as important as your life’s work. You’ll do anything and everything to make it happen. It is this intentional, insatiable quench for relationship success that makes love last.

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How do you ‘show up’?

So how do you ‘show up’ every day for your marriage and make it thrive, not just survive? Couples guru Dr. John Gottman says that the secret to happily-ever-after is by doing small things every day to show you care. Adopt the motto ‘small things often’. His couples research that spans 40 years shows that – he calls this a “Love Map” – to show support, display love, increase intimacy and maintain mutual respect is the basis for a happy, healthy and successful relationship.

Make your relationship your most passionate life pursuit by waking up each day and committing to each other. Acknowledge and respond to your partner in all the little ways. Put your marriage on a pedestal and give it the attention, time, and effort it deserves. This is the way to a ‘happily-ever-after’ kind of love.