Whether you’re in a budding new relationship, walking down the aisle or celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary there is one rule of thumb that many couples tend to forget: maintenance, maintenance, maintenance! We maintain our cars, our homes – why not our most significant relationships? Unfortunately, many people assume that just because you love someone the rest will take care of itself. Just look at some stats released by Brides.com – according to this research, more than half of brides-to-be expect that their sex lives will improve after walking down the aisle (compared to the staggering 76% who claimed that in actuality their sex life either simply stayed the same or worsened since their engagement). Can we continue to have a rewarding, playful and romantic intimate life once we’re married? Absolutely! As long as we understand that by “maintaining” this aspect of our relationship, we are willing to put in the time and effort to keep things exciting. In keeping with my former analogy, you wouldn’t expect to sell a home that you’ve let fall into ruin? Would you replace the tires on your car with old, run-down spare ones? Of course not. The same goes for our relationships.
Unfortunately, many people lean on the crutch of love as a cure all – we often believe that if we love one another everything will just magically work out. Not so – just look at another surprising survey which claimed that just a little after two years of marriage the average couple gives up on romance. They become sloppy around the house, stop trying to look good for one another or even celebrate wedding anniversaries. Additionally, 83% of couples held hands while out during the first few months of marriage, compared with just 38% after a decade!
It’s only natural for people to fall into comfortable routines, but we need to make sure that we don’t let it get to the point where we are taking each other for granted.
I recently did an interview with a reporter regarding tips for brides-to-be and one thing she asked me was to come up with five questions I thought a couple should ask before tying the knot. “Will you marry me” is all fine and good, but here are five other “Will you” questions that I believe can make a big difference in the way a couple will relate long after the honeymoon is over:
- Will you always communicate and work with me to adapt to whatever changes life may bring?
- Will you commit to investing as much time and love into our children as with one another?
- Will you be open to seeking counseling if we are ever unhappy and feel overwhelmed within our marriage?
- Will you always make an effort to do the little things you did when we first fell in love?
- Will you continue to try new things and keep our relationship from becoming too stagnant (in and out of the bedroom)?
Married or not, if you’re embarking on a committed, loving relationship, try discussing some of these ideas and you will be laying the foundation for a solid relationship down the road.