Dr. Joy: Keeping the romance alive

By WEEK Producer

February 15, 2012 Updated Feb 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM CDT

Valentine's Day is over, but how do we make that special feeling we have on that day last through out the year?

Relationship experts would generally agree on two things about lasting & enduring relationships:

* First, relationships are built, not found.
* Secondly, that lasting relationships are sustained and kindled in many small ways throughout the years.

Those ways include:

* Good communication based in good listening and reflecting skills
* Shared interests and hobbies
* Mutual respect for each other without needing to change the other person
* Ability to give and take-learning the skills of compromise & negotiation
* Equality in the relationship which encourages individuality
* Playfulness and humor

How do these partners create this type of enduring love?

* Accept differences in each other vs. trying to change the other person
* Maintain strength during adversity-work together when times are difficult
* Provide nurturing, kindness and gentleness to each other.
* Build togetherness through discovering activities you can do together as a couple
* Use positives: be a cheerleader for each other

What are some simple things you can do each day that will take less than 5 minutes to nurture your relationship?

* Make time for touching, hugs, and kisses
* Bring attention to "us" This means make the relationship the number one priority in your life
* Give compliments to your partner. Try to say at least 5 positive things to your partner each day
* Express appreciation & gratitude to your partner
* Have "meaningful" communication about things that matter. Talk about your dreams, your purpose, and things that are of value to both of you.
* Say "I love you" and let your behaviors exhibit it.

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