DiAnn Mills: Keeping the romance alive is vital for all couples who’ve made lifelong commitments to a relationship and for those contemplating this vital step. Romance is easy in the dating stage. We want to look, say, and behave our best. The cliché “dress to impress” fits men and women.
To say the early stages of a relationship are a game or challenge diminishes the integrity of a meaningful connection between a man and a woman. The process doesn’t call for a winner or loser. Both share in the joy. Yet too often we can fall into that pit called “I love, but I’m not in love.”
After twenty-six years of marriage and writing many novels that show how characters fall in love, I’ve acquired a few tips to help keep the flames of love burning hot and strong. Our goal is “I love, and I’m in love.”
- Never take each other for granted. That attitude paves the way for ruffled feelings and regret.
- Respect each other. My husband and I work together in the writing ministry. We understand our work is a powerful expression of our autonomy and speaks to each of our gifts and talents.
- Practice quality time. It always supersedes quantity.
- Say “I love you” daily, and mean it.
- Discover your special person’s love language(s). Myers-Briggs lists love languages according to personality. Gary Chapman’s bestseller The 5 Love Languages has much to offer in this area.
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
- Show love. Once you learn a love language, use it. Add special touches to your loved one’s day that are termed extra: a note, special meal, affection, anything that expresses devotion. When we sacrifice for someone we love, it’s more meaningful.
- Schedule regular date nights away from home. Budget for a babysitter or petsitter if necessary. Well-planned dates help recapture those special moments when love first began.
- Establish a solid friendship. We must enjoy being around our loved ones.
- Find a mutual hobby or interest and get involved together. Make it fun!
- Fight fair. When arguments ensue, vow to not bring up past hurts and allow the other person to express their feelings.
- Communicate the good, bad, and ugly. Honesty is required, even when it hurts.
- Pray together. Share your questions, findings, and concerns about God in deep discussions.
- Understand the importance of individual time alone to grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Plan life together: vacations, weekends, children, visits to grandchildren, retirement, etc.
- Choose a mature relationship that isn’t demanding or codependent.
- Explore Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. If a loved one lacks one of these areas, commit to helping them find answers.
- Establish a hands-off approach to mobile devices at mealtimes.
- Avoid discussing work during meals.
Real-life relationships take work, but the joy is a treasured romance that models true love and commitment.
(Check out DiAnn Mills’ 2019 book “Fatal Strike” in September!)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian fiction books of 2014. Connect with DiAnn here: http://www.diannmills.com.
BTSCelebs sends a special thanks to DiAnn Mills and Tyndale House Publishers.