I carry multiple licenses. Some for personal use. Others related to my profession. Each required competency testing to determine if I met a standard of qualification before issuance.
Except one. A marriage license.
No courses to take, books to read or tests to take. Shoot, all my fiancé and I had to do was show proof of identification and pay a $30.00 fee!
With the divorce rate hovering around 50% you’d think states would require a basic level of preparation before they issue a marriage license. Family courts require couples to attend mediation and parenting classes as a pre-requisite to divorce. Sounds backwards doesn’t it?
Have you ever observed a couple in public and notice something special between them? Their gaze. How they talk to each other. The subtle attention they give. It’s an aura that makes you wonder, “How do they do that?”
They’re doing something right–something that works. Something that keeps their love alive. They are a smart couple.
I see smart couples in my office. They are doing the best they can but they’re stuck. Instead of avoiding the situation, they reach out for help. Sometimes they need a little coaching to get unstuck. Other times, a smart couple needs to do a deeper dive in counseling. Either way, the couple is smart enough to know that they need help to get unstuck.
Over the years I have logged several thousand hours of couples counseling/coaching. I am not only an expert on relationships, I also remain a student too. My clients continue to teach me. So does my marriage.
Here is my take on smart couples. 10 things they do to keep their love alive.
10 Things Smart Couples Do To Keep Their Love Alive
Below is the list of ten things. I will share a point or two about each one. If you want to get more check out the All About We Podcast link above. I do a deeper dive on each of the 10 points with my co-host Amanda Berlin.
#1: Smart couples work on bringing the best version of themselves to the relationship.
This is about working to improve yourself regularly. If you don’t love yourself, how can you love your mate.
#2: Smart couples grant each other the right to live authentically without judgment.
I’m referring to accepting your mate for who he/she is and not judging or trying to change them. It’s important to give each other space to breathe in the relationship.
#3: Smart couples are students, learning from each other and the experts on how to nurture the relationship.
Never stop being curious about your spouse. Needs change as we age. Listen well. Take mental notes. Adjust accordingly. Read books. Seek coaching/counseling from the experts.
#4: Smart couples keep their relationship a priority make sure they spend time together alone on a weekly basis.
Smart couples don’t make excuses why they can’t spend time together. They can offer several reasons why they choose each other first over other things. SCs plan time and find pockets of time to connect.
#5 Smart couples tend to be fun and adventure junkies.
They enjoy playing, laughing, and seek new experiences together.
#6: Smart couples work through problems together.
Neither are afraid to own up to their faults and apologize. SCs work on changing negative behavior if it poses a problem to the relationship.
#7: Smart couples engage in intimacy regularly by being kind, affectionate, and romantic.
Intimacy is a rhythm in a smart couple relationship. They keep it going throughout the day in ways that connect well. Romance and sexual intimacy is mutually satisfying.
#8: Smart couples function as partners in parenting.
SCs know that if you’re not working as a team it will damage the marriage. They strive to have each other’s back when dealing with kid challenges.
#9: Smart couples support each other’s individual aspirations.
They respect each other’s personal pursuits and accommodate accordingly. SCs support each other’s careers.
#10: Smart couples share a common bond in spirituality.
They are joined by a similar belief system. SCs rely on their faith as a guide on their journey in good and bad times along the way.
Now it’s your turn
How many of the ten are working in your relationship? Do you have something to add to the list? Leave a comment below. What is one thing you want to do now to help keep your love alive?