I took this picture of a vintage couple while Marian and I were going for a walk on Shelter Island in San Diego Friday night. It was the last day of our vacation and we met this couple strolling along the coast, holding hands. Earlier that week we met another couple in Palm Springs who were married 64 years. We enjoyed meeting both couples and hearing their stories.
It got me thinking about what it takes to make relationships last. Vintage couples have certain habits they do that makes them better over time. Here are 5 Habits of Vintage Couples.
Habit of Holding Hands
Vintage couples have a habit of showing affection. Holding hands is one of many things they do to stay close.
Human touch is powerful. Especially when it is done to communicate sentiment. Watching the vintage couple walking along the coast holding hands spoke volumes to Marian and me. We couldn’t help but stop and greet them.
If you want your relationship to develop a vintage quality you have to nurture it. Develop some healthy habits of hand holding, cuddling, and other physical activities that maintain closeness.
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Habit of Thoughtfulness
Early on, vintage couples cultivate the act of thoughtfulness and form it into a habit. They do this by paying attention to each other’s needs and meet them without being asked.
In a previous blog I encouraged men to develop the art of anticipation
. A simple act of thoughtfulness can deeply touch the heart of your spouse/significant other. A small gesture sends a big message, especially if it is thoughtful.
Habit of Flexibility
Vintage couples learn over time to be flexible with each other. An inflexible spouse will break the heart of a flexible one. Couples who stay together in the vintage years of life do so by being mutually flexible.
Mutual flexibility is the practice of doing what your partner wants or needs you to do for them. It goes both ways.
Habit of Forgiveness
Speaking of a vintage couple, once in an interview, Ruth Graham the wife of Billy Graham was asked what makes a marriage work. Her answer, “The merger of two forgivers.”
A habit of being unforgiving can cause resentment and end in bitterness. A habit of forgiveness prevents a buildup of resentment in a relationship.
In the sixties movie, “Love Story” the classic line was “love means you never have to say you’re sorry.”
I disagree. Instead, I would suggest, “love means you will have to say you’re sorry”.
If you want a vintage relationship then you will have to get into the habit of saying “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”. You will also have to get in the habit of learning from your mistakes so you don’t have to say you’re sorry for the same thing over and over. For more on this subject, read my blog, “5 Key Steps to Repair an Conflict”
Habit of Holding On
All relationships go through hard times. It’s unavoidable. Vintage couples don’t turn on each other during these times. Instead they hold on together and find a way through. It may not be easy, but they agree to hold on. I think going through the Depression and WWII taught them how to persevere.
Tough times can bring out the worst or the best in you. If you want to be a vintage couple show each other respect during the hard times. Own your end of the problem. Do your best to work through it. If your spouse has the same mentality you will likely hold on and see better days ahead.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you want to be a vintage couple? If so, good! Look at the 5 habits and see what ones you already have down. Congrats, that’s a good start! Now, what habit would you like to add?
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