This piece was first published on Thought Catalog, on July 29, 2015.
1. Keep falling for each other. Act like you’re at the top of Rick’s Cafe on a cliff in Jamaica, nervously peeping over the edge, and jump off. Fall deeper and harder for each other every day. Live the best free-falling life with the person you love, until it ends—when that chapter closes, or somebody dies.
2. Make real plans with your partner, not the things society tells you to plan (e.g. your wedding, pregnancy, and home ownership). Screw society’s idea of what your life should look like, and those banks that approve high interest rate mortgages. Instead, plan a day trip or a road trip or decide to buck convention altogether. Focus on what you actually want as a couple, not what you’re supposedto want.
3. Eat healthy and take care of your bodies so you can live 50 more years with the person you love.
4. Kiss each other daily. If you kiss each other daily for the next 50 years, that’s 18,250 smooches to look forward to. (Finally, we can apply math to a real life situation!)
5. Schedule date nights and get drunk and silly together. Quality time leads to meaningful conversations. Ask each other about your days, jobs, passions, etc. Check in with each other. Never assume you already know everything, no matter how much time passes.
6. Don’t forget to be spontaneous. After dinner, take her out on the town and dance the night away. Stay out too late, until the DJ starts playing Celine Dion (read: until the party is over and it’s time to go home).
7. Celebrate special occasions. That doesn’t have to mean a fancy dinner or spending excessive amounts of money. It means being thoughtful about commemorating birthdays and anniversaries and honoring traditions. Go to a lookout point in the hills overlooking the city, or play some romantic music and dance in each other’s arms at home.
8. Stay up late just to talk. Learn each other’s insecurities. Talk about them directly. Make each other feel beautiful and love, in spite of and because of your flaws.
9. Make love regularly, even when you’re both exhausted. Sex will keep you close. Look into each other’s eyes after and feel each other’s heartbeats. Know each other. Recognize that you need each other—that you take each other’s breath away, quite literally. Still. Even after all those years
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