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Making Love Last

In today's era of high divorce rates, couples who not only stand the test of time but seem to grow more and more in love are always being asked, "What's your secret?" Here are three secrets to help your own romance last past the honeymoon stage:

1. MAKE ROMANTIC GESTURES BOTH PLANNED AND IMPULSIVE. Love itself might be effortless, but the gestures that help sustain it aren't. As with any sort of interpersonal arrangement, you get out of romance what you put into it. Romantic gestures can be as spontaneous as a hug from behind while you're doing the dishes, to something planned beforehand like a card or gift. While spontaneity reflects whimsy and impulse, sometimes a sweet nothing means something more when it involves forethought. Your lover wants to know you were thinking of them even when they weren't around. Lovers also want to be surprised. So mix it up between the planned and spontaneous gestures, from the deeply meaningful to the silly fun. I always say that romance is "effort-full", but the pay-off can be a love that flourishes.

2. SHOOT FROM THE HEART TO THE HEART. Having a direct link to one another's soul is key to sustaining long-term happiness together. Communication and authenticity are never compromised when the connection goes straight from your heart to your lover's. Work toward keeping the wires clean on the hotline between your two souls by eliminating all of the interference from games and baggage. A clear enough heart-to-heart connection can even transcend words, helping you anticipate one another's needs and feelings. Both of you consciously purifying the connection helps create a safe place for sharing, one that is private and non-judgmental. A place where love grows.

3. ENJOY YOUR MUTUAL SEPARATENESS. Viewing yourself as someone's other half makes you tend to forget your own sense of wholeness over time. Truly happy couples don't need to be joined at the hip. A romance thrives with some occasional time apart. Breathing space helps you refresh and air things out, giving you some perspective on things as well. Doing your own thing also helps you remain a fascinating individual for your lover -- after all, the person they fell in love with was probably an individual at the start. Mutual separateness doesn't always mean time apart, it can mean reading different books next to one another in bed at night -- anything that helps you retain your individuality. But when you do reunite after being away, how sweet those fireworks are!

About the author:
Romance Coach Leslie Karsner, PhD, author of The Long Distance Romance Guide, has been coaching people about romance all of her life! Editor of Love Letters Now!, Karsner also writes a weekly ezine filled with tips for heightening romance.

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