12/12/2014 04:48 pm ET Updated Feb 11, 2015

Lasting Love

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A few weeks ago, I was out for a delicious meal with one of my closest companions. As I was sipping on my beverage and listening to the details of her most recent work adventures, I began thinking how some friendships are so magical that as soon as you're in each other's presence, you wish time would stop and the feeling of joy and excitement would last forever.

We talked, laughed, ate and talked some more, well into midnight. There were many highlights to our evening but the one I want to share with you is related to the reasons why my friend has been in a healthy and happy relationship for the last nine years.

You see, she's a psychologist as well and when you get the two of us together, a dinner may very well turn into a mini conference, where ideas are presented, explored, argued and transformed even before desert is served. Well, maybe the most valuable findings surfaced between spoonful's of warm chocolate fondant -- yum.

Of course there are many factors that affect the health of a relationship including mutual love and attraction, cultural backgrounds, values, socio economic levels, education, personality and age. But we weren't interested in those as much as we were in exploring how in some relationships, couples are able to maintain and prolong the main vibrations of the passion experienced during the initial phases of a intimate union.

So we started comparing the way people behave, talk, feel and sense during the early days and how those same sentiments slowly fade as time passes by, resulting in relationship discontent.

Read through the points and see if you relate to any of them -- would love you to add to the list if you think of any other ones.

During the initial period of an intimate relationship:

• Couples look at each other differently. There's warmth and longing in their stare.
• The tone couples use to talk to one another is softer, more patient and holds greater emotion.
• Couples maintain their individuality and do things separately as well as together.
• We arrange dates, not schedule meetings.
• Couples do things for each other with pleasure and excitements, not resentment and contempt. No one is keeping score (yet) and acts of giving and kindness are exchanged much more generously.
• Couples share interesting stories with one another, presented in an exciting and passionate way.
• We listen and laugh with our eyes, ears, hearts and minds, not in between putting dishes in the machine and mopping the floor.
• Couples don't just look at one another; they look into one another.
• We assume the best.
• We appreciate and value time spend together.
• We don't take each other for granted.
• We compliment more and criticize less.
• We compromise and make decisions together.
• It's more about cooperation and less about competition.
• We care about the other's feelings and try and avoid hurting them, even during an argument.
• Conversations are intelligent and thoughtful.
• We are more concerned with impressing than psychologically pressing or depressing the other.
• There was so much more flirting and fun rather than fussing and frustration.
• We defend one another rather than speak poorly about them behind their back.
• We dream more about a bright future rather than feel trapped by pat hurt or present quick sand.
• We are open to novel and creative experiences.
• We work on the relationship and put the required effort.
• Differences fascinate us rather than irritate us.
• We do our best to keep our promises.

It's not about jewelry, weekly flowers or other expensive gifts that make a relationship remain as loving and intimate as it was at the beginning. It's all about reconnecting to who you were when you met, how you behaved and communicated during those times.

You see, people say, "I don't know what happened, things just changed." More often than not, "things" don't change, people do.

Remember, learning more results in living more... over to you.