Love is obviously a hot and tricky topic, and while we can all agree good love takes time and effort, love seems to fall apart quickly when the ball is dropped and laziness creeps in.
Here are eight things happy couples do to keep that from happening:
1. They deal with past pain.
This one is a biggie. Once we pass the age of 16, the likelihood of experiencing hurt, disappointment, or betrayed is 100 percent. Happy couples take the time individually to feel past pain, heal it, and leave it where it belongs... in the past. We may love the one we're with, but we'll also project all over them if we don't deal with our past hurts.
When we have pain that hasn't been processed, we carry it forward. You can't skim over or positive think your way out of emotional pain, and when we try to stuff our emotions, we'll find a way to make our current partner pay for the past sins of others because pain wants to be processed. Healthy couples deal with their past so their present can be happy.
2. They don't over-think everything.
Remember the phrase paralysis by analysis? Over thinking and over analyzing someone's every word, move or intention kills any chance of intimacy or connection.
Happy couples take one another at face value, versus looking for alternative meanings in each other's words or actions. Emotional paranoia is a sign of emotionally operating from the past in an effort to stay safe in the present. Healthy couples aren't hyper vigilant. Even if they've hurt one another in the past, they don't expect to be hurt again.
Remember, we see what we expect to see -- happy couples stay in the now moment.
3. They are emotionally open.
Keeping one foot out emotionally to protect yourself is like trying to consistently drive 65 mph while tapping your brake every other minute. Healthy couples respect their own boundaries, but are vulnerable and open towards one another. Too often we experience hurt and never really let go again. Happy couples take their feet off the brake and trust.
4. They avoid taking one another for granted.
Happy couples don't take for granted that they'll be together forever. They remember to turn on the charm and attention they give others, towards one another. It takes two to do the hot passionate dance of tango -- happy couples don't drop one hand and expect the other half to keep dancing.
5. They keep making eye contact.
As William Shakespeare said so well: "The eyes are the window to your soul."
Let's face it, life is busy; over time it becomes a little too easy to navigate getting out of the house in the morning without making eye contact. It may sound small, but eye contact is intimate. Happy couples remember that intimacy in the bedroom starts with intimate contact throughout the day. They look at one another.
6. They continue to be intrigued.
Even if you met at birth, spent every day together and have talked for hours, there is no way to know everything about another human being. We are all individuals with unique thoughts, perceptions, and emotional experiences.
People change over time, and healthy couples continue to explore one another, while realizing it's impossible to know everything, no matter how long they've been together.
7. They stay in the moment.
Happy couples know remaining in the present moment is non negotiable when it comes to love. Regardless of tough times, they remember the past does not equal the future. Healthy partners have a relationship with the person in front them now, not the ghost from yesterday.
8. They continue touching.
Two large influences on our sex drive originate from our skin and our brain. Relationships are hot in the beginning because we're touching and kissing, as well as talking and questioning one another, constantly.
As time goes on, happy couples continue to touch. When we touch the one we love, the hormone oxytocin is produced, providing us with a fertile opportunity for connection. Oxytocin is one hell of a powerful love drug. Talking stimulates the brain, while touching stimulates everything else. Happy couples touch each another a lot.