red umbrella

“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.”   – Lisa Kleypas, Blue-eyed devil

We all know there’s no one size fits all how-to manual for relationships.It is incumbent on every person to weigh the mountains of advice floating around and take what they need only.

That said, on a leisurely stroll around the interwebs, I came across an article on 20 tips from Dayan Masinde on how couples can keep their love alive. I think at least some of these tips, lifted wholesale from that article, could be pretty useful for anyone in a relationship or who is a fan of a  practical kind of love like me.

1. Talk to each other EVERY day

Everyone must talk daily: if your lover is not talking to you daily, your lover is talking to someone else or other people and that is dangerous. Don’t let anyone take your position of daily chat mate in your lover’s life.

2. Get to know each other’s family and friends

When his family, her family, his friends and her friends are one big close unit it is difficult to drift apart.

3. Have fun and laugh together

People don’t leave an environment that is fun. If you make things between you two boring, always serious and a daunting task; both of you will get tired of each other.

4. Eat together

A meal ties people together.

5. Worship the same God

It is wonderful when you talk to your lover about how good God is and your lover knows what you mean. When you worship the same God you both have similar values and mind-set making it easy to foster unity.

6. Do things that lovers do

Kiss, cuddle, hold hands, take showers together, talk intimately to each other: this tightens your bond.

7. Declare your love publicly

When the public knows you two are a couple, much of the public will respect your relationship/marriage making it easier for you to strengthen your love.

8. Pray together

A couple that prays together stays together.

9. Go to church together or grow spiritually together

When you both worship with the same congregation it makes it easy for you two to chart the same course. If you don’t go to church, find a spiritual path that you would both like to follow. Be of one spirit.

10. Grow together intellectually

Advance in the growth of  your minds, and aim be at the same level so that nobody feels the other is too underexposed or shallow or too deep and an intellectual brag.

11. Do that one thing that excites you both

Find that one thing that excites both of you, whether dancing, filling crosswords, cooking, singing, doing house chores and do it together.

12. Concentrate on what you have in common

Pay more attention to what makes you alike than what you have different.

13. Stay sexy

Be eye candy, a turn on to each other. Both men and women like it when our fire is lit to the core. Work on staying attractive, dress with care, stay confident!

14. Flirt exclusively

Be a naughty flirt, but only with your lover.

15. Make decisions together

Develop a habit of running by your options and thoughts to your lover. Involve each other in decision making.

11.  Grow together financially

Work as a team: if one has little, support him/her; if you both don’t have much, work together towards increasing it; if you both have plenty, use your joint wealth to love each other.

17. Do parenting as a team

Talk to your child/children together, eat as a family, go for parents day together, let your children give you reasons to be a strong team.

18. Support each other

Be each other’s biggest fan. Know each other’s dreams, have a common vision.

19. Make the odd sacrifice to do what your lover enjoys

If your lover loves something that you are not a fan of, be a good sport and just play along. If your lover is a fan of football and you’re not, sacrifice and watch a match together. If your lover loves different types of movies to you, occasionally watch those movies together.

If your lover loves salsa and it’s not your thing, still get on the dance floor. If your lover loves to play Play Station or video games, play them too sometimes. If your lover loves to travel more than you, tag along when you can. Do the things that make your lover happy, and as you do them, you will understand your lover more.

20. Say sorry

Be someone who can apologise when you are wrong. This makes it easier to move on after arguments and prevents resentment from building up. (Plus you get to enjoy make-up sex…)