A relationship is like a delicate rose bush. If you care for it, it will bloom year after year with unsurpassed beauty. If you don't, you might end up with a dull, lifeless entity that is struggling to survive.

Keeping it fresh

If you are single, read these tips with an eye on what you will want to do in a long-term relationship. If you are in a relationship, pick one or two of the five ideas and integrate them into your relationship now. You will be amazed at how many nice feelings you can create quickly by taking a few simple steps.

1. Make time for your relationship week after week.Take time for each other every single week. For most couples, it is a good idea to have a standing date night. Communicate to your friends, kids, everyone, that this night is reserved especially for the two of you. Keep the date every week, no matter what. Make it your priority.

2. Do fun, pleasurable things together. Sharing fun and pleasure fosters intimacy. Intimacy is what relationships are all about. Share good meals, share play time, share jokes and funny movies, share outdoor activities. What matters most is that the activity is fun and pleasurable for each of you.

3. Do long-term activities as a couple. Do something long-term together. Learn about investments, take dance lessons, refinish the furniture, reach your fitness goals. Do some long-term activity that will enrich and interest each of you, together. By doing this you will stay connected to each other and foster common ground in the relationship. Make sure that this is above and beyond child rearing.

4. Resolve conflict quickly. It is hard to say you are sorry in the heat of an argument. In some ways it is easier to have a fight and go into your separate corners. But unresolved conflict, or conflict that lingers, fosters long-term hurt and resentment. It's OK to disagree. But it's important to find a resolution quickly.

5. Keep the romance alive. In a long-term relationship, romance is not something that happens automatically most of the time. Everyday pressures and time constraints have a tendency to rob us of spontaneity. Romance needs to be consciously created. Remember that romance will keep your relationship fresh and exciting and will keep the two of you close. Take turns creating romance intentionally.

Your Relationship Coach,
Rinatta Paries, www.WhatItTakes.com

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