Falling in love is such a wonderful feeling. Everything is new. Everything is exciting. Everything sparkles and shines. It’s a Nora Ephron movie starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
Fast forward a couple of years. Life happens. Romance gets back burnered. Diapers need changing. Dinner is burning on the stove. And what used to feel like a fairy tale now feels like a fairly dull and dreary routine that is more like Bill Murray’s ongoing, never-ending cycle of “Groundhog Day.”
Sometimes, we need a reminder of what it was to fall in love with our significant other. With half of all marriages ending in divorce, those who are committed to making it last may need to reflect on the past and remind themselves why they chose the one they’re with. Journaling the early days of your relationship may be just the key to helping you remember.
So if you’re already in a relationship, and things are feeling a little blah, put pen to paper and answer the following questions:
- How did you meet?
- What was the first thing you noticed about your spouse?
- Where did you go on your first date?
- What was the first thing you laughed about together?
- What were some of the personality traits you first admired?
- How has your spouse grown/changed over the years?
- Do you remember the first time you said, “I love you?” Write down the moment.
- How does your significant other make you feel loved?
- How did you know he or she was “the one”?
- Do you have a song? Why did you choose it?
- Do you remember when your spouse proposed?
- How did you feel on your wedding day?
- Of all the memories you share, what is your favorite?
- What quality (qualities) makes your spouse different from anyone else in the world?
- If you could give your spouse anything in the world, what would it be and why?
If you’re not quite there in a relationship, keep these ideas in mind for your future significant other. Document as you date, and later when you’ve found the one – you’ll have a keepsake that will be as special on your 50th anniversary as it was on your first day of forever. In addition to these questions, consider adding the following while you’re dating:
- How do you feel when you’re with him or her?
- What makes them different from your last boyfriend/girlfriend?
- What is the first gift they gave you? What was your reaction?
- How often do you daydream about him or her?
- What is your boyfriend/girlfriend’s idea of a perfect date? BONUS NOTE: Make a note so, at a future time, you can create that for them and remind them that they described their perfect date so many years earlier!
Whether you’ve been together so long that it’s hard to remember life without them… or you’re just starting out… relationships take effort. The movies make them look easy. Embrace the one you love and remember that true love is worth fighting for. Some of your best ammunition for keeping love thriving, even in difficult seasons, will come from your memory bank. Make sure the arsenal is full.