Monthly Archives: September 2016

Ways to Keep the Fires Burning

Being married for any length of time is truly an accomplishment these days. Just last week a woman asked how long I had been married and when I said forty years this July, her eyes got huge and she said, “To the same person? How is that possible?”

When we got married, people were taking bets on how long our union would last. The average bet was between two weeks and two years because of our age difference and personalities. Let’s just say, my husband is calm, wise, and conservative and I am the exact opposite. I do remember feeling really shaky when I said my vows … “for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.” Now that’s a huge promise! Could I really do this?

Flash forward forty years. We are still married, happy and love each other, although it hasn’t been an easy road and our relationship has been tested on many occasions, and I’m sure more will come as we navigate through our senior years.

Someone once said, “I married you for better or worse, but not for breakfast and lunch.” I never really understood that until now. Obviously, when couples first get married, it is exciting, challenging, romantic, and fun. And then if children come along, the marriage gets even more interesting and challenging as people try to raise their kids together. But after the kids are gone, and retirement looms, people start to feel displaced as their roles in life change. Who are we without our careers and kids? What do we have to talk about? And why do we keep bumping into each other in the kitchen?

So in order to keep a relationship going all the way to the end, here are six rules of engagement to keep the fires burning.

Stay Vibrant and Interesting! Continue to learn and try new experiences. You can do this as a couple or individual. No one likes to get stuck in a boring routine or a mundane life, so make sure you keep reinventing both yourself and you as a couple.

Have Date Night at Least Twice a Month. It’s important to have something to look forward to and it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just carving out a special time together is meaningful, thoughtful, and fun!

Valentines Day Ideas

Love is in the air. It’s that time of the year again: Valentine’s Day. Co-workers may be receiving gifts at work, restaurants will be crowded with couples trying to make the night special, and to others it may as well just be another day. But does everyone really celebrate Valentine’s Day and go all out for romance? In one of our latest surveys, we dared to find out.

We asked around 3,000 people if they had plans for Valentine’s Day, and about 64% of them said they did plan on celebrating the holiday with somebody special. Now we were curious, what goes into their Valentine’s Day plans?

Planning the Date

Most people who said they had Valentine’s Day plans had put at least a little bit of thought into it. 17% of people said they had not planned anything yet (and this survey was done 3 days before Valentine’s Day!), and 6% had said they put a lot of planning into the event.

So who’s doing the planning? According to our survey, it seems like chivalry is not dead. Men were more likely to say they had done a fair amount of planning or a lot of planning for their valentine, where as women were more likely to say they had done very little to no planning at all.

What about when you get married? Do the plans for Valentine’s Day slip away over time? Not as much as you may be thinking. When you are dating somebody exclusively, you are the most likely to have plans. 89% of people who are dating somebody exclusively have had made at least some plans, and 82% of married couples also had plans. Couples who are engaged were the least likely to have made any plans despite saying they were celebrating the holiday, with 25% of them saying they had done no planning.