Long-term relationships and marriage are hard work. But take some cues from older couples who have shared the secrets to keeping the spark alive after decades together: It’s all about the little surprises.
Picture: Candida Performa/Flickr
Dr Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist at Cornell University, writes on Psychology Today that the elders she interviewed for her books said that the most effective things they have done for their relationship is building a habit of doing small, positive things for their partners. Specifically, these three types of gestures: surprises (spontaneous nights out or buying flowers for no specific holiday), chores (taking over an odious chore unexpectedly) and compliments (who doesn’t like positive feedback?).
There are many other things that go into a successful relationship besides sudden acts of kindness, but everyday positive interactions are likely the building block. I like the article’s suggestion of asking yourself when you wake up what you can do to make your partner’s day just a little bit happier.
The 3 Best Gifts You Can Give Your Partner [Psychology Today]