Love. It makes the world go round, doesn’t it? And yet many of us fail to remember just how powerful and potent this force is.
Sure, we remember it every Valentine’s Day, and perhaps on special occasions, but what about bringing more love into our lives every day - is it easy to do?
So many couples talk about having a long love life - after 20,30, or 40 years - that is something to be celebrated.
But for some reason, it can seem hard to do, especially when we have been with our partner a long time.
What’s the secret for a long and happy love life?
#1: Generate oxytocin: the bonding chemical
The hormone oxytocin increases empathy and communication, key to sustaining a relationship between mates.
Studies show it is important for bonding.
“The high-oxytocin couples finish each other’s sentences, laughed together and touched each other more often” - Ruth Feldman at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.
How do you increase oxytocin? Well, oxytocin is also known as the ' cuddle hormone’, so getting lots of hugs in with your partner could be the answer!
#2 Be kind.
It seems pretty obvious, but the source of love has to come from within. people who practice generating love on a regular basis have reduced cellular aging (telomere length).
Kindness seems to extend the life of our cells, leading to greater resilience in our bodies, and the ability to recover quickly from illness.
Remember, being kind to yourself can do wonders for your love life!
#3 Revive the activities that brought you together
If your relationship is feeling a bit stale, remember to revive the spark by doing activities you once did together.
That’s what helped you fall in love in the first place, right?
You can almost certainly rekindle the fire if you feel it’s on the wane.
#4 Keep happy friendships
It’s not just having a loved one by your side that increases longevity. Having strong social relationships predicts a 50% increased chance of longevity, which is huge if you think about it.
#5 Give back
‘You only get what you give’, says the song. And it’s true, especially when it comes to living a longer life.
A study by Stephanie Brown at Stonybrook conducted with an elderly population showed that those who engaged in helping others and supporting others ended up living longer lives.
This was not the case for people who were simply recipients of care and support.
How cool is that?
#6 Pursue your passions
It’s important that you and your partner take some time to do what lights you up. Of course that can be together, but it’s great to do it separately too - find some time to indulge your passions and you’ll find that your longevity and love life gets a much-needed boost.
#7 Laugh together
According to Psychology Today, couples who laugh more are more satisfied in their relationships. And of course, it makes sense! Humour can be a buffer for relationships, helping to take the sting out of any conflict.
#8 Try new things
It’s important to keep things exciting in a relationship. But how do you do that after 20 years?
Do new experiences together!
The novelty helps you and your partner create new memories and feel like a team as you try something new. The excitement of the activity may make you feel like your relationship is more exciting.
Make sure you are grateful… every day. Think about how precious life is, and how it can be taken from you at any moment.
Studies show those who are grateful for their partners are much more likely to have a long lasting relationship.
#10 Celebrate wins
It’s easy to nitpick and find fault. But what about when things go well? What about when you overcome tough things, things that you never thought you would? That’s when you know your relationship is strong. Celebrate it!