A long-term relationship is a long-haul commitment. The work doesn’t stop at the altar but continues and intensifies as the years progress with children, illnesses, hardship, conflict, and so on. How can two people keep the love alive in little ways when there isn’t much money or time to spare or mobility is challenged by age and infirmity? The following are some easy, inexpensive tips to help two people make each other feel loved as the years pass.
Use the internet, text, or old-fashioned paper and a pen to write love notes to each other. Think of something new to say each time and consider adding a touch of humor to each note unless you are both sloppy romantic types. Leave a gap between each note and don’t be predictable by choosing the same day and the same method each time. Leave some notes by text and others in a beautiful or funny card. Let some be dedicated to humor and others to touching sentiment. The other person will enjoy anticipating his or her next love note.
It’s not practical or meaningful to buy each other big expensive gifts all the time. Most people can’t afford this kind of behavior and going into debt is a recipe for conflict, not romance. Creativity is your friend but if you aren’t creative, use the internet. Gifts can include treats in a husband’s briefcase or a wife’s purse (wrapped chocolates or sweets), a hand-written voucher offering to give your spouse a backrub, or a special dessert one evening made from scratch (or at least presented nicely).
Is your spouse expected home late one night due to a meeting or a conference? Maybe she had to travel for work or as part of a sports event she participated in. When she gets back, greet her warmly. If she arrives in time for dinner, set a special place at the table with a lovely napkin and wine glass wrapped in ribbon. Chill her favorite wine and share a glass with her in front of the screen set to a roaring fireplace scene or, if you have a real fireplace, get that going. Put your husband’s bathrobe and slippers in the tumble dryer for a short time so they are warm when he gets home.
There’s nothing as atmospheric as candlelight. LED, battery-operated candles can’t match the smell of scented wax or soy candles and they don’t flicker authentically either. Set candles safely around the living room and turn off all the lights. Play soft music at a low volume and cuddle up under a blanket, but don’t forget to blow out all the candles before bed.
There’s a free show in your neighborhood every night: the sky. On a clear night, wrap up warmly and sit out on your balcony, roof, or take a drive to the highest point in town. Watch the stars come out. Follow shooting stars, airplanes, and the space station across the darkness. Try to pick out constellations together enjoying nature’s free theater in each other’s company.