THE KEY TO STAYING IN LOVE

My long-time person 💕 @tedf and I have been going strong for seven+ years but I still feel like we're making it up as we go. So, I am honored that @miggles36 thinks I have the answer to this. I thought I wouldn't have much to say, but I just couldn't stop. Here is what I know:
  1. Take care of your love.
    Treat your love with respect. Don't just expect it to stick around no matter what you do. Understand that sometimes it will be hard or painful or inconvenient, and be willing to put in some effort . Try your best not take your love for granted. Feed it, give it some air and space. Set yourself up to have a really good time.
  2. Take care of your lover.
    Listen to what they need, and do your best. Let them know how much you care about them, not just in what you say, but in what you do. Be good to them- there is so much joy for both of you in this.
  3. Take care of yourself.
    What good is being in love if you don't take care of yourself? And what is left for the other person to love about you? Taking care of yourself is very important. Mediate, go to therapy, masturbate, read, exercise, go to museums, feed yourself- do whatever you need to make yourself happy, irrespective of your relationship, If caring for yourself becomes too secondary, your love may be unhealthy for you. Take care, and honor what you need.
  4. Give.
    Do something for your lover simply and solely because it will make them happy. (Not because it will make you stay in love or because I told you to!) This could be a gift (flowers etc.) or it could be breakfast in bed, a back rub, a note wishing them a good morning, their favorite snack, a thoughtful idea for a date, oral sex. You know what they like. This might sound like an idea for how to make your lover stay in love with you--but I have found that giving is the best way to stay in love.
  5. Give of yourself.
    Give of yourself- share the parts of yourself that you like the most and also the parts that scare you, that you're ashamed of, that make you sad. Be honest. Trust the other person, and let them see the real you. Hopefully, they will do you the justice of doing the same. It's really hard to stay in love with some one if you don't really know who they are.
  6. Remember to listen.
    One of the most important things a person can do in life. And especially in love.
  7. Remember to have sex.
    Having a problem? Grumpy? Not communicating well? How long has it been since you've had sex? Yeah, I thought so. NOTE: sex will not fix your problem, but it will relieve some tension (literally) and it will help remind you of how good things can be. If you are not having sex, it can be hard to remember why this relationship is not just a very close friendship. And it is always possible you are just cranky because you need to get laid.
  8. Don't spend more than 3 weeks apart, if you can possibly help it.
    This is part of a longer "how to survive long distance" list... But remember, more than three weeks apart and things will start to get bad and weird. It is foolish to endanger your love by doing this. Find a way to visit.
  9. Go on vacation, just the two of you, at least once a year.
    Even if you just drive out of town for a weekend. It doesn't have to be fancy. In fact, it might be better if it isn't. When you are on vacation, don't make a million plans. Make sure you leave yourselves the wiggle room to cancel everything one day and stay in bed and enjoy each other. Did I mention that sex is very important?
  10. Be realistic.
    This goes along with listening, and being honest. Be truthful with yourself about what your relationship is, what you get from it and what you get elsewhere. Don't try to make it what it is not, and appreciate it for what it is.
  11. New is good.
    Try new things together! Science tells us (at least I think) that trying new things stimulates the same parts of the brain as falling in love. I don't know if it's true, but I'll take it. Doing new things with your lover (doesn't have to be in the bedroom though that's good too) is fun! Adventures are great! Life is hard, so go make some good memories together.
  12. The bottom line:
    Love is hard, but it's worth it. If you guys both think so, you'll find a way. But also, love should make you happy, at least most of the time. If it doesn't, maybe you two aren't a great match. And that's okay. It's okay not to stay in love. That doesn't make you a failure. If you want a long-term love, you will find it eventually. Even if you're not looking for it (or maybe especially then.) Until then, listen to yourself and your partner - you'll know what to do.