No matter how easy it is to fall in love, staying in love requires attention and effort. Most people drift into love, marriage and family without a whole lot of conscious planning about the kind of relationship they want to have five, ten or twenty years down the track.

Whether you are married, engaged or dating, it is never too late to be more intentional in your relationship.

Being proactive in your relationship means setting relationship goals, actively seeking skills and education to become more effective lovers, and regularly reflecting on your relationship to update your goals.

My mission is to be a messenger of love to my spouse, to love him/her as best as humanly possible so that a higher love will be real and believable. This mission is like a job description and to do the job well, I have to do more than just show up occasionally. I have to give more than the leftovers of my time and attention after work, hobbies, family and other interests have taken their bit.

Make Your Relationship Intentional!

Three tips to help you make your relationship a priority:

  1. The Date Claimer | When life is busy and couple time gets crowded out, look for opportunities to ‘claim a date’. For example, we often claim a ‘driving date’ when one of the kids needs a pick-up from a friend’s house. It only needs one person to do the chore, but by doing it together, it gives us some precious time together.
  2. EDRs = Essential Daily Rituals | EDRs form the bedrock of a healthy relationship. Establish a simple, daily routine that operates as a connection ritual. For example, we like to walk around the block after dinner. It’s our time to debrief without interruptions, and we get some exercise too!
  3. Quantity Time | When life is busy, we often justify our relationship neglect with plans for intensive ‘quality time’. The truth is, quality time doesn’t happen in isolation. You can’t just show up for a big romantic date and get into the mood in a snap if you’ve barely connected all week. Relationships need time — leisurely, wasteful time. So pay attention to the low-intensity ‘quantity time’ you have together.

For dating & engaged couples: Establish good habits early. It’s a lot harder to change a bad habit than it is start a good one, so begin early. Set up your dating interactions with a view to how you’d like to be in ten years time. More tips and info…

Quiz: How well do you know your partner?

Take your best guess, then test your answers by asking them:

  1. His/her favourite storybook character
  2. A fond childhood memory
  3. His/her most pressing worry
  4. A childhood dream
  5. A childhood frustration
  6. The thing that gives him/her the most joy right now


Originally published at SmartLoving. Photo by Cleyder Duque.

Published On: June 25th, 20220 CommentsTags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author: Byron and Francine Pirola

Married for 25 years, with 5 children, Byron & Francine Pirola are the founders and co-authors of the SmartLoving Series – marriage enrichment and marriage preparation courses designed to help build successful and resilient marriages. International speakers and authors of numerous articles on marriage, more than 3000 couples have attended their programs, workshops and conferences in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain Byron & Francine are Executive Directors of the Marriage Resource Centre from which they run SmartLoving programs and produce digital resources. Francine graduated from Fordham University with a Masters in Religion and Religious Education. Byron is a founding partner of the strategic consulting firm, Port Jackson Partners Limited, and a Director of both listed and unlisted companies. He holds a PhD from the Commonwealth Centre for Gene Technology, Adelaide University.

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