That was a statement that I "borrowed" from a trashy women's magazine about keeping the excitement in your love life and making your relationship infidelity-proof. The other day, as I often do, I used it as one of my tweets - and it seemed to generation some interesting discussion surrounding the idea.
Later on, after the relationship has reached cruise control status, we switch off the effort and settle in. It's human nature.
From a purely personal point of view, this is where I think relationships reach their most dangerous stage. This is the time when boredom takes over, along with routine and a sense of "too late." Call it the 7-year itch, or just complacency; either way, it is the onset to opening the door to bigger issues.
What the point in the quote is about, is looking back to the efforts you made when you first fell in love and remembering all the things that worked. We all change, but I'm a firm believer in that we all improve as we age. We should also be able to shed some of the inhibitions that took root after the rings were placed on the fingers.
I'm willing to bet that most people, when they started dating someone important, went all out to impress and attract that person. Conversations probably included things like dreams and ambitions. It was almost like a relationship "when I grow up" moment. I'm also willing to bet that not long after some settled into their relationships, the affection patterns changed. When was the last time you made out with your partner? Hold hands? Risked ridicule from the guys on your beer league team and showed your wife some PDA? And if you don't know what that is, that might be part of your problem.
I can only speak from what works in my relationship ... and for me, the past couple years have been the most connected I have been with my partner. We have faced a few realities in the world around us, from the loss of dear friends to economic difficulties. It's the primary reason why we are where we are, enjoying life and living with as few regrets as possible.
In a way, our relationship is almost new. We have discovered new things about each other, shared dreams and ambitions ... and making out on the couch is not unheard of.
Rediscovering all those emotions, fantasies, desires and dreams from the early days of our relationship has been unbelievably exciting. And there's still lots of work to be done in that, because not everything will ever be perfect. But the effort is what is important. The effort is the aphrodisiac.
To me that includes letting your husband know, in a playful and delicate way, that just like when you were dating, he needs to keep on top of his game because there are others waiting in the wings to steal his precious bride. It's not really like I would run off with another man, but it has been good for him to learn that I am attractive to other men - in real life, when I'm clothed and not posing for the camera.
Now, mind you, he worked hard to prove to me that I was the woman he has said I am all along. That meant being understanding to the emotions and challenges of letting his wife flirt and explore her sexuality.
Is that men like "competition?" I'm not sure about that. But the boost it has done for my sexual and personal confidence has been incredible. And has put me in a much better place.
So, if you want your partner to fall in love with you all over again, remember the work you put into winning their heart in the first place.