"All you need is love."- The Beatles
We have all heard of the newlywed phase; the time in our lives where our brains are completely infatuated and controlled by that four letter word LOVE. That strong and undeniable force tells people to fawn, adore, protect and take care of one another.
Newlywed couples that are head over heels in love experience higher levels of dopamine- the hormone paired with addiction, euphoria, pleasure and pain. Large levels of dopamine can cause a feeling of reward that makes giving up love, hard and nearly impractical.
What happens when the high levels of love and passion for being together begins to fade after your first year of marriage? What happens when your fascination with living with one another turns into the norm, and it finally sets in you are going to be with him every day for the rest of your life?
Once the reality and enormity of forever sets in, you finally realize you need to discover new ways to constantly keep that 'I can't live without you' vibe alive.
According to recent research, taking the time to deliberate and apply these three principles into your marriage will help keep the electric love alive and burning.
You have to date after marriage
Researchers W. Bradford Wilcox & Jeffrey Dew published the ultimate dating after marriage guide and outlined five distinct benefits that come from taking your spouse out on dates:
Taking the time to communicate one-on-one in an intimate setting is crucial and beneficial for sustaining a long-lasting relationship. Miscommunication or lack of frequent communication can lead to avoidable and unnecessary arguments within your marriage. Dates can help you recognize verbal and nonverbal cues that your spouse needs certain attention or action.
The first date butterflies, the thrill of getting dressed up and the excitement that precludes a date is a rush we have all experienced. Take that feeling and channel the novelty into dating your spouse once again. Plan dates and create memories you will always treasure. Each date you plan is a new adventure to take together.
Eros represents the spark of romantic love. It is the initial "I can't wait to see you" type of attraction most commonly experienced in the beginning of dating. Planning dates with your spouse will encourage you to fall in love all over again each week.
Date night allows the couple to open up and commit to each other all over again. It provides a safe space to share deep thoughts and dreams for the future.
Getting out of the house and doing something with just the two of you, sets a scene for fun and interactive experiences to emerge. It allows a time to enjoy, relax and have fun together.
Balance alone and together time
Communication is key when it comes to finding a proper balance between alone time and together time. Being transparent and straightforward in what you want and when you want it will help you and your spouse avoid unnecessary contention.
"Telling your partner what you like/need can go a long way toward making everyone happier and more satisfied. Saying something as simple as "I like spending time with you, but I need some time alone sometimes too. Maybe I could do this while you do something else" is an okay thing to say. It lets the person know that you like him or her. It states your needs. And it suggests a solution," said Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at The Center for Sexual Health Promotion.
Decision making becomes constant
Post-wedding you learn quickly the importance of making big and impactful decisions as a team. Together you will make decisions regarding money, how you choose to communicate, whether you put the needs of your spouse before your own, how you will fight, what expectations you have for intimacy, boundaries between family and friends and you will make decisions on how you'll handle tough trials as they come.
As a team you will transition from an individualistic mindset to a pluralistic way of thought. Remember, what's mine is yours, even your decisions.