Love or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is looming. While the 14th of February is filled with spontaneous gestures of love across the globe, it’s what keeps a relationship in bloom for the other 364 days of the year that really matters.
Author Tracy Madden shares her practical tips for a long and healthy relationship.
1. It starts with you
“I have always found that when I am fulfilled with myself as a person, I am a better partner, and the same is true for my husband. It’s important that couples find individual passions as well as bonding through shared time.”
2. Don’t push each other’s buttons
“Two TVs has been, and will always be, a good idea!”
3. Be the hero
“Much like a business, a successful relationship requires work, and from time to time one of you will need to step up and be the keeper of the relationship. This can be as simple as putting your ego aside and being the first one to say sorry.”
4. Hug it out
“A thirty second hug heals everything. No words required.”
5. Food for the soul
“For me, there’s nothing more rewarding than nurturing, cooking for and feeding those I love. Taking the time to plan and prepare a meal is a beautiful reminder of how wonderful it is to share time with your partner.”
6. Get moving
“Walk and talk with your partner each morning or evening. It’s an invaluable opportunity to enjoy nature, catch up on each other’s lives and make plans for the future.”
7. Grow together
“As a fiction author coming to writing in my midlife, I don’t believe I would have had the success I have had without the support of my husband to grow into the person I am today. When you meet at 13 and 16 there’s going to be a heck of a lot of growing!
Allowing your partner the space to grow as an individual while supporting the growth of your relationship will ensure many future Valentine’s Days together.”
8. Share the journey
“Seeing my husband as a grandfather is like seeing him with new eyes. The love he shows, the things he talks about to our grandsons, the way he holds them, the delight they bring to him, shows me that relationships are forever growing and evolving. There’s nothing more magical than sharing our lives and the journey of love. Love is definitely the answer!”
Love is the Answer was published by Pan MacMillian and is available now in all good bookshops. Her debut novel The Essential Ingredient – Love was published by Pan MacMillan in 2010.