Romance, love and a marriage take time and effort. It's often easy to settle into a routine that basically takes your spouse for granted, but easy is not best when it comes to a lasting relationship.  Instead, please put your relationship first, and always treat your spouse with love and respect.  Read this post with 11 suggestions to make your love last.

Eleven Ways to Make Your Love Last

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On April 9th my husband and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  In many ways, it seems like we just met yesterday while at the same time, it seems like we have been together forever. And we know that we will be together for all eternity.  You can find out more about us here on the connect page of Lisa Designs Life.

We are not perfect, we have struggles, ups and downs just like you and every couple on the planet. We have gone thru tremendously difficult times and we are blessed with much. So why does our love persevere, and why has our marriage sustained the test of time while many marriages have crumbled around us? I don’t have all the answers, I am not a counsellor, read my suggestions and do what works for you and your relationship, I pray it may it flourish over time.

1 – First and foremost, make the effort, make the time.

Romance, love and a marriage take time and effort. It's often easy to settle into a routine that basically takes your spouse for granted, but easy is not best when it comes to a lasting relationship.  Instead, please put your relationship first, and always treat your spouse with love and respect. 

 

Romance, love and a marriage take time and effort. It’s often easy to settle into a routine that basically takes your spouse for granted, but easy is not best when it comes to a lasting relationship.  Instead, please put your relationship first, and always treat your spouse with love and respect.  You know the time you made dinner for a friend who was under the weather or you picked up that cutesy home decor sign or stationary item because it reminds you of your best friend and you want to surprise her/him with it. Well, think of your spouse first!

Start thinking of your spouse as your ‘bestie’. The next time you do an act of kindness for a friend, or pick up a little something to make them feel special, stop and ask yourself this. When was the last time I did the same for my spouse?  When you are out doing errands, take note of anything that makes you think of him/her and pick it up as a surprise. How about taking them their fave specialty coffee or surprising them with a hot lunch you take to their workplace.  The simple ways you can show your love are endless.

Random acts of kindness or a small gift, bought or homemade (this does not have to be expensive) but given for no specific reason will nourish your love. You and your spouse may have a different ‘love language’ that speaks to each of your hearts.  I highly recommend the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman which includes an awesome profile assessment so you can discover your love language and that of your loved one.

2 – Keep a love jar.

Random acts of kindness or a small gift, bought or homemade (this does not have to be expensive) but given for no specific reason will nourish your love. Read this post for 11 ways to make your love last.

Choose a special container/jar,  for your love notes.  We like to use wooden jar with a lid that we bought together while on vacation.  On our last trip to Cabo San Jose, we purchased a beautiful handmade jar carved from a lemon tree. It smells divine and every time we pull out a love note, it is also a special reminder of the time we spent together celebrating my birthday and New Years.

Write a love note to your partner every day for a week. Focus on a different quality you love about him/her, something you are proud of in them, something you respect, or simply thank them for something they do. You can find many beautiful boxes >> HERE.

Write a love note to your partner every day for a week. Focus on a different quality you love about him/her, something you are proud of in them, something you respect, or simply thank them for something they do. Click on this image to find a beautiful boxes for your love notes.

At the end of the week, make a special dinner or carve out time together over a glass of wine and sweetly read the notes out loud to your partner. Switch it up the next week with the opposite partner writing and reading the notes, or if you prefer have two jars and share them all at the end of the week.

Taking a few minutes each day to focus on the good in each other, and sharing time together discussing these qualities will definitely help sustain your love.

3 – Reflect and remember why you fell in love. Forgive and move on.

Reflect and remember why you fell in love. Forgive and move on. None of us is perfect, heavens knows I am not.  Forgive each other and forgive yourself and move on.  Need help learning how to forgive yourself and others?   Click this image to check out this book "Forgiving Yourself," for a step by step guide to making peace with your mistakes and getting on with your life.

What qualities and traits drew you to your spouse to begin with? How have they changed and grown into an even better person today?  Is there anything bothering you in your relationship? Over time the habits you fell for in your spouse actually may become annoying but realize that we all have good habits, and we ALL have annoying habits or quirks. These are the things that make us unique and do not mean we are less lovable over time.

Annoyed, frustrated and fed up?   You need to talk to your spouse about it, talk about the little things that annoy you and don’t let them become big.  Do not let things simmer inside until it all explodes out of you.  Many couples who get to this point, then give up on their marriage or relationship altogether.  Don’t give up.

Remember that you likely have just as many annoying habits that drive your spouse up the wall.  None of us is perfect, heavens knows I am not.  Talk, talk and talk! Forgive each other and forgive yourself and move on.  Need help learning how to forgive yourself and others?   Check out this book “Forgiving Yourself,” for a step by step guide to making peace with your mistakes and getting on with your life.

4 – Have a date night.

Carve out special time together. No, this is not easy. Yes, life is busy, kids are demanding, work days are long but if you don't set aside time to be together one on one, you will grow apart. Life speeds by, time is fleeting, make date night a priority.

Carve out special time together. No, this is not easy. Yes, life is busy, kids are demanding, work days are long but if you don’t set aside one on one time together, you will grow apart. Life speeds by, time is fleeting, make date night a priority.

Date night does not have to cost money, plan it for any time of the day that you are able to spend together interruption free. Try taking a little picnic under the stars in your own backyard, grab a bottle of wine, cheese, crackers and some grapes.  Keep it simple, the important thing is that you spend time together alone.

This is something you can do after you put the kiddies to bed or if you are too tired in the evening, go for a backyard picnic in the afternoon while the littles take a nap, a bottle of sparkling water and a fruit basket will do.

If it’s cold where you live, or the winters are long (like up here in B.C. Canada), set out your picnic on a bench or side table in the bedroom.  Spend the evening together without tv, cell phones or tablets! Just conversation and whatever else might follow ;). Yes a healthy, active sex life will boost the feeling of love you have for each other, so enjoy always!

It’s fun to head out and try something new for date nights too.  For instance over the past year, we made one of our regular date night a special meal out together once per month. To make it a little more interesting, we try a new restaurant and when possible we order a dish we haven’t eaten before!  This really worked out well as it made us both look forward to the night out.  Add a little twist to your date night, mix it up, and be sure to schedule it in!

Add a little twist to your date night, mix it up, and be sure to schedule it in!. Check out this post for 11 ways to make your love last.

5- Spend time learning about and/or doing what your spouse enjoys.

This doesn’t mean that if your spouse loves hockey (like mine), that you need to run out to buy hockey skates and goalie pads and get in the game.  But rather, take time to learn about the sport, google some fun facts about his favourite team or player, and start-up a conversation.

Surprise him with tickets to watch the local hockey team.  If this option is too hard on the budget, simply invite friends over to watch a NHL game and plan a fun intermission game using hockey trivia questions. Your spouse will be so appreciative that you care enough to learn about what he/she finds fun and enjoys.

Take time to learn about the sport, google some fun facts about his favourite team or player, and start up a conversation. Surprise him with tickets to watch the local hockey team. Host a sports game evening in your home, and plan a fun intermission game using trivia questions. Your spouse will appreciate that you care enough to learn about what he/she finds fun and enjoys. Click to read this post 11 Ways to Make Your Love Last.

6 – Attend a small group together.

A Bible Study group, a small home group devoted to supporting one another and sharing life’s trials and joys. Nothing has been more important to our lasting relationship over the years than being connected to a small group of caring, loving friends.  The people in our small group hold us up when we fall down and keep us accountable to what we believe in. They remind us to focus and rely on God first.

Allowing God to fill you up and meet your needs takes a lot of pressure of your spouse. You will not be looking to him/her to fulfill every human and spiritual longing in your heart. Click to read how you can strengthen your relationship over time.

Allowing God to fill you up and meet your needs takes a lot of pressure of your spouse. With Jesus filling you daily, you will not look to your partner to fulfill every human and spiritual longing in your heart.

7- Volunteer together.

Change your focus now and again. Instead of looking inward at your life, head out into your community to serve other.  Volunteering opens your eyes to see the abundance in your own life and relationship.  If you are blessed with someone who loves you and is always by your side in the good and the not so good times, be thankful for them.

Serve a meal at your local Gospel Mission, offer to take a shift at the Salvation Army thrift shop, find an opportunity to go on a mission trip with your church to serve together in another country.  We have so much to be thankful for, by serving those less fortunate and counting your blessings you will draw closer together into a deeper, more meaningful relationship.

Change your focus now and again. Instead of looking inward at your life, head out into your community to serve other.  Volunteering opens your eyes to see the abundance in your own life and relationship. Read this post, 11 Ways to Make Your Love Last

8 – Each person in a healthy relationship should have outside friendships and interests.

This is critical. You likely have similar interests and couples who are your friends, but you must take time to pursue a craft or hobby that you love outside of the joint activities and friendships. Spend time with your friends doing girl things, have a mini spa in your home, attend a paint night or hey ho, head to the mall and shop til you drop. Have tea together, set up a pretty tray and chat for hours with your best friend.

Why do some relationships last thru the good and the bad times? Click to read this post with eleven tips to strengthen your relationship and grow your love for each other.

Make your friends day by offering to do their nails after the tea.  Fellows, offer to pay for that beer your friend ordered at the pub while you watch the game.  Taking time out from each other, nurturing special friendships will make you a better partner/husband/wife, and strengthen your marriage.

Why do some relationships last thru the good and the bad times? Click to read this post with eleven tips to strengthen your relationship and grow your love for each other.

 

9 – Love notes.

Leave love notes on the mirror, in his/her lunch bag, on the dash of the car, in a briefcase or anywhere he/she will least expect it. There is something about seeing love expressed in writing that warms a heart and sticks in a mind.

Why do some relationships last thru the good and the bad times? Click to read this post with eleven tips to strengthen your relationship and grow your love for each other.

Feeling loved is crucial to a lasting commitment in a relationship, everyone has an innate want to be loved.  Please read my post You are Loved Today and Always and know you are loved always.

Click thru to read this post for eleven tips to strengthen your relationship, grow your love and stay together for all time. Hugs from Lisa xo

10- Flowers or a plant.

My hubby doesn’t express in so many words that he likes to get flowers, but I have seen a change in his disposition and attitude for the better when I send him a plant or flowers at his office. So even if you think your guy isn’t one for flowers, give it a try, his reaction might surprise you! There is something heart warming about bringing a bit of nature inside.

 

Click thru to read this post for eleven tips to strengthen your relationship, grow your love and stay together for all time. Hugs from Lisa xo

And guys, listen up, your wife wants flowers in her life!   You know whether she is the kind of gal who prefers a flower bouquet, a potted pandanus plant or an outdoor plant for her garden, go ahead and treat her with one just because.  No special occasion or holiday needed to give the gift of greenery!

Click thru to read this post for eleven tips to strengthen your relationship, grow your love and stay together for all time. Hugs from Lisa xo

11- Do his/her chores.

If you have a set of routine chores at home that are usually done by your spouse, surprise him by doing one of his.  I don’t know about your house, but in ours there just seem to be certain chores my hubby usually does and vice versa.

If your hubby usually takes out the garbage or mows the lawn, does the laundry, do it for him before he gets home from work or early on a Saturday morning before he even starts the work.

Click thru to read this post for eleven tips to strengthen your relationship, grow your love and stay together for all time. Hugs from Lisa xo

In our home, we each do our own laundry as a rule, but when my hubs is having a difficult week at work, or I just want to bless him, I do his laundry to show love to him.  Because this is not something I always do for him, he appreciates it and recognizes it as an act of my love for him.

Goodness knows I do not want him to do my laundry, EVER.  Unless he wants to buy me a new wardrobe every week, after he shrinks mine all teeny, weeny.  But he knows that I love a clean car and love it when he vacuums my car, fills the tank, and goes thru the car wash.  Think about what your spouse would appreciate the most and just do it!

Will you be using any of these recommendations in your current relationship? What advice can you share with others that has helped your relationship grow and flourish? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

We are heading away on a tropical destination vacation to celebrate our anniversary, so until next time, thanks for stopping by and

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83 responses to “Eleven Ways to Make Your Love Last

    • Love this post! Some really great ideas. I have a similar one on my site. I love the plant idea, and yes sometimes it is easy to forget why you fell in love in the first place so think about that now and then… Rose @ Our House of Love

  1. I absolutely love the idea of a love jar! I’d never heard of that before and I think it’s such a beautiful idea! Also the plants. There’s something very powerful and romantic about having a special living plant that represents your love!

  2. Love the 5 love languages book! Thanks for sharing these tips – my husband and I have been married just over a year-and-a-half, and are always curious as to the best advice on keeping our marriage strong. We are a military couple so our time is precious because we can’t always choose when we have time together.

  3. These are wonderful suggestions! Some of these are things that I used to do that I should do again, and some area ones that my husband does that’s nice like picking something up that he knows I like and helping with chores that I usually do. I’m going to keep these in mind. Thank you!

  4. This is really sweet! I love the idea of keeping notes in a love jar! My S/o and I have been raising a plant for 10 months and it’s massive. We treat it like a child. We also have date nights and our own lives . I appreciate the ups and downs. Gotta keep the spark alive!

  5. My fifth wedding anniversary is coming up this week and these are great reminders for how to keep actively loving my spouse. Thanks, Lisa!

  6. Congrats on 30 years! That is amazing! These are some quality tips and I can’t wait to begin incorporating them with my S.O. so we can keep the spark alive!

  7. Really loved reading this post – The notes in the jar and on the mirror are such small acts of love but would mean so much! I will definitely take these tips forward. It can be so easy to take our loved ones for granted so thanks for sharing.

    • Even quick little notes can make your loved ones day, it’s amazing how doing these small things boost our love for each other.

  8. Some simple ideas that are very meaningful. I love the idea of the love jar. It’s the small, everyday things that make the most lasting memories. I lost my soul mate, who was also a hockey player in his day, a little over 2 years ago. We were married almost 20 years, so I have many happy memories of our time together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Great post.

    • Candi, I am sorry for your loss. Reflect and share your memories often, your love will never end. I know it doesn’t make the loss any less, but I know you will be together again one day and for all eternity in heaven. Sending big hugs, Lisa xo

  9. It’s so difficult to keep on top of our most important relation in a growing busy world but it’s so nice to hear how easy it to to pause for a while and to show love and feel loved! Congrats on your Anniversary. Many more years of togetherness and love to you both!

  10. Angela Hoyos

    These are all excellent ways to keep that romance going! I want to make a love jar. I know sometimes my partner and I have bad days or argue and I’m sure having one of these at our disposal could really disarm any unpleasantries. We also believe in trying new things! We’ve recently started painting and we have such a great time.

  11. You are cracking me up with the laundry! I would’t want my husband to do mine either! Lol! I really like your love note jar and reading them at the end of each week is a great idea! It would be such a nice way to start out the weekend! 🙂

    • Hey Katie, glad I gave you a good chuckle! There were too many mini sized clothes coming out from the laundry room when my hubby attempted to help with my laundry, ha ha. I hope you give the love note jar a try, it really is nice to hear what your spouse finds special about you and it reminds you of how special they are too!

  12. These are all fantastic tips. Some times it easy to take the one you love for granted, adding a few of these ideas to your week can really make your souse feel like a priority. I love the idea of a love jar, and yours sounds divine with the scent of lemon a perfect memento to use.

  13. I leave little love notes for my boyfriend of almost two years (will be two years in exactly one week) all the time and he loves them. It’s always so sweet when I see him again after the fact and he just gives me this big goofy smile and thanks me for the note. I love these tips! I’ll definitely be utilizing some like the small group thing. That thought has never occurred to me!

  14. Marni

    Such great reminders. It is so important to remember that love is not all above the oooey gooey lovey dovey stuff. It takes work and care. These are some great tips!

    • Celebrate every month with a date night, even if it’s to do something different at home. Turn off the tv and devices and really communicate with each other and one day before you can even imagine, it will be 30 years!

  15. Happy anniversary [late]. I loved reading this. My husband and I do the notes – we both have our own jars. We also try and pray every night together before we go to sleep

  16. I really enjoyed reading this post! These were all great tips. It’s SO important to continue to work on your marriage, regardless of how long you’ve been married. As Paul Tripp says, “The biggest threat to a good marriage is a good marriage” because that’s when you stop working on it!

    I agree that “allowing God to fill you up and meet your needs takes a lot of pressure of your spouse”. In the first few years of marriage, I didn’t realize that I was inadvertently crushing my husband with the weight of all of my expectations. Things improved once I learned the significance of going to God first, and placing Him in charge of my happiness, rather than Jer.

    Thank you for these great reminders! It’s been hectic over here for the past couple of months with a high-needs toddler, but we must continue to nurture our marriage–especially being consistent with date night!!

    -V

    • Thanks for stopping by Vita, your comments are so encouraging. If you live anywhere near me, I would love to volunteer to babysit your littles! I am longing to be a grandma but thus far, I have one grandpuppy to date. She is absolutely adorable and we love her but….not quite the same. May God bless your faithfulness to Him in your life and marriage.

  17. These are some excellent tips. We often take people for granted so it’s a most that we take action to actually show our love and appreciation.

  18. You have so many great ideas in here, thanks so much for sharing! I truly believe it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference in a relationship. I woke up this morning to my boyfriend doing the dishes and it reminded me how much I love and appreciate him!

  19. You have offered some good advice for keeping love alive. It is true that if we allow our romance to settle into a routine we can begin to take our pouse for granted. and find ourselves in a rut. We are working in sending romantic texts to each other during the day. I like your advice of attending a small group together. We will work on that. Thank you.

  20. So many great points! I love the one about reminding yourself of your love story. My husband and I met at a conference then had a long distance relationship. We emailed frequently for the first 5 months. We not only saved those emails, but printed and bound them in a spiral notebook. It warms our heart when we pull the book out and read it!

  21. Joe

    So much great advice and ideas here. My husband and I are going on 6 years of being together and this article is a great reminder how to keep the love alive. Thank you.

  22. What a great post! So many lovely ideas! We have been married 34 years now (high school sweethearts) and we have started a few hobbies together which is really fun. We too have served together for years and done small group. Its a very pleasant bonding and gives us “shared friends”. Great post!

  23. Sheena

    Hey Lisa,

    I really like your post. I’m not in a relationship right now, but pinning your post for the future. I really like the love jar/container. Making the time is always number 1.

  24. We also have an April anniversary. How cool!

    These are great tips. I have always thought of my husband as my best friend. I think his made a huge difference in the first 10 years of our marriage. It truly extended the honeymoon, and it was something other people noticed. And definitely, doing things together and being thoughtful of one another (him surprising me with a little something he knows I enjoy, me tucking in a love note when I make his lunch or doing a chore he’d normally do) helps keep the flame alight.

  25. These are great tips! We do love notes on the bathroom mirror to each other — I leave them there all week until I clean the bathroom on the weekends. He also does surprises during the week with a simple card, flowers or even my favorite drink. Its the little things that remind us that were still in love.

  26. Great advice, a lot of the things you write abut might seem like small acts/gestures, but they really go a long way into building and maintaining a happy and loving relationship!
    I love how you talk about doing each other’s chores, I love to cook and make dinner every night, but sometimes my husband surprises me by making dinner so it’s ready when I get home , it’s such a wonderful feeling and really demonstrates his appreciation for my “chores”.

  27. I am not married yet but I consider this very helpful to every one dating. I will definitely be using the recommendations when I get into a relationship. By the way, your blog is amazing!

    • Thank you Naomi! I am certain these tips will be helpful in a new relationship as well. Your partner will feel valued and loved and know that you are interested in a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

  28. Jubilee

    Such a great post! I especially love #5. It is so important that we take interest in what our spouses like to do, so that they can feel known and loved.

  29. This was such a beautiful read. I agree that making time for each other is so important. Congrats on 30 years! That’s a huge milestone.

  30. Oh I love the love jar and volunteering ideas! My husband and I always tell each other we are a team and I think we would really enjoy doing that together 🙂 and congrats on 30 years. Such a sweet milestone for you both. May God bless you with 30 more!!

  31. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary – it is a huge accomplishment!! With 30 years under your belt, you had withstood the test of time. I’ve always known that is two people don’t grow together, end up growing mapart. These tips to keep growing together are obviously time-tested. This is sage advice for any relationship. Thank you for sharing what works!! ❤️ xo, Evelyn, PathofPresence 🦋

  32. I definitely believe taking the time to engage and understand in your partners favorite things or hobbies is an important one. It’s certainly made me feel cared for.

  33. Wow! Congratulations to you guys. In a world where people get divorced left and right, it sure is nice to hear true love lasts. Cheers!

  34. first congrats to u both! second i think 4 and 8 are the most essential for me! i think one should still be themselves but at the same time enjoying the other. when i go shopping i enjoy it most doing alone and my partner completely understands as much as i leave him alone when he plays his computer games 🙂

  35. These are really great ideas, but interestingly enough, I love the love notes idea. I think we tend to speak most candidly in writing sometimes because we want to say something kind of sappy but don’t feel comfortable saying it out loud. Lol But those things need to be said.

  36. I’m young, but my boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years. We work semi opposite schedules so our new thing is having sticky notes on the door and we leave eachother notes almost every day! It’s such a small gesture that we both look forward too!

    If I’m having a bad day my boyfriend KNOWS doing the dishes is almost a guaranteed way to cheer me up! haha

    Great post! 🙂

  37. I love that you mentioned that each person needs friends outside the relationship. I think that is one of the biggest things that will keep a relationship strong. Too many times people want one person to be everything to them and are disappointed. When we have many people in our lives, our needs can be met multiple ways by more than one person and takes the load off our loved ones.

  38. Oh Lisa, th these are great recommendations! I am not married yet but I will incorporate them in my current relationship for sure. Thanks for sharing

  39. My husband and I still don’t understand the concept that love is “work”. We have always been best friends and staying in love has always been easy. The only two things we make sure to continue to do, always, is communicate and care. We talk about everything, and we always strive to understand and care about the other person more than we care about ourselves. We haven’t worked at this a single day.

  40. What excellent tips and so true! I write about marriage and relationships, and it feels so good to hear that a lot of the things I write about are true, and must work since you’ve hit 30 years of marriage!!! That’s amazing! Total relationship goals! I never thought of the love jar idea, but I feel like I’ll have to start doing it!

  41. Congratulations on 30 years! That’s wonderful! I agree with all of these things, expecially the picnic under the stars. While we’ve never done that specifically, we frequently enjoy “date night dinners” at home. One of us will grab take out after the kids are in bed. It’s been one of our favorite things.

  42. Mirley

    How sweet! I really like the idea of a Love Jar. I’ve never heard of one before. I may need to try it.

  43. Really great tips! Congratulation on your Anniversary. I think its important to learn what your significant other enjoys doing. Loved this post.

  44. Hubby and I used to do lots of fun stuff together until our little men came along and we said goodbye to spontaneity 🙂 Now we have to plan our dates, time together around our boys. However, I think these are so practical that even we can manage to do a few. I especially love the love jar tip…I shall be implementing. Thanks for these helpful tips Lisa.

  45. You guys are definitely doing something right being together so long. If I ever find that special someone I will take all of these tips to heart. I think it important to maintain your own interests in order for any relationship to flourish and not be totally consumed with the other person. . Congrats on all of those years together and hoping you get to enjoy thirty more 🙂

  46. These are great tips. I always try and make my marriage a priority. We’ve done a love jar before, volunteered together and joined a small group. One of the other things we implemented was retaking the love languages test every 6 months – 1 year to recalibrate with each other’s changes.

  47. Alexandria

    Over the last 7 years with my relationship, I have learned to love unconditionally. & I love the idea of a love jar!