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So you think you’re in love. It’s that feeling in your chest, right? Those sparks that fly whenever you look at your partner? The need to be with them every single day? Perhaps this is correct. After all, this infatuation is what romance novels describe as love. It’s when you see someone and instantly know that they are the one for you. That’s what we’re taught anyways. Then those feelings begin to fade and you realize that their cute laugh is obnoxious and their messy tendencies are actually slobbish. Everything that made them beautiful is now, well, annoying.
To say that love is just a feeling is a high schooler's way of looking at it. Love is not only a feeling, it’s a choice. You choose a person, and you find the good in them, and you either let the good go sour or you keep it alive. That’s the challenge. After a few months, the feelings are going to fizzle, and it’s a choice to keep them alive. But how do you do that?
Well, remember those things you used to do when you first met? The times when you would take each other places just because you could? Go on dates. They don’t have to be expensive or lavish, but take time away from home to be with each other. Break your routine. Have a picnic in the park, grab fast food and watch a sunset, and do some stupid tourist thing you’ve always wanted to do. You’ll be amazed how much there is to discover about your partner once you get away from usual. Which brings me to my next point…
Never assume that you know everything about your partner, and pay attention to the little things. People are wild creatures who change and grow and can surprise you. They are spontaneous and there’s always something to discover about them. Remember your partner's favorite things. Their favorite color and food. Their favorite place and time of year. Always be open to learning new things about them as well. You can never know everything about a person, and everyone forgets things. So when they tell you a story, listen and learn something new.
Get each other gifts. Don’t wait for special occasions to write a card with an “I love you.” Don’t hesitate to buy those flowers that made you think of them. These little reminders can be so incredibly important to a person. They can make a day turn from sour to oh-so-sweet. Romance doesn’t have to be on a set schedule, it can be any time you think of them. If you can’t give them gifts in person because of work schedules and school things, then these little gifts can be even more important. They’re reminders that the love is still there, and that your partner is still very much wanted. It can make all the difference in a relationship.
Do the chores together. Throw on some music and dance to it while cleaning. Have fun with it. No one actually likes doing chores, but they can be enjoyable if you choose to make them so. Don’t try to skimp on it, work together. Sing at the top of your lungs while vacuuming. Make them smile while drying the dishes. Disney tends to work best in this situation, but you can listen to whatever music you want. Instead of chores, it’s a cleaning party for two. Because if you can enjoy that together, then you two can survive anything.
In the end, even with all these little things you can do, don’t forget to choose to love your partner. When they make you angry, choose to talk instead of yelling. Choose to make them smile, choose to love the way they laugh, choose them. You are your own person, but you are together, and you need to choose for the both of you. There is no quick fix, and it’s not always easy, but when you wake up in the morning next to them and get to see the sun tumbling across their cheeks, you’ll know that you made the right choice.