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In a study of nearly 100,000 couples from all over the world, researchers found that couples’ satisfaction with their sex lives tended to have something to do with specific acts of love.[1] What is so interesting to me about these results is that these acts of love are all actions anyone can take to improve their relationship.

Couples who are deeply satisfied with their sex lives:

  • Say “I love you” to their spouse every day and mean it.
  • Buy one another surprise romantic gifts.
  • Compliment their spouse often.
  • Invest time and money on romantic vacations.
  • Give one another back rubs.
  • Kiss one another passionately and for no reason at all.
  • Show affection in public (handholding, kissing, caressing).
  • Cuddle with one another almost every day. (Only 6 percent of the non-cuddlers claimed they had great sex lives.)
  • Have romantic dates once a week that may include lovemaking.
  • Make having sex a priority and learn to talk comfortably with each other about it.

What’s remarkable about all these acts is that they are simple and provide connection with your spouse. Rekindling romance isn’t as hard as we make it sound. It is accomplished with baby steps and experiencing something fresh in our relationship almost immediately. Yes, there are hindrances and we bring brokenness to a relationship, but healing and intimacy are ours if we invest the time and energy.

I love the story I heard about a woman from Houston, Texas, whose husband had recently passed away. She lovingly remembered that every Valentine’s Day for the forty-six years of their marriage, her husband had bought her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. A few months after his death, on Valentine’s Day she was shocked to receive the most gorgeous floral bouquet addressed to her from her husband. She was sure the florist had made a mistake, and it made her angry and heartbroken. Frustrated, she called the florist. The florist said, “no, ma’am, this was not a mistake. Before your husband passed away, he prepaid for many years and asked us to guarantee that you would continue to receive a bouquet every year on Valentine’s Day.” The attached card read, “My love for you is eternal.”

I’ll bet that husband chose to have a good marriage.

[1] Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, and Jame Witte, The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal about Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship (New York: Harmony Books, 2012).