Creating the Greatest Love Story Ever

Three basic practices you need to know

It's easy to be fascinated by other people's love affairs and desire to have what they have, especially if the relationship is intense, happy, and seemingly problem-free. These great love stories epitomize an ideal that everyone would love to attain.

However, keep in mind that you are seeing only the public image of the relationship. You don't see the work that goes on behind closed doors. All relationships take effort to be successful, especially great love stories.

Would you like to make your relationship the greatest love story ever? Of course you would; everyone would. If you would, just keep reading along and learn how to do it. Before you know it, you will be transforming your good relationship into a great one.

Learn from Happy Couples
The best way to learn about how to have the greatest love story ever is to listen to how other happy couples do it. All you have to do is ask or read about happy couples, and you will learn the tricks. For instance, in the book "The 30 Secrets of Happily Married Couples," author Paul Coleman tells how happy couples stay happy. His findings are based on many research studies on marital happiness. Basically, his 30 secrets can be summarized into three main goals that all couples should have:

  • Practice good communication. Communication skills include considering the part you play in the problem, trying not to be defensive, and seeing the issue from your partner's perspective.
  • Have realistic expectations for a long relationship. Realize that change involves ups and downs and appreciate the effect that major changes, such as having children, will have on your relationship.
  • Make time for each other. Make regular dates, have fun together, and take every opportunity to be affectionate.

These three goals sound like such a simple recipe for living happily ever after, but they require something that many people forget: daily commitment.

Daily Commitment Is a Privilege
How many times have you heard someone say any of the following: "I have to remember to get her a card," "I must buy him a present," "I should take her out for dinner," or "I need to call him"? Couples commonly say these phrases. Having the greatest love story ever is not built on things you "have to do." Rather,it's based on feeling privileged to be able to do them. This difference in perception is the difference between a happy couple and a super-happy couple.

Building the greatest love story ever is work that is never complete. Love is a living, breathing thing that requires daily attention to keep it alive. Just remember, if you put in the minimum work, it will be reflected in the degree of happiness and satisfaction you feel in your relationship. If you put in 100 percent, you will have a relationship that gives you 100 percent fulfillment. This is the kind of relationship others admire and strive for. Taking part in the greatest love story ever requires a ifetime of privileged work--and what an honor that is to take on!

Nancy Fagan, M.S., is author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Romance and Desirable Men: How to Find Them. To read more, visit ExpertLoveAdvice.com.

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