Cupid's Pulse Article: Five Secrets Truly Happy Couples KnowCupid's Pulse Article: Five Secrets Truly Happy Couples Know

By Lesli Doares

Reality shows focus on hooking up, finding a spouse and the wedding. Movies and books end at the beginning of a couples’ life together or as the relationship is ending in divorce.  There is very little focus on the time married. Ben Affleck got in trouble at the Oscars when he publicly thanked his wife, Jennifer Garner, and the work their marriage has been for the last ten years. Wow, who wants to sign up for that? So, how does any couple keep their marriage healthy and happy over the years?

Five simple rules to keep you in love through the years:

1.  Give at least one genuine compliment each day to your partner about something that matters to them.  It will make them feel noticed, appreciated and loved.  Having it be important to them really lets them know you are paying attention.

Related: Top 3 Things a Couple Can Do to Combat the Top Risk Factors and Save a Marriage

2.  Spend at least 30 minutes of quality, one on one, time together each day. This allows you to get past the relationship killing exchange of information and tune in to what is happening in each other’s lives at a more intimate level.

3.  Continue to date.  The two of you fell in love by spending time together and having fun.  Once the routine of day-to-day life with work, kids and chores goes on for a few years, it’s easy to lose track of that.  Having regular dates, where the purpose is to have fun and reconnect, not analyze the relationship or discuss issues, keeps the spark alive.

4.  Go to bed at the same time.  Shut down the technology, turn off the television, forget about the never finished housework and spend some quiet time together.  Keeping different schedules makes connecting physically much more difficult and that is not good for long term happiness.

5.  Change up your sex life.  Get out of the “it’s Tuesday, you know what that means” routine.  Spice things up by trying different times, places and activities.  Have fun figuring out how to outsmart the kids in finding private time.  Don’t make it so hard that you just give up.

Related: The New Dating Game

Each of these rules builds from the one above and each one deals with an aspect of intimacy.  Truly successful couples follow them diligently and that’s how they stay out of the headlines.

Lesli Doares is a marriage consultant/coach and the author of “Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage:  How to Create Your Happily Ever After with More Intention, Less Work”.  Find her real and practical relationship advice at  She tweets @LesliDoares.