The results are in. I have learned that, after careful consideration and endless debate, The Perfect Man has finally been named: "Mr. Potato Head." Let me tell you why. He's tan. He's cute. He knows the importance of accessorizing. And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.
I don't know if Mr. or Ms. Potato Head is right for you. But I'm not a big believer in the idea that we MUST find a perfect match, anyway. There are plenty of happy people who are not paired with someone else. And there are also plenty who may not say they found Mr. or Ms. Right, but are living quite happily with Mr. Almost Right or Ms. Close Enough.
Marriage and long-term commitments may not be for everyone, but if you plan to be with someone a long time, can you stay in love? Does a lifetime relationship have to seem more like a life sentence? I think we're tempted to believe that real love is a myth, a long-term relationship is a marathon and romance is for kids. Are there secrets to staying in love? Over the long haul?
I believe in love and romance, and I know it can last a lifetime. I also believe there are a few simple things we can do to help our love grow over the years.
For one thing, find time to date. I don’t mean time to rehash the stuff you talk about all week long. Get away and talk about things that matter. Use this as time to focus on one another, not to solve problems or to raise issues. There are other times to bring up difficult subjects.
Next, understand what delights the other and make it happen. "The romance is over," says Marlys Huffman, "when you see a rosebush and start looking for aphids instead of picking a bouquet." What makes him laugh? What brings her pleasure? And what can you do today to delight each other?
Also, remember why you got together in the first place. When you focus first on his faults you're not thinking about his strengths. When you're busy pointing out her imperfections, you're not enjoying those qualities that attracted you to her initially. Choose to appreciate that which first drew you together and remember it often.
And always – plan enough time for fun. And don’t always plan times for fun -- be spontaneous. Laugh. Go places. Play.
A woman from Charleston, South Carolina was overheard to remark that it was her 53rd wedding anniversary. When asked if she planned a special celebration, she smiled and said softly, "When you have a nice man, it really doesn't matter." I suspect they learned the secrets of staying in love.
-- Steve Goodier