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What are the tricks to a happy marriage?

        Science | Emotions

Keep the Romance Alive
A candlelit dinner at home is an easy way to keep the romance alive.
A candlelit dinner at home is an easy way to keep the romance alive.
© iStockphoto.com/sandoclr

The idea of trying to keep the romance alive may bring to mind awkward trips through the lingerie section or desperately lonely housewives answering the door in plastic wrap. However, keeping the romance alive can be as simple as remembering to pick up your wife's favorite cereal at the store or making the munchies for your husband's marathon football watching session without complaint.

In keeping the romance alive, you're attempting to remind your spouse that he or she is still worth the time and energy that you devoted at the beginning of your courtship. Chances are, when you began dating, there were lots of extra-long grooming sessions in an attempt to impress, special care paid to the activities of the evening and heartfelt concern about whether the other party was having a good time. While we're not saying that it's sustainable to maintain that kind of lifestyle, it's important to show that those feelings are still there, the feelings that make you want to check your breath twice before going in for a kiss. After all, no one likes to feel that they're taken for granted.

Romance can mean anything from romantic dinners to expensive jewelry to flowers presented for no reason at all. Even in rough economic times, though, there's no excuse to shirk on romance. Try leaving little love notes around the house, calling to say "I love you" in the middle of the day or even agreeing to simple favors like picking up the kids from school or leaving the toilet seat in the desired position. Your definition of romance can change as your relationship does, but it should always be part of the picture.