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Even though I've been married only once, my marriage really is a second time around. Before meeting him, I had a long-term relationship – the kind where everyone, including myself, saw marriage as a formality to make official what was already there. This relationship taught me much, but two things still stand out for me today, that I think apply to everyone and every relationship:  

•It is essential to take care of yourself as an individual, or you risk losing your identity in the relationship.  

•It is just as important to nurture the relationship and make sure that living together doesn't become routine, and romance is lost.  

calendar

You are probably thinking that you know it, or learned the very same lesson with your failed first time. But you meet that second special person, you live together, life gets busy, people around you need your support and help, and one day you realize that you haven't done something for yourself, or just the two of you, in several months...  

The only foolproof way I know to avoid this is very unromantic and most definitely not spontaneous: schedule romance and time for yourself in your calendar. It however works superbly well.

Take your calendar – yes, right now – and write in (no penciling in, please) regular times for you to do something that reminds you of who you are as a unique, just-you person: indulge in an activity you love; have a girls night out; go to a museum, especially if you are an art lover and your significant other isn't; walk in nature; take a class in a topic you are interested in, or a new language.

Tonight, sit down with your significant other and decide on a time reserved for just the two of you. Some couples book every Friday night, others reserve a half day a month, because that's all they can muster. Then use this time to do things together, just the two of you.  

Isn't it wonderful how simple calendar entries can make such a difference in your life and your relationship the second time around?



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