Keep doing what you did to win your soulmate in the first place

It’s easy to stop doing the things you did to win your love in the first place. Don’t!

This is what greeted me when I looked in the mirror this morning.

Colleen was up early, working at Mayo Clinic today. I was up super late writing last night.

Imagine what it felt like to find this note when I stumbled out of bed.

Date Night in the Hospital
Dressing up for Date Night when Colleen was in the hospital.

It’s Wednesday. For over 40 years, Colleen and I have preserved Wednesdays as date nights. Through parenthood, through work transitions, through cancer. We have always kept one evening a week to rekindle the magic we felt on our first dates.

I still call her for no reason, except to say “I love you.” Those three words are the first things we say to each other every morning and the last three we say before we go to bed.

Even when I’m working late (which has been often lately), I take a break when she comes in to say goodnight.. to remember why we do all the inconvenient things, why we try to find a shred of patience with one another when there doesn’t feel like we have any left, why we’ve made decisions that benefit the team over the individual.

I have never forgotten how lucky I was to find a soulmate so in tune with what really matters.

We often joke that there is a lot we don’t have in common. We came to the partnership as two unique individuals. But for over four decades, we’ve been totally in sync with the most important things: family first, support your partner, call bullshit, never go to bed angry, keep doing the things we did to build our love in the first place.

These values aren’t always popular. But if you want to make a relationship last, they are essential.