As couples get older and grow in their marriage, they have to work a little harder to keep that youthful vibrancy around. I’m not talking about dressing like a teenager, but thinking and feeling younger than your age might reveal. For example, don’t focus all your conversations around what ails you. Even though your body may start to break down as you age, you don’t have to share the details with your spouse each day. I‘m not suggesting you should hide or refrain from addressing health issues, but don’t keep reminding your spouse how old you are getting.
I was watching an Everybody Loves Raymond rerun recently and Ray’s dad had embraced one of Ray and Debra’s children with a hug. Then he took a big whiff of the child’s head and said, “Ah, the smell of youth.”
I agree there is a smell to youth. Think about infants. There is definitely an odor associated with them, but I’m not sure you want to emulate it. A new fragrance emerges in elementary school students around the fourth or fifth grade, but again it’s not pretty. In the teenage years, youths start experimenting with perfumes and cologne and the smell gets a little sweeter.
But the aroma I’m referring to is not necessarily found through the nasal passages, but the scent of youth has more to do with attitude, energy, and creativity.
What is your attitude toward your spouse and marriage? Is it a tiresome, we’ve known each other so long, kind of mantra or is it a wow; I’m so unbelievably lucky, and I love spending time together? It’s really your choice how you view your marriage. Remember as a youth how you felt when you saw your crush—that guy or gal that caused butterflies to take flight in your stomach? Recreate that time again. Do something reminiscent of those days whether it’s a picnic in the park, a walk along the beach, or going to an amusement park where gravity causes an unexpected closeness as you dive to the depths of a rockin’ roller coaster.
Boost your energy by making sure you get plenty of exercise, especially those days when you don’t feel like it, which may happen more frequently as you age. Instead of grabbing a candy bar, grab your spouse and exercise together. Get out of the house, enjoy life, and be around people. That’s the smell of youth.
Finally, get creative in your relationship. As the years go by, it’s not unusual to slow down, stick with comfortable habits, and just assume your relationship will continue down a familiar path. But that’s where you’re mistaken. In order to keep your marriage strong and vivacious, you need to throw in a curve or detour and take the relationship in a new direction. It can be as simple as trying new recipes or surprising the love of your life by putting life in your love. Exercise your creativity muscle and start building an even greater marriage.
Renew the smell of youth in your relationship, not only by keeping mints in your pocket, but by exploring youthful pursuits.