1. Make time for dates! And enjoy being dated by each other. Because that’s the only person you get to date for the rest of your life.
2. Learn to make just a few seriously delicious meals. Your spouse will realize that he would literally starve by himself. Or, he’ll realize that he won’t subsist on McDonald’s alone. And he will never ever consider being without you.
3. Build an arsenal of inside jokes (lame jokes, tasteful jokes, distasteful jokes, etc.) to have at your disposal. Always be adding to it. It seriously helps to not take yourselves too seriously. It also helps to bust out the Elaine dance whenever the situation calls for it.
4. Be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. If your person tells you they want to become a fireman, buy a motorcycle, sell their motorcycle, take on ANOTHER internship, start a blog, set a record for buffalo wing-eating, etc., help your person make it happen. I’ve been blessed to have parents who told me I could be anything/do anything and I’m even more blessed to have a spouse who shares that same attitude.
5. Say please and thank you. Say it nicely. And mean it.
6. If you’re prepared (and FYI, no one is prepared), consider having a mini-me. The weird thing about parenthood is that it turns you into a mushy pile of goo and also toughens you up at the same time. Watching the person you love transform into a doting parent is literally something that will make you weak in the knees all over again.
7. Always be thinking of each other. For us, sometimes it means texting and calling throughout the day. It also means making a pot of coffee in the morning, even if you aren’t the one who is going to drink it. It means brushing the snow off your spouse’s car before she wakes up. Things like that.
8. Say what’s bothering you. Say it nicely (as possible). Say I’m sorry (when you are, in fact, sorry), and mean it.
9. Do stuff together besides watch TV. (And let me tell you, we enjoy our TV. But we also currently enjoy long walks, scaling the playground with Cece, taking our dogs to the park,
eating competitively, digging in our yard, taking many trips to Home Depot, etc.)
10. Realize that the good ol’ days are happening right now. Savor them and don’t take them for granted.