Here’s my one piece of advice to young couples: “There are two rules for every happy marriage: (1) The man must never, ever stop courting her, even when they’ve grown old together, and (2) the woman must never, ever allow the man to stop courting her.”

Following those two rules alone takes care of almost all the 22 listed in your article. Flowers, kisses, sweet nothings alone and in public, always being there for her when she needs, being her defender and promoter and her one-man cheerleading squad, giving her the type of love and relationship that others wish they could have…the single most common mistake men make is to think that now they’re married, that they don’t have to try so hard to woo her.

The wooing must never stop. And women need to make sure that men (since we are generally less intelligent when it comes to matters of the heart) understand that.

What’s my qualification for making such a claim? My wife and I have been newlyweds for 27 years. True love is very, very rare, but it’s real. It’s the realest thing I know, because we’ve got it. We’ve got that brass ring on the merry-go-round of love, and not all the money in the world could possibly replace it.

But you have to want it, and be willing to work on it every day for the rest of your life. It’s so very worth the effort.

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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