It's easy to fall in love.
We all do at one time or another.
And perhaps many others too.
But sustaining love and intimacy takes skill.
Lasting, loving, fulfilling relationships don't happen by accident or through good intentions alone.
If they did, we wouldn't see nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.
And we wouldn't see so many that stand the test of time -- often barely -- survive void of the wishes, hopes and dreams honorably exchanged when couples pledged: "I do."
After PAIRS Foundation's nearly four decades of experience with tens of thousands of couples in all stages of life and relationship, it's difficult to point to even one in which either partner had bad intentions.
That doesn't mean they weren't hurtful to each other. And it doesn't mean people always honored their vows or kept their families intact.
But it has shown two things time and again.
1.) Good intentions are a good foundation;
2.) Good intentions alone rarely lead to enduring relationships that are an ongoing source of love, happiness and fulfillment for both partners.
Sustaining marriages and other love relationships takes being able to meet each other's needs for emotional and physical closeness over a lifetime. It also takes staying a pleasure in each other's lives through all the transitions and passages that are natural part of our human experience.
The good news is that decades of research has identified practical, usable skills that boost our ability to succeed.
Our closest relationships, the foundation of health, happiness and success in life, are too precious for the trial and error approach.
Learning skills for sustaining love and intimacy doesn't mean there won't be challlenges. There will be.
It also doesn't mean that all relationships are meant to last. They aren't.
But it does mean you can give yourself the best chance of competently creating a future in which your most cherished dreams, goals and ambitions can come true.
When you think about what's most meaningful to success and happiness in life, that's priceless.