Love Habits


When we first started dating, Erich and I were lovey-dovey, sappy, and rom-com worthy. He walked me everywhere, picked flowers to put in my hair while whispering dorky nothings, and left me the cutest love notes. My favorite: “Dear Bailey, I like you a lot. From, Erich.” (The from gets me every time.) I wrote him love letters when we were apart and listed 5 “Reese-sons” I loved him on the back of a Reese’s pack. (He just ate the Reese’s a couple weeks okay. Flowers wilt. Preservatives last forever. Buy candy.)

Now we’re old and lethargic and can’t think of cute things to say because we exhausted them all three months into dating. We tend to walk around saying, “I love you!” at various decibels: “I love you.” “I LOVE YOU!” “I love youuuuuu.” These are the top three words in our household, and they convey everything from, “I’m hungry” to “I’m bored” to “I’m sleepy; let’s cuddle,” depending on our inflections.

But when we got married, I noticed we rarely said those words at the end of the night or before getting up — the good night and good morning kiss — the kiss every successfully married couple employs. So I instituted love habits — things we train ourselves to do to show love even when we aren’t feeling loving, hungry, bored, or sleepy.

Our most followed love habit is kissing each other good night and good morning. The second is giving each other our full attention when the other person is speaking. We’re both lost in our own worlds, I about justice, theology, and emotions, he about rocks, video games, and Hamilton lyrics, so when I start talking about my emotions, he’s still thinking about the Immortals’ loss to TSM (League of Legends, anyone?). We’re not tracking. I’m the worst at this. I’ll say, “Uh huh,” maybe even ask a question, but all I hear are syllables and technical terms I don’t know. Once he stops talking, I’ll look up and say, “Wait, what? Can you start over?” And the process repeats itself until I say, “That’s awesome!” and fake, to both of us, that I was listening.

I’ve had this problem since I was a kid.

With our “love habit talk,” we made focusing on each other’s words a priority. Now, whenever the other person opens his or her mouth, the other stops, looks at the talking spouse, fully engages with what that person is saying, and then we drift back into our separate worlds. And a few minutes later, somebody shouts, “I LOVE YOU.”

These are our two love habits that we actually keep. Do you have any love habits that stuck with you and your SO?

// More on introvert marriage and more on #stegersrus marriage

PC: Elena Marie’s Photography

6 thoughts on “Love Habits

  1. 2hiddenminds

    Amazing post. I hate that complacency is a common place in relationships. However… I adore the ones who realizes that it’s a life time of work & are willing to put in the work. My fiancé lives by love habits. Kisses when he wakes up. I love you’s before he walks out the door. How’s work during the day. I’m the one who needs the to work on it (and I’m a woman) you would think it would come more naturally to me. But this post was a beautiful reminder of what I need to be working on


  2. Ruxee

    Good post, Bailey!

    As for ourselves, I don’t think we ever stated them as habits, but they just formed as such, shaped by loooong years of long-distance relationship.
    – We definitely have the good-morning and good-night kiss. Awesome one – the good-night one actually stopped me several times from going to bed upset with him.
    – Then we have the “read at least one page of a book together before falling asleep” – due to my love for reading and his lack of it (I make up with trying to play chess with him – his favourite procrastination tool).
    – And there’s also the daily “us time” – at least half an hour set apart for talking random stuff, completely focused on each other – we usually end up laughing our hearts out.

    And I think there are certainly some more, but nothing comes to mind now. :)
    Btw, happy one-month anniversary for tomorrow!


  3. Korie

    I talk a lot. I don’t think my husband can listen to everything I say, sometimes. So when I start chattering on, he’ll say something like, “Do you need 100% right now?” And most of the times, I don’t. Most of the time, when I’m chattering on about which ikea couch I should buy for the house we don’t even own, 80% attention is just fine. And, in turn, I know to request 100% if I want him to listen to me, instead of getting annoyed when he doesn’t.

    I think my favorite love habit of ours is “morning cuddles.” Kiddo is usually still sleeping. I’m not ready to actually wake up yet…it’s a good way to start the day.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s