Beginnings with a smile are legendary: When two people first meet, they instantly click and fall in love. There are so many aspirations for a wonderful life together. Some people do go on to fulfill their dreams. The reality of daily obligations, unspoken resentments, busy schedules, varying needs for alone time or social interaction, growing distance, and crushing disappointment cause other love relationships to fall apart. The idea that love is a magical thing that just happens (or doesn’t) and requires little, if any, upkeep is a significant contributor to relationships ending prematurely. The truth is that relationships require a lot of tender loving care over the years, whether they are romantic or long-term, loving friendships. It’s outrageously false to say that love entails never having to apologize, as stated in the classic Love Story line. When you’re in a loving relationship, you frequently apologize. You might be expressing regret for a misplaced task, a careless remark, or a miscommunication. You might be showing sympathy for a partner’s or a friend’s bad day, setback in their career, loss in their personal life, or disappointment. Making an apology instead of an excuse can mean a lot. The same goes for paying attention to and demonstrating empathy for your partner’s sorrow over an issue that might not directly affect you. Even when you share a home, staying in touch is not always easy. Every day, check in with one another. Despite your insanely busy schedules, make time for alone time with each other. One couple I met some time ago, who both worked and had a blended family of six kids, would have coffee alone for 30 minutes every evening after dinner. Children were taught not to interrupt. Despite having so many duties between them, this made the couple feel in sync.