During a rough patch, well-meaning friends and family may offer up the cliché advice, “Think about why you fell in love in the first place.” Well, clichés usually exist because there is at least a grain of truth to them!

As an experienced Houston relationship counselor, I can assure you that there’s a silo-full of truth ready to feed your relationship in this old adage.

When you’re in it for the long haul, life happens. It’s not always easy to view every experience through rose-colored glasses. But spending time revisiting your past together is important, and here’s why:

Science says so!

Here are a few ways to take a walk down memory lane as a couple.

Recreate Your Favorite Experiences Together

Try reincorporating some of your favorite experiences back when your love was fresh and new.

Think about the activities you’ve inadvertently left behind. Rekindle the romance by re-creating your favorite evenings for your monthly date night – maybe you both loved to dance until closing time or used to enjoy flight after flight of craft beer or wine.

Remember Your Favorite Times Together

If life is too hectic at this very moment, don’t fret. Research has proven the brain has difficulty discerning between what is real and what is imagined.

So, whether you’re re-living your favorite date night or simply taking a few minutes to reflect on an experience from that magical time when you were each the most important thing in the other’s life, your brain gifts you both a little serotonin boost.  

Reframe Past Experiences Together

You and your life partner are bound to have been thrown a curve ball or two, as well. At the time, neither one of you thought the situation was funny. But take some time to look back.

It may be a laughable moment now, and apart from exercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release. Thinking back to some of our most challenging moments together and reminding one another of your small victories ultimately strengthens your relationship, as well.

You’ll Both Be Happier for It

One recent study suggests that savoring happy memories or reframing painful past experiences can even increase your overall satisfaction with life. And anyone can attest to the difference between spending time with someone who seems satisfied with life and someone who doesn’t.   

Growing and changing over time is inevitable to the human experience. And when you’ve committed to a long-term relationship, you each have the choice whether to grow together – or grow apart.

If you and your partner are interested in keeping your commitment, then start the New Year right by revisiting your past together. Try to find a way to draw that sense of kindness and compassion, that eagerness to impress one another, out of your past and infuse it back into your future.

What have you got to lose?