The world seems abundant with images of “new love” and the excitement, authenticity and giddiness of humans as they gently/kindly/giddily create new lives together.

Need I mention the new royal couple?

I (Carol is typing here) was trying to discern my simultaneous lack-of-interest in the big event (no, I would never miss sleep to watch it live) and my sheer, child-like, warm-hearted enjoyment in the images of the couple strolling about the palace hand-in-hand (probably my favorite moment of the entire “event”) before they escaped to enjoy some very private time together. I also was captured by the sweet whispers they shared throughout their big day (even as they walked down the aisle .. and stood above the throngs of well-wishes), the content of which no one but them will ever know. It’s just, well, sweet! It’s the sights and sounds of “new love” … fresh, fluttery, fantastic, ENERGETIC! Ah, if only we could all have a little dose. At least once a year or ten.

I witnessed the same giddy goodness today as a student of mine told me today – in radiant speech with a visible glow about her entire being – about her engagement this past weekend. My cheeks hurt as I smiled so wide I thought I might bust. It was pure, sincere enjoyment witnessing her telling and experiencing of “new love!” Ah … it’s so, well, darn sweet! And lovely. And magical. Ah, I want a sip!

And then it dawned on me why the “new love” capsule is so intriguing to me lately … someone who is about to celebrate 20 years of marriage to my still-lovely groom.

I think it has to do with what researchers find and therapists suggest to couples who seek to “renew” and “refresh” (read: find a little “new love” flutter in their “older love” flatness). What is it? Tell! Please, already.

The rather simple suggestion: Do something NOVEL together. New. Something you’ve not done before.

Gasp. Isn’t that the antithesis of ritual?

Well, yes, rituals (the familiar) are the essence of What Happy Couples Do. But equally important, especially to reignite some novel-fluttery (the glow) in your relationship, is something not-all-that-novel: NEWness. Together. Novelty in your patterns. And in fact, it’s something rituals can indeed embrace and encourage.

Now, take note: the something “new” should be something you both at least sort of want to do. But no matter the form, it will – no question – create new opportunities for conversation, endorphins, perspectives, and … well … fresh energy between and within your couple.

I have to say: I think it’s working in my own marriage lately. And all thanks for a sweaty room full of scantily clad people. For about a year or two I’ve been urging my dear spouse to try hot yoga. Finally: he’s headstanding, side-crowing, and chatarangua-ing with the best of them … and on the mat right new to me. No birds-of-paradise yet … but it leaves something to which we, old married people, can look forward to. Ommmm.

For more on what researchers know makes for happy couples, get yourself a copy of one of my favorite new “sources” (a book written for a lay audience; you’ll love it): Tara Parker-Pope’s “For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage.”

And three cheers for love … whatever the age!

(No, the images below are NOT of me and my guy … but hey, goals are good, eh?)

For more photos like these – their source – check out