# Pay attention
Finally, try to be the kind of person she would want to be with. Staying in shape, engaging her on emotional and intellectual levels and helping out are all tangible ways to let her know that she matters to you.
I would add these:
# being clean
# having a sense of purpose
Girls might add:
# no really bad habits, e.g. drugs
Adele Horin, in the SMH, August 14 2002 said:
# Happy couples around the world were the ones who tended to put their relationship first. They had a strong sense of being a couple, while retaining their own identity. They looked after each other.
# Each partner compromised and adapted to please the other and was prepared to give more than they received. They were the president of each other's fan club.
# These marriages took effort and ongoing maintenance, but the couples did not regard it as a hard slog. Rather, they brought an attitude of goodwill to the compromises required.
# How couples handled inevitable conflicts was also crucial. Criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling spelt death for a marriage. Humour could defuse conflict and salve wounded egos.
# Couples married for 40 and 50 years worried that young people did not have the commitment needed to carry them through the hard times.
The themes which keep coming through, as far as I can see are working hard to keep the thing going,wanting to keep the thing going and perhaps the hardest - being reasonable to the other.