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Go Retro: 12 Tips for a Happy Marriage

Tried-and-true strategies you can borrow from your parents' marriage to enhance your own.
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Retro Relationship Tip No. 5: Look Sharp

How did June Cleaver do it? She always looked impeccable when serving dinner to Ward and the kids.

Les Parrott, PhD, and professor of psychology at Seattle Pacific University, says you can inspire romance by dressing up for the occasion. "With our hectic schedules, it's tempting to resort to sweatpants all weekend or immediately changing into a ratty T-shirt after work. Instead, dress up the next time you and your spouse have dinner or plan a night out. Wearing a beautiful dress or a button-down shirt and slacks will be unexpected and make your partner feel special that you took the extra time to look nice. Taking time with your appearance inspires romance and shows your partner you care."

Rhonda Fine, PhD, a board-certified sexologist at the MIAMI Institute, agrees. She tells WebMD via email, "Never let yourself go. Look your best as often as possible -- it will make your partner feel loved and proud."

Retro Relationship Tip No. 6: Don't Go to Bed Angry

Jackie Gleason may have wanted to "send Alice to the moon," but the Honeymooners settled their quarrels before turning in for the night.

The long-married Leeds are proponents of this wisdom. Even if you can't resolve a disagreement before you hit the sheets, you can agree to let the anger go for the night. Remind each other how lucky you are -- even as you disagree -- to have each other to disagree with.

"From the very beginning we decided that we didn't want to go to bed angry," Gerard Leeds writes. "And we seldom go to sleep without kissing each other good night."

Retro Relationship Tip No. 7: Hit the Dance Floor

Ever notice how blissful couples look as they are twirling across the dance floor, entwined in each other's arms like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers?

There is a language of leading and yielding that dance teaches. Paul Bolotovsky is the owner of the Manhattan-based Nightclub Dance Series, an instructional dance series that teaches men and women how to dance in nightclubs. He says that putting on your dancing shoes can put the sizzle back into a relationship that has fizzled.

"The old days of ballroom dancing and swing have a lot to offer today's couples," he tells WebMD in an email interview. "The touch, teamwork, energy, music, anticipation, and companionship are all wonderful byproducts after a night of dancing." Don't fret if you have two left feet; even "contemporary" dancing" is a way to spend fun time together.

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