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My private clients often ask me about what makes a relationship work, so I decided to share 3 things I have learned in my own marriage:

1. A relationship is either growing or dying—
it does not stay the same. By making our relationship our top priority, it grows consistently, e.g., we spend time together (like going out on dates, getaways and simply making time to sit down and talk) and we share passions, like skiing/snowboarding, rollerblading, dancing and boating. When I asked my husband about the top things he appreciates about me (by the way, it’s a great question to ask your man as a way to remind him how awesome you’re – but don’t forget to reciprocate!), one of his answers was, “Your devotion to growing our relationship.”

2. A growing relationship always has the element of mystery and discovery.
Just like in dating, when you leave a man wanting more, the same applies in a relationship. Do not become an “open book.” Keep your own interests, a circle of close girlfriends and make time for yourself. My husband and I continue to surprise each other with aspects of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. For example, he caught me by surprise recently when he called to invite me for a special lunch, even though he has work that accumulated during our recent getaway.

3. Keep alive an Attitude of Gratitude. The foundation for growing a relationship is based on deep gratitude and appreciation for your partner. You can’t be upset, angry and resentful at him and, at the same time, feel gratitude for his being in your life. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for years and write down what I am grateful for about my husband every day. Sometimes the gratitude I feel for him is so deep that it brings me to tears.

I constantly see couples who don’t realize these 3 simple yet powerful principles that can make or break a relationship.

As you date and get into a committed relationship with the right man, keep these 3 keys in mind so that you can enjoy the kind of relationship you want for a long time, maybe even a lifetime!