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How to avoid a mediocre marriage (including why a 10-second make-out session is so important)
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Extraordinary, mind-boggling, knock-your-socks-off love is so, so, so, so possible! It just requires a commitment to be curious, explore, be kind, and be a little creative every day. - photo by Nate Bagley
Over the last 3 years, Ive interviewed hundreds of couples who are madly in love with each other.

The stories Ive collected would blow your mind but more important than the stories, are the lessons Ive learned from these couples about how to create the kind of extraordinary, passionate, lasting love that most of us yearn for.

Some of these tips can be found in my recent TEDx Talk (embedded at the top of the page) which you should watch before reading the rest of this article:

Say No to Awesome Things

Jay and Laura have criss-crossed the country with their family to pursue Jays career for over 20 years. When my friend Melissa and I arrived at their house to interview them, they were getting ready to move again but this time it wasnt for Jays career.

He had just turned down an incredible job offer with a really great salary because he knew that his family and his relationship with his wife were more important than work.

So, they sold their gorgeous house on the coast of Northern California, bought a camper trailer, and spent the last several years road tripping across the country and training for ultra-marathons as a couple.

One of the most important lessons I learned from Jay and Laura is that its ok to say no to truly incredible things if they dont align with whats most important to you.

The 1-10 Rule

Rich and Michelle met each other in Alcoholics Anonymous while going through the 12 Step Program.

The 12 Steps have become a strong foundation for their relationship, and has helped them navigate difficult times in their relationship. And aside from the 12 steps, theyve also come up with a few helpful tools of their own.

Whenever they have a conflict theyre having trouble resolving (relationship experts over at The Gottman Institute say that 69% of conflict in romantic relationships is unresolvable), Rich and Michelle each take a moment to rate on a scale from 1-10 how important the issue is to them personally.

The person with the lower number finds a way to make a compromise so that the conflict can be resolved.

Some people balk at this system, and say, You could just say 10 every time and win every argument!

I said the same thing.

But Rich and Michelle care for each other too much to lie and just get their way. This system of resolving conflict helps them understand how important something is to their partner and why. Its a system based on honesty, respect, and love. The reason it works so well for them is because they respect the process and they respect each other.

Make Out for 10 Seconds or Longer Every Day

My good friends Liz and Ryan vowed to never become the passionless couple who seem to live more like glorified roommates than husband and wife.

One of the commitments they have made to keep the passion alive and vibrant in their relationship is to make out for a minimum of 10 seconds every day

Life gets busy and pulls us in a million different directions. Its easy to let the little things go.

But when Ryan and Liz make it a priority to pin each other against a wall and share a good, passionate kiss that makes their toes curl and their ears tingle, they are adding another line of defense against boring, mediocre, passionless love.

Dont Settle for Mediocre Love

Average love is easy to come by.

It surrounds us every day.

Mediocre love is created by impatience, busy schedules, broken promises, and missed opportunities to display love.

Extraordinary, mind-boggling, knock-your-socks-off love is so, so, so, so possible! It just requires a commitment to be curious, patient, invested, kind, and a little creative every day.

I hope the tips in this article (and the awesome tips in the video) give you some ideas of how you can make your love more epic, and more your own.

Finally, share your own ideas to create amazing, lasting love using the hashtag #epiclove!