Based on their experiences, here are some how to make love last tips.
Globetrotting mantra music superstars Deva Premal & Miten are the poster-child couple for the kind of love that lasts. The couple has been together nearly 24/7 for 25 years, ever since they became friends and lovers at an ashram in Pune, India. ABC once described them “a couple that exudes love and peace,” and if you’ve ever been to one of their concerts or listened to their albums, you’ve probably felt that firsthand. I asked Deva Premal & Miten’s for their best how-to-make-love-last tips, based on their own experiences, and here’s what they said.
Chant mantras together
As Miten observes, “I’ve heard of a tribe—I think in New Zealand—where the custom is that, to be married, you have to be able to sing together. If we can sing together, in harmony, there is a good chance that our marriage will be harmonious, too.”
“For Deva and I, every time we sing mantras together it is bonding, communion,” he continues. “The foundation of our love affair is chanting these ancient healing sounds. Our hearts open, our breathing synchronizes…and love descends,” says Miten.
There’s some science to back this up. Researchers at the University of Oxford have found that singing together helps us form fast bonds with each other. And a small, preliminary study conducted at the University of Gothenburg found that our heart rates may synchronize when we sing mantras and hymns together, which as science-of-singing expert Stacy Horn observes in an article for Time, could explain “why singing together sometimes feels like a guided group meditation.”
Miten suggests commit to a regular chanting practice with your partner. Chant a mantra together every night before you go to sleep, “then savor the peace that pervades the room once the chant is over.” There are all sorts of resources for learning about mantras, he says, ranging from mantra music albums to the 21 Day Mantra Meditation programs that he and Deva have shared with over 200,000 people around the globe.
Give each other freedom (and love)
During their time with their guru in India, says Deva, she developed the feeling that “a healthy relationship comes from a space of freedom and love.” As much as you can, she suggests, “let [your partner] live their own life.”
Relationship experts agree that having enough physical and emotional space to be yourself is a basic human need. And when each partner is focused on becoming a whole, healthy person, your relationship can only benefit.
Don’t hold grudges
Like most couples, Deva Premal & Miten have disagreements. But according to Deva, they don’t last long. “We meet the issue head on with honesty, respect, and humor. We hear each other’s point of view and focus on positive energy.” Because ultimately, she says, “We both know that we love each other. If you can tune into the love that’s underneath, the superficial stuff on top is not so important. It’s ego stuff. Before we know it, the storm has blown over, and we’re laughing again.”
Need some more inspiration? According to a scientific literature review published in the journal Family Relations, studies show that forgiveness is important to our physical health, our mental health, and the health of our intimate relationships (especially marital ones).
Don’t focus on forever
Deva grew up without having any adult role models whose marriages lasted a lifetime (including her parents’), so she’s never put that kind of pressure on her relationship with Miten. Plus, there’s a 23-year age difference between them. “That makes us appreciate every moment,” she says, “because we have no idea how long we have together.”
Miten agrees. “So far, it’s been 25 years, but it could be over tomorrow, and if it is, we’ll get down on our knees and thank each other for the most amazing times we could have ever imagined in our lives.”
Becoming less focused on “forever” is an intriguing idea—and, perhaps, why the term “conscious uncoupling” has become popular in recent years, thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin’s public announcement on their own positive, friendship-centric change in “relationship status” back in 2014. For Deva and Miten, their nonattachment approach has brought more love and intimacy into their relationship.
Respect (and support) each other’s spiritual journey
Reflecting on his relationship with Deva, Miten says, “As a couple, spirituality is our number one priority.” The couple does a body-centered meditation practice together, and they chant together.
“The relationship I have with Deva is the deepest and most profound I have ever had,” he continues, “because it is based on truth, honesty, and respect for each other’s spiritual journey.”
Deva agrees. “It feels like, in this relationship, we are not looking at each other,” she says. “We are both looking in the same direction, holding hands. We know the focus is not about each other, it’s about both of us walking in the light, toward the light.”