The first giddy rush of a new relationship owes much of its feeling to chemistry: The brain produces dopamine in response to the new person. But past this initial phase, different chemicals are released. Oxytocin in women and its male counterpart vasopressin are produced to create long-term bonding, and if they are not chemically compatible, the relationship can end. If you've been dating a year, it is indeed something to celebrate.
Revisit Your Highlights
Celebrate with a simple trip down memory lane. Build a photo album together on an afternoon off, physically visit some of the places you had wonderful dates or even post their website links on your favorite social networking page. Even a night in together reminiscing about the things you've done can be a special way to celebrate.
Not Your Average Dinner and Movie
Mark the day in style. Find a movie theater that has a dining-in experience. A variety of chains now offer luxury reclining seats, waitstaff and up to gourmet level meals right at your side. Check the local listings to find one nearby. Dinner at an unusual place like a restaurant on top of a mountain or high-rise building with a view is a grand way to mark an occasion.
Share a Project
Put your heads together and plan. Talk about something you both enjoy doing, and divide the things that need to be done. If it's a trip, one of you researches hotels, flights or driving routes and costs; the other investigates restaurants, attractions and events. Spend an evening putting your information together, and book it.
Communication for the Future
The one-year mark is significant for many people. Reflect and note how you've grown and grown together. Pinpoint what you have brought to each other's lives. Spend an afternoon or an evening with just the two of you and talk about what is important to each person in your work, your relationship and your personal lives and see where you intersect or can be of help to each other.
Roseann Haines began writing professionally in 1987 and has worked for "The News Herald." Under 'Ra Thorn,' she has published fiction for Echelon Press and Fictionwise. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from Belford University, an Associates of Science in Political Science from Pima Community College, and graduated from Artistic Beauty College.