Brides and grooms walk down the aisle with giddy happiness, certain that their union and love will prevail. And yet, almost 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Why?

The main reason, I believe, is that couples stop dating.

I’m not talking about the “date nights” that are de rigueur in many marriages; I’m talking about the mindset of dating, the unwritten rules, the care and attention paid to detail and the effort expended. These get cast off with the wedding gown and tuxedo, and it isn’t long before the effects start to show. And not in a good way.

Try following these rules of dating in your marriage, and the honeymoon need never end.

1. Listen

When you were first dating, you were getting to know your potential spouse, and you were interested in what they had to say because it was critical in giving you the information you needed to know whether they were “the one.” They are still giving you information that is even more critical, because it reflects on your marriage and how they feel about it, even if it’s disguised as everyday chatter.

How often do spouses complain, “They don’t listen to me!”? Ask questions. Take an interest. Be curious. Try to understand how your spouse thinks and feels.

2. Be Polite

We tend to dispense with etiquette when speaking to the people closest to us—something we don’t do with people we don’t yet know well, like a date. “Please,” “thank you,” “you’re welcome” and “I’m sorry” should be part of our daily lexicon. Although married couples engage more in terms of endearment, basic respect is a prerequisite for emotional intimacy. Show your appreciation. There is no one on earth who doesn’t appreciate admiration and gratitude. Rabbi Eliezer says: “Let your fellow’s honor be as dear to you as your own” (Avot 2:15). And your spouse certainly supersedes your “fellow.”

3. Look Good for Your Spouse

Because we feel the most comfortable in our own homes and feel we should be able to be ourselves, we usually look our most casual and disheveled where no one sees us except our families. We tend to dress for our spouses the way we would never dare to show up for our work colleagues or even friends. And certainly not the way we looked when we first met!

Think about how you used to agonize over your appearance before a date. If you compare the two, it’s almost laughable. The Talmud tells of the wife of a sage who used to go out to meet her husband when he was returning from the fields, dressed in beautiful clothes and jewelry. This was to honor him. While realistically that’s not possible every day, we should at least clean the spit up from our blouse or straighten our jacket and tie before greeting our spouses after work or at the end of the day.

4. Be Considerate

If you had shown up a half-hour late to a date, you might have seriously jeopardized the relationship from proceeding further. Ditto if you had been rude to or about their parents. Observe the rules of courtesy and consideration that you followed when you were dating. There’s no reason to give them up now.

5. Remember What You Loved About the Other Person

We tend to take our significant others for granted once we’ve bought the package. Remember how much you used to think and talk about the wonderful qualities of the person you married? They still have them. It’s important to keep noticing them.

The Zohar (191b) teaches that a husband and wife are one soul, separated only during their descent into the world. When they marry, their soul is united once again.

6. Have Fun Together

Your dates were all quality time, and most of them were fun. Don’t stop that now! It can mean a walk together in the evening or a cup of coffee at a cafe. King Solomon exhorted husbands “Enjoy life with the wife you love” (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

7. Defer Intimacy

Keeping the laws of Family Purity is a good way to keep the marriage fresh and exciting. Whether you’ve been married one year, 10 or 20, you probably recall the excitement and pleasant expectation in your relationship before it was intimate. Making sure that you keep a certain distance at certain times helps magnify the desire so that your marriage will go the distance. It also ensures that you explore emotional closeness so that you have other things that keep you together as a couple.

8. Aim to Please

Before you were married, you were more concerned with pleasing your date than with them pleasing you. Somewhere along the way, we start thinking of our spouses in terms of what they can, or should, do for us, as opposed to what we should be doing for them.

While marriage is give and take, we all focus on what we give and what the other person takes. The root of ahavah (“love” in Hebrew) is to give. When you become a giver in marriage, you pave the way for the deepest kind of love—the altruistic, spiritual kind that lasts.