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Even though a lot of couples in Japan officially start their relationship with a dramatic and explicit expression of love, that level of passion can be hard to maintain indefinitely. Especially among married couples in Japan, it’s not common to say “I love you” every day, and after a few years as husband and wife, some spouses stop seeing each other as a man and a woman.

But marriage is a long string of small shared experiences, and sometimes couples find a spark that rekindles the flames of their emotions for one another, like in this list of the top 10 times Japanese men fell in love with their wives all over again.

Internet portal R25 asked 200 married men between the ages of 20 and 39 to share when their romantic feelings for their wife flare up like old times again, and the top 10 responses are below.

9 (tie). When she treats my parents kindly and shows she cares about them (13.5 percent)

Many of the items on the list seem like they’d be applicable for wives once again realizing how much they love their husbands, including this entry. If you come from a happy home, seeing that your spouse also appreciates your family is at once both touching and reassuring.

9 (tie). When she dresses up in a yukata, dress, or some other type of special outfit (13.5 percent)

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Shaking up the monotony of everyday life by stepping out in something other than the clothes you wear every day can really help set a romantic mood. And don’t worry about getting that yukata (summer kimono) tied up just right; it’s easier than you think.

8. When she cheers me up when I’m feeling down (16.5 percent)

Because everybody likes having someone to lean on.

7. When the sex is good (17 percent)

Because everybody likes having someone to get naked with.

6. When she knows what’s bothering me without my having to say anything (17.5 percent)

That seems more like the mark of a great psychic than a great spouse, but hey, if you’re all about minimizing the effort you put into communication, this skill would definitely be an attractive one.

4 (tie). When I see her being kind to kids (19 percent)

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This entry covered both the couple’s own offspring as well as other children. We already saw that many men got a warm fuzzy feeling from seeing their wife treat their parents kindly, and witnessing such affection flowing further down the generational chain produced a similar effect.

4 (tie). When we go out on a date for the first time in a while and she’s having a good time (19 percent)

Between open-ended work days (thanks to the prevalence of overtime and semi-mandated socializing with coworkers) and taking care of any children (hiring a baby sitter is unheard of in Japan), “date nights” are few and far between for many married couples. The high ranking of this response, though, is a pretty convincing argument for making time in your schedule to go out like you did in your single days.

3. When I see her put on makeup and dress up in fashionable clothes (25 percent)

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Going on fewer dates means less reason to go through the whole grooming routine or put on anything fancier than an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt. One quarter of the men polled, though, appreciated when their wives went to the trouble to do so.

2. When she goes all-out taking care of me when I’m sick (27.5 percent)

Extra points if said care includes wearing a nurse’s outfit, we assume.

1. When she cooks something for me that tastes good (33.5 percent)

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The top choice is actually a little surprising. Is a tasty home-cooked meal such a rare occurrence for the men who chose this?

We suppose that’s possible for a few of them, but others experience such pleasures on a daily basis. “She takes care of me every day,” explained one appreciative man who apparently falls in love with his wife every evening. So while “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” may be a cliché, for a lot of guys in Japan it’s a true and happy cliché, so one recipe for marital bliss might be right here.

Source: Yahoo! Japan/R25
Top image: Yukata Musubi (edited by RocketNews24)
insert images: Yukata Musubi, My Navi Woman, Ren-Ai, Hakata Hanamidori (edited by RocketNews24)