At the beginning of a relationship things just seem to flow. But what happens when the initial excitement wears off and all of a sudden the ‘cute’ things your partner did are now irritants? That is when it is time to truly step into the relationship with both feet. Love is not simply something we feel; it is something we do. More specifically, each moment with your significant other is an opportunity to choose to focus on what you love or on the other hand, you can focus on what bothers you about your partner. Depending on the choice you make, you will either feel more or less connected. Couples often feel more connected to each other when they are focused on why they ‘fell in love’ with this person instead of what is annoying about them.
When a relationship is easy, it is easy to be in it; but when challenges present themselves, that is when couples need to make conscious decisions to ‘work’ on the relationship. Oftentimes, I hear people say, “If I have to ‘work’ on a relationship, there is clearly a problem.” My response is, “yes, of course there will be problems but all relationships require work, like anything that is a priority in your life.” If you buy a car that you love, are you going to take care of it throughout the entire time you own it or just the first few months? Most people take their cars in for regular oil changes, car washes, rotating tires, etc. but when it comes to relationships, many people seem to think relationships ‘should’ just work on their own. Just like with your car, the better care you take of it, the longer it lasts; so too is true of your relationship.
So if you are willing to do the ‘work’ necessary (which by the way can be fun), your relationship has a better chance of lasting longer with a higher quality than if you didn’t make it a priority. What exactly does ‘working on your relationship’ mean you may wonder? Working on your relationship can mean many things such as some of the following:
- Go out of your way to pick up your partner’s favorite candy bar
- Leave a love note for your partner to find
- Give a compliment
- Do the thing you may not want to do but that would mean so much to your significant other (e.g.: Another holiday party at your in-laws house)
- Let your partner know what you appreciate about him/her
- Thank your partner for something they did for you
- Initiate a hug
- Plan a special date night for the both of you
- Tell your spouse what you love about him/her
- Help each other around the house
These are some examples from which you can choose. Choose one every day and watch your relationship improve. If you should need help with improving your relationship, feel free to view my web site (staceyrose.com) and be on the lookout for my book (Relationship Rules) coming out soon!