What Makes the World Go ‘Round

Written on Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 at 2:21 pm by Adaire
Filed under Lifestyle.

I’m a romantic. While it seems like a lot of people these days have grown more cynical about relationships, I still happen to believe in true and lasting love. Nevertheless, I’m not just some nut on a perpetual search for Prince Charming. :) While I do believe in ‘happily ever after,’ I know full well that people need to work hard at making their relationships last. You can have that ‘happily ever after,’ yes, but it requires patience, understanding, discipline, and a lot of other things.

How Love is Lost

Image by: Ambro

I’ve met a lot of couples that started out spectacularly. They really seemed like perfect matches for each other—they enjoyed the same things; they were super-sweet to each other; they talked about the future they would have together, with kids and picket fences and all those other lovely tidbits. Seeing these couples could really fill you with hope that you’d find your match, too!

But as time wore on, I would notice little changes here and there. I’d notice that they didn’t finish each other’s sentences as often as they used to, or that they didn’t have much to share when prodded about what they’ve been up to. These people didn’t hate each other exactly, but I could tell that the spark they used to have was no longer there. It was like they weren’t really interested in each other anymore and, at worst, was just putting up with each other. Bear in mind that I didn’t observe these things right away. They would accumulate over time, and it would just gradually dawn on me that something was amiss.

After some time, I would just find out that these relationships had gone kaput. More often than not, I would learn that the couple didn’t see it coming either. It was like it just hit them one day that they didn’t love each other anymore. Isn’t that horrible? It breaks my heart that love could be lost this way.

But, whether we like it or not, that’s really the truth of the matter. No matter how well you may start off in a relationship, and no matter how confident you are that the love will last, there is always a possibility that the relationship will falter.

Unless, as I’ve mentioned, you work hard at keeping that spark alive.

One Day at a Time

The thing is, maintaining a relationship doesn’t have to be that hard. If you truly love the person you’re with, being with that person shouldn’t be a chore at all! It’s just that we become so comfortable in our relationships that we end up taking them for granted. Fortunately, there are many great ways to keep that from happening, and they’re all quite simple. It’s all just a matter of making a little extra effort to show how much you love and appreciate them.

If you need a good primer on what to do, Edwin Locke and Ellen Kenner have a great piece in Healthy Wealthy nWise entitled “Ten Secrets to Making Love Last”. The advice they give is easy, straight-to-the-point, and very effective. Tip Number One, for instance, is “Work to thoroughly understand your partner.” The authors then suggest that you learn as much as you can about their tastes and preferences, from the music they like to their definition of a great career.

This makes a lot of sense. You may think you know your partner inside-out, but in truth, there’s always a lot more to discover as time goes on. So, in order to let your relationship grow at a healthy pace, you have to keep yourself up-to-date regarding what makes your partner tick. The same goes for them as well. Work together to understand each other. That way, no matter what obstacles life throws in your direction, you both know how to deal with these problems in a manner that covers both of your unique needs.

The rest of the authors’ advice, from caring about your appearance to telling your partner you love them as often as possible, are just as straightforward. It’s really amazing how much impact these simple acts have on relationships, and it’s incredibly important that all couples take these tips to heart. :)

Happiness + Confidence = Love

Image by: photostock

One hitch to the above strategy, though, is if you possess the wrong attitude to begin with. You won’t be able to really savor your relationship and take things one day at a time if you don’t actually love and respect yourself. If you believe that you absolutely adore your partner, but can’t manage to think the same way about yourself, then your relationship is in even greater danger than the ones I mentioned earlier. This problem is more serious than just taking love for granted. If you take your own self for granted, so much so that you toss your needs and wants aside, then you will make it very difficult for your partner to want to stay with you for the long haul.

I read this piece by Cedric Benson also from Healthy Wealthy nWise that discusses this so well. The title alone says it all: “Happy, Confident People Tend to be Better Partners”. And it’s really true—the happier and more confident you are with yourself, the more capable you are of being a positive force in your relationship.

Benson expounds on this quite sharply: “If you aren’t happy with yourself, how happy do you think your partner is with you? If you give the message to your partner that says, ‘I don’t love myself but you should love me,’ your partner will see through this. Remember, it isn’t your partner’s job to give you constant reassurance that you’re okay the way you are.”

Ouch!

But seriously, that’s the truth. So, if you’re currently in a rocky relationship but are not entirely sure why things aren’t working out that well, look inside of yourself. Try to see if it’s your attitude that’s getting in the way. If your partner truly loves you, they will let you know that you need to believe in yourself more, and that they will help you improve in any way they can. Hopefully, this trial can bring the two of you closer to each other as well.

Love is a Promise

Every couple will experience all sorts of trials in their relationship, and that’s okay. True love is more of an action than an emotion; it is a promise you make to your partner, and that you have to renew each and every day.

To all the budding new couples out there, this old romantic is rooting for every one of you! :) We may no longer live in a time of castles with spiraling towers and knights in shining armor, but the idea of true love remains the same, and I hope that everyone gets to experience this. I know it’s the sap in me that’s saying this, but love is really what makes the world go ‘round! :)

Adaire


Images by:
Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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