Relationships are difficult to maintain in today’s society. People have much to fight against in trying to maintain a healthy, monogamous relationships. Many reality television shows or as I call it “trash tv” shows place great emphasis on drama as if it is cool. Swinging and partner sharing seems to be the “in thing”. Marriage is no longer about being with a person forever, it is about being with someone until they get on your nerves or you think you found someone better. *Reminder: the grass “ain’t” always greener on the other side* (I know a few people learning that lesson right now) It appears very few are willing to put work into their relationship forgetting that you will only get out of a relationship what you put in. This expectation for your spouse or significant other to be perfect is unrealistic. Often times the person placing the expectations cannot meet their own dang expectations.
I was reading an article about relationships on the Psychology Today website written by Dr. Barton Goldsmith (2012) that I found to be a great resource so I wanted to share. It gave seven ways to create more love in a relationship. They are:
• Talk, e-mail, and text daily. Keeping in close contact throughout the day will make you both feel closer—and it does wonders for your love life. We all need to know that the one we love thinks of us often. If staying in touch throughout the day is difficult, make sure you connect as often as possible.
• Say “I love you” at appropriate times. Hearing the words makes a difference to most people. You may think they know, but the truth is that everyone wants the verbal reassurance, provided it doesn’t come from a place of desperation. If this is the case, you’d best seek some advice on how to rebalance the relationship.
• Make plans to do something you love with the person you love. You may not be able to do something every day, but knowing you will have the opportunity soon will give both of you something to look forward to, and that builds your happiness bank account.
• If you are holding on to old anger toward yourself or someone you love, learn to let go of it. As simple as it sounds, we all know that letting go of anger takes self-discipline, patience, and plenty of internal strength. The benefit is that you will rediscover and open a receptive heart that now has room in it for more warmth and affection, rather than rancor.
• In new relationships, give yourselves some time to get to know each other. In longer-term relationships, it’s just as important, if not more, to spend time together. Talk about your history (or herstory) and let your partner in on some of your past that he or she may not know about. It will bring you closer, guaranteed.
• Allow yourself to trust your partner. We all have doubts in certain areas, where we find it difficult to completely trust the other person. It might be concerning money, or the kids, or any number of other issues where trust is missing. The important thing here is to talk about the issue and then make an effort to recover what was lost. Give your partner the opportunity to show you he or she has grown.
By doing this emotional homework, you will give yourself and your relationship the opportunity to get back on a positive track and enjoy the fulfillment it brings. What both of you want from the relationship is usually within reach. Begin with a gentle discussion and then give it your best effort in following through. Remember that a relationship worth having is worth cultivating (Goldsmith, 2012, para 2-8).
Relationships are frustrating, yes. I can personally attest to that. I have been with my honey for six years. Everyday isn’t peaches and cream and some days I want to thump my honey between the eyebrows (of course that goes both ways), but when you truly love someone and feel they are worth it you fight for it. There have been plenty of times when it seemed easier for both of us to walk away because we were frustrated or I was wondering if the grass was as green as it looked on the other side. However, we have learned to take our moments to grunt then come back to talk it out (somehow always ends up in a 3 hour conversation). I know there isn’t a one size fits all solution to relationships but it is better to try and fail than not try at all. Don’t be a punk and give up (unless its toxic or abusive). Anything WORTH having is WORTH fighting for.
Goldsmith, B. (2010). 7 ways to create more love in your relationship. Retrieved from: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201206/7-ways-create-more-love-in-your-relationship