We’re almost at the end of the month, it’s been a very full month with lots of events and opportunities, challenges and changes as well. This month one of the topics I’ve been talking about is the topic of love. One of the challenges of love is how awesome it is when it starts. In some ways that’s really important because it sucks us into the relationship and makes us want to keep feeling those emotions and stay in love. But it’s a whole lot easier to fall in love than it is to stay in love. Those initial magic feelings don’t always stick around. We get bogged down by the realities and challenges of life. We see things about the person we fell in love with that we didn’t see when we first fell in love, things that aren’t so awesome or pretty (like bad habits or snoring). When a relationship gets to that point it’s jokingly called “the end of the honeymoon period.”
While you may lose the cloud 9 feelings that you initially felt towards someone, that doesn’t mean you can’t love them anymore or that you don’t love them anymore. It just means that your love has developed, changed or matured. After all, you can’t do as a baby what you can do now: we’re all growing and changing, so why wouldn’t love do the same? In some ways I think it’s kind of silly that we even think that love wouldn’t change and that we wouldn’t feel, see and do things differently after a while.
So the question as we work through the last full week of the month is how can we make sure our love finishes strong? First and foremost it has to start with being open to love and all the many dimensions of it. Also, there has to be a willingness to change and work through challenges. As you get to know someone you may see red flags and things that make you take a step back. There are always issues and things to disagree over, but these are serious things like a violent temper or (not) wanting kids that show you guys may not be really the best match, regardless of how much love you felt initially. It’s not a bad thing to call a stop to a relationship if you know it’s not going to be the right one for you, in fact that’s a healthy decision to make. I think one of the good things about all the change we go through and how fast life moves today vs. 100 years ago is that we can do so much more to fulfill our potential, rather than being held back or stuck in societal restrictions.
Second, you and your partner have to actively invest in the relationship if you want to keep it and your love alive. There needs to be communication, time spent, moments created, laughter shared, friendships developed and life celebrated. You should take time on a daily basis to check in with them, a weekly basis to spend quality time with them (a date night for example) and at least take a yearly vacation with them.
Your love will change through your life, that should not discourage you from making it part of your life. Nor should you be discouraged by setbacks or a few failed experiences, because they will happen to just about all of us. I believe it’s worth it to be in love and have a relationship, even with all the work it may take to help it finish strong. How will you invest in your relationship this week?