A Relationship Is Like A Job. Once You Enter It, The Real Work Begins.
Many families go on vacation during the summer months. Most of the time, they don’t get in the car or another mode of transportation and end up wherever, they usually make plans ahead of time. Many of them select their hotels, plan their activities, estimate their budgets, map out directions, etc. Before their day of departure, they have tentative plans, hoping to make their vacation as enjoyable as possible.
Most people understand preparing for a vacation, but they fail to invest that same energy when it comes to entering one of the most sacred institutions on earth: marriage. Instead of investing time and effort in a relationship, they base a relationship on fleeting emotions. Instead of talking about significant issues, they sweep things under the rug, hoping their major concerns will disappear. Instead of really getting to know their potential mate, they appear content hanging onto frills that aren’t strong enough to keep a relationship intact. Instead of looking at reality, they rationalize that the feelings they have for each other can conquer all.
Since marriage is such a huge step, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that it shouldn’t be entered into lightly? Doesn’t it seem wiser to ask the hard questions now rather than find out the hard answers later? Wouldn’t it seem starting on a firm foundation can help ensure that a structure will last?
No, nothing is one-hundred percent guaranteed; but it seems that if preparing for a vacation can make a vacation run more smoothly, then preparing for marriage is a no-brainer.
When an experienced painter is preparing to paint the interior of an old home, he doesn’t just throw on a new coat of paint then lackadaisically goes about his business. If his aim is to do a professional job, he takes specific steps to ensure his success. First and foremost, he cleans the old surface of all debris. Once that is done, he patches all visible cracks. It seems that the surface is ready to be painted at this point, but it is not. The professional painter sands the patched surfaces then he applies a primer, a substance that provides sealing and bonding properties, making it easier and more functional for the topcoat of paint. After he completes these steps, he is ready to apply the paint color of his choice.
If a painter knows he has to take specific steps in order to have a luscious, painted room, why do people think they can gloss over their pain of past relationships and jump straight into another one without experiencing any discomfort? Why do people believe that it doesn’t take preparation to build a life with another human being? Why have they deceived themselves into thinking that they can forego communication and allow their current feelings to conquer inevitable challenges that relationships face? Why won’t they take the time to prepare, giving themselves a better chance of being successful, before being lured into intimate relationships by their emotions?
If you are contemplating entering a relationship, use the wisdom of a professional painter. Don’t jump headlong into a relationship with your eyes closed. Instead, do your best to prepare for success. Prior to the leap, take necessary steps to deal with old wounds. Make it a habit to take care of yourself. (You can’t love someone else if you don’t first love yourself.) Get “relationship counseling” from a trusted advisor. Read books about healthy relationships. Communicate. And most importantly, give the relationship time to blossom. If you take the preliminary steps of building a healthy relationship, it could save you from taking painful terminating steps of separation or divorce.
Many people are looking for love. When you ask them what they are looking for, they say they are looking for the total package. When they are questioned further about their desires, they roll off a litany of qualities that they say are “must haves.” Amazingly, they are looking for the perfect person, someone without shortcomings, weaknesses or failures. When you peruse their standards, they are so high that no human being could possibly live up to them.
Many individuals have found someone they are compatible with, but because that person had a shortcoming, that person scratched the “less than perfect one” off the list. There is nothing wrong with high standards, but a person must realize that no one living on this earth is perfect. Each person has an issue, shortcoming or frailty; some have more than others, and some have them to a larger degree than others.
A person can save himself a lot of frustration by realizing that each person comes with some kind of baggage. Once that is established, he can look for someone who possesses the majority of the qualities he desires. Once he finds a shortcoming, which he will find if he looks long enough, he must decide whether that shortcoming is a deal breaker. For example, if a person is addicted to drugs, that may be a deal breaker. If he won’t keep a job, that may be a deal breaker. If he is abusive, that may be a deal breaker. However, if that person is prone to lateness, that may be something a person can work with. If the potential mate has a tendency to worry, the person has to decide if that’s something he can deal with in a relationship. Either way, a person must evaluate whether the other individual’s weakness is something that he can accept even if he doesn’t agree with it.
Most happily married couples admit that their partners have weaknesses, and if they are honest, they admit that they have them too. So for those looking for the perfect person, know that that person may not be “perfect,” but he or she can be perfect for you. Don’t be one of those people who overlooked a good thing because that good thing came adorned with a few flaws.
1. Hold hands in public.
2. Write him/her a poem.
3. Put on his/her favorite fragrance.
4. Take a walk on the beach.
5. Go on a train ride.
6. Send flowers.
7. Hide small gifts around the house for mate to find.
8. Bring him/her breakfast in bed.
9.Take a bike ride together.
10. Sing a song for him/her.
11. Write him/her a love letter.
12. Hide note in his/her lunch box.
13. Play a board game together.
14. Complete puzzle together.
15. Take him/her on surprise outing.
16. Sit and snuggle.
17. Say “I love you” to him/her.
18. Pray for him/her.
19. Send him/her a “love text.”
20. Buy him/her candy.
21. Walk around your neighborhood together.
22. Go to a play.
23. Bake cookies together.
24. Take a fun class together.
25. Hide a love note under his/her pillow.
26. Go to dinner.
27. Do one of his/her chores.
28. Take a shower together.
29. Go to a movie.
30. Buy him/her a card expressing your love.
31. Go on a horse-drawn carriage ride.
32. Wink at him/her in public.
33. Make favorite drink for him/her.
34. Engage in a new activity together.
35. Dance to your favorite music.
36. Watch the stars at night.
37. Share a drink.
38. Dress sexy for him/her.
39. Run bubble bath for him/her.
40. Volunteer for worthy cause together.
41. Make list of ten things you like about mate and share it with him/her.
42. Tell him/her “thank you” for what he/she does for you.
43. Write love message on bathroom mirror with lipstick.
44. Give him/her pass for “do nothing day.”
45. Buy him/her a new outfit.
46. Cook dinner for him/her.
47. Watch favorite television show together.
48. Make a scrapbook depicting your life together.
49. Have friends over for an “I Love My Mate” party.
50. Thank God frequently for sending that special person into your life.
Relationships are interesting. No two are alike, and they require different things to survive. Even though they can be like night and day, there’s one commonality in all healthy relationships. In order for them to flourish, the individuals involved must invest time in them. If each partner fails to invest “adequate” time in the relationship, it will soon grow stale. It would be nice if one could place a relationship on autopilot and make it function properly, but that’s not the case. And even though different relationships may require different actions to make them work, investing time (in whatever form that works for you) is an essential ingredient.
What does it reveal when you invest time in your relationship? It shows that you care. Time is a valuable commodity, and it has been said that you can tell what a person values by how he spends his time. A person can say that he loves someone, but if he fails to carve out time for that person, his love is probably shallow. After a while it becomes hard to believe a person’s words if he invests time in everything else besides the relationship.
There’s no predetermined amount of time that’s perfect. The importance is not on the amount, but on the quality. And remember, it’s important not to compare your relationship with other relationships, you must examine your relationship and decide how to best invest your time.
One thing holds true. If you fail to invest time in your relationship, you will see the results. Neglecting your relationship makes it easy for the love and affection that you once had to slowly disappear and fade away to nothing. It depletes the freshness and causes it to become stale.
If you’ve fallen into a rut in your relationship, consider investing time in it. Find the things that you and your mate enjoy and get busy doing them. And don’t go by your feelings, they aren’t important. Invest the time, and if you’re sincere and committed, the feelings could follow.
When an advisor talks to someone about his or her relationship, he is treading on thin ice. A person may say he wants counsel, but when the advisor points out truths that are uncomfortable, the advisee may become defensive and turn on the advisor. Not because he doesn’t know the person is speaking truth, but because the truth is too painful to accept. Instead of admitting his hurt, he lashes out at the person pointing out behaviors because it’s an easier option than facing his reality.
It’s very difficult to watch someone defend an abuser’s actions. That person believes that the abuser’s love for him is strong. He makes all kinds of excuses for the abuser’s behaviors. Excuses such as Sarah came from an abusive family, at least Johnny pays the bills, you don’t know Ralph like I do or that’s just Mary’s way are some of the excuses that make the list.
However, when someone berates you or calls you names, that isn’t love. When someone beats you unmercifully, that isn’t love. When someone threatens your life, that isn’t love. When someone belittles your every effort, that isn’t love. Regardless of what the person says, if he is engaging in these or similar behaviors, he is not demonstrating love.
Covering up an abuser’s deeds will never work. Making excuses about his behaviors will never motivate change. Continually accepting the abuse will make matters worse, not only for him, but also for you.
I know this is a touchy subject, but if you are in an abusive relationship, seek help. Know that you are more valuable than a punching bag or a target for emotional insults. It may be scary to make changes, but with the help of others, you can do it. Just remember, the first step is usually the hardest to take. But you are not alone. Help is out there if you are willing to ask for it.