Two to Tango
Sometimes a relationship can feel totally vintage...and not in a awesomely retro way. Monogamy is not dead, it just needs to be revived....really, really revived! Did I say really?! My marriage has taught me a lot through hands on experience; good, bad and ugly. I'm calling shot gun as I explore how to keep it thriving while the boat is afloat! Let's dive in, shall we?
Love... Action or Noun?!
It's an amazing question to ask yourself and your partner because it's very necessary to ensure you efforts if any at all, are properly being conveyed. So many, in relationships, feel as though just saying you love your spouse is sufficient. Some even go as far as to treat it as something that is just "understood". The issue with this is, marriage is a continuous work in progress. Even when things are good, effort is required to keep the relationship afloat. Sitting with your partner and having uncomfortable conversations is a necessary part of growth. It's so important to understand where you stand, how your love is being given/received and whether or not your contributions are meeting the needs of your spouse. Many times, we want to give what we deem enough...I've definitely been guilty of this and was very unapologetic about it. Talk about a chip! For me, it stemmed from feelings of being entitled to do so because I felt wronged in the marriage. Once the cookie started to crumble (so very fast), I felt I was well within my rights to call the shots on "love rations"...if that's what you wanna call it. This is a natural feeling; especially when hurts comes into play. The thing is, if you choose to stay past hardships, you are not exempt from effort, work and loving that person in ACTION the way THEY NEED TO BE LOVED. A noun is dormant and requires no movement, hence no growth. You aren't nourished and neither are they; which is yet another storm brewing. Being your own first partner in accountability, evaluate yourself and and love in action!
There is no magic trick or special prayer...
That's a Guarantee!
I hate to break it to you, folks... There's no hoodoo-voodoo, "Ciara Prayer" or specific guidelines for finding a particular type of mate. Many times, when we see others finally get into what looks like a thrivng relationship (especially after less than stellar previous instances), we are quick to assume there is some special force or tactic used to accomplished what seems like an unattainable goal based off how someone started. Everyon has the ability to be in a beautifully working relationship. The secret is INDIVIDUAL GROWTH, ACCOUNTABILTY and WORK. So many marvel and "good relationships", truly confused as to how its possible...the reality is, many aren't willing to work on themselves and personal growth let alone die daily to selfishness to accomplish the goal of togetherness. It's not rocket science but it IS one of the toughest things that you will ever consistently work at. The reward?! A relationship that everyone else is trying to shake a chicken foot over a plate of hair to get! If you haven't grown to certain levels, you will be unable to receive or even acknowledge proper love from another. If you're not willing to mature in uncomfortable areas, you place a ceiling on the potential of a new mate. Do the work to watch life and love flourish!
Date night doesn't have to always be grand but it does have to be always. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life's demands while forgetting to reconnect as often as possible. A continuous, strong connection can be a driving force in amazing progress! Don't know where to start? Guru's got you covered on one of my latest blog post, "Date night: Always and Forever".
What kind of ways can you date your bae?! Oh, so many.. let's plan! I'll be your wing man!
Pull up on your love!
It's the effort that means the most. Grabbing a forbidden bite (a bag of greasy fries paired with a milkshake to share from your all's favorite spot) and pulling up in the driveway, is where it's at! Eat in the car like you used to. Talk about the day, laugh about the familiar or even talk about those crazy kids you have... This can be an hour but it will feel like longer because of the investment.
Date Night in...
It's Show time!
Find a show or movie that interests you both and requires intellectual input. You all can pick a night to watch it each week and discuss your opinions together. It's your own Power Confidential or Talking Dead. This type of stimulation definitely reMINDs you of many reasons why you got with your mate. It also allows you to have effective communication on something that you can shelf; which is a great temporary distraction from your normal "what needs to be done for the household" convos. The passion may lead somewhere...
Adults ONLY Dessert
This can be a couple nights a week! Plan to have dessert after dinner; just the two of you. Dim a light, add some music and maybe a little dancing afterwards. It's your time and your show. Having something and only reserved for the two of you, makes it special and worth looking forward to.
Togetherness that becomes a beautiful nest!
Your home is where everyone is represented. Sharing the load of housework, reno projects and updates can quickly become an unexpected delight. My husband would roll his eye, sigh and go kicking and screaming every time I discussed the forever list of things needed to be done around the house. Funny thing, when we would get started, he would be so into it and take so much pride in the end result. I was just so overwhelming happy it was complete that that milk and cookies were next on the list, ha, ha! (you get my drift ; )) Sorry, ok,*Back from the gutter*... What are some projects that can be done together that provide instant, aestetic gratification?
Gardening and Trimming
Redesigning the garage
Washing the cars
Reorganizing office space
Deep cleaning the Kitchen and Pantry spaces.
Adding new hardware throughout the house
Repurposing furniture in the home for better functionality.
Switching out window treatments
If your partner struggles, you struggle.
Compassion is a reflection of your selflessness.
SELF reflection is always necessary when dealing with tough situations.