I have to give thanks to a dear friend who just wrote the phrase I used for my header in a social media conversation.
That pretty much sums up so many long-term relationships. It’s sad.
I am in awe of people who find “the one” and make it work for the long haul. Those people who keep the relationships going through the ups and downs in life. Who stay true to one another and are dedicated to making their relationship work.
I certainly have no words of wisdom here. But I do know what doesn’t work.
- Building separate groups of friends or having no friends.
- A lack of common interests and pursuing those interests separately rather than appreciating and learning to love the differences.
- Focusing on other people outside of the marriage (be it extended family or friends). Immediate family (partner/children) comes first.
- Ignoring the dreams and desires of your partner.
- Lack of communication. If something bothers you or is on your mind – the first person you should talk to is your partner. Not someone else (unless the problem is your partner and you need an opinion).
- Keeping secrets.
- Not taking the time out to be with one another. Even just going for a walk or going out to eat or to a movie.
- Lack of physical touch. Relationships built on physical needs typically don’t work, but those without physical aspects typically don’t work either. People need to be touched (not groped or spanked, but hugged and caressed).
Romance seems to be a lost art in so many ways. Or maybe those are the stories that people don’t share as often.
On thing I do miss about my marriage – the once or twice a year (if only it had been random) flowers. When my son was little, he knew how much I love flowers and would “buy” me flowers at the grocery store as he sat in the cart. He’d insist that he pick out a bouquet from his perch so that I always had flowers. That boy was born a romantic.
Movies have set the bar high for men. Romantic getaways. Waterside, candlelit dinners with flowers. But, why can’t we have such things? What is so wrong with doing that, as a budget allows? If men realized the payoff behind an effort like that, maybe they would make that reservation. The women I talk with would love the effort. A romantic dinner. A walk in the park. A carriage ride. A night with just the two of you. My eyes are glossing over with just the thought.
I know there are men out there who will make the effort. It takes time to understand the needs of your partner. The understanding begins with listening. With making an effort.
I don’t believe that people are that complicated. We like to think everyone is so complicated and has so much baggage. Yes, people have baggage. But, few things are insurmountable. With a little effort, great things can be accomplished.
Romance can break down walls and loosen people up. Today it seems people don’t expect romance and want everything in an instant.
Slow down. Make the effort. Listen. The payoff will be worth it.