I liken these shifts to expecting to drive a car for 10-years without ever doing maintenance!
After the 1.5 to 2 years of dating that can easily float along on strong feelings, the real work begins. Whereas the connection was previously held together with emotional feeling-good glue, the following years are held together by good-intention, deep-commitment glue. The first is giddy and shallow, the second is contented and deep.
How do we keep the lazy out of our love relationship?
Your Next Best Steps
- Sit down with your partner and each of you create a list of 25 things the other person can do for you that makes you feel loved and cared for. This is a work in progress, so you can add, change or delete entries over time. Then share your lists with each other. These are not obligations (that feels different) but specific ideas that you freely choose to do for your partner if/when you want them to know he/she is loved and cared for.
- Make a commitment to not fight. In the emotional angst of disagreement, our primal fight-or-flight brain has taken over and our thinking brain has checked out. You're responsible for getting your own emotional flooding under control. Talk with your partner at a later time, when you've calmed down. When we fight, we're on opposite teams; when we talk we're on the same team.
- You need one-on-one time each and every day; and, you need purely couple time (yes, date night!) each week. Although we enjoy time with our children and our families, this time doesn't count as couple time. Be creative! Daily talk time can be 15-minutes after all of the children are in bed; date night doesn't need to take a lot of time or money (e.g., a picnic on the living room floor when the kids are at their friend's house for a play date).
Photo - Creative Commons (Melvin E. "Holding Hands")