Has anyone ever woken up one morning to realize they gained a hundred pounds? Let’s face it, some things just don’t happen overnight. In the same vein, have you ever woken up one morning and realized your relationship was over? Spent? D-U-N, done? Did you go to bed the night before thinking everything was great? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Relationships take a long time to build and also take a long time to fall. They don’t have to fall at all, though. Let’s go back to the weight gain analogy for a moment.
How do you keep from gaining a hundred pounds? Well, it might be helpful to weigh yourself on a regular basis, once every couple of weeks, perhaps? By measuring yourself against a baseline – what I weighed when I felt my best, for instance – you can tell if you’re moving away from where you want to be. You can then make small adjustments, easy adjustments in the grand scheme of things, to your diet and exercise regimen. It’s a lot easier to devote yourself to losing 5 pounds than a hundred, isn’t it?
So, how about that relationship? If you want to keep it healthy, I suggest the same thing. A relationship baseline. Take a measurement on a regular basis. It could be as simple as asking yourself, “Am I as happy in this relationship as I was last week?” If the answer is yes, great! But what if it’s not? What’s the prescription?
Commit to being more loving. Kiss more. Hold hands more. Make an effort to separate yourself from work and have some “couple time”. What works best for you will be dependent on your love languages, but it all starts with effort. Make an effort to get back on track. As with the diet, it’s so much easier to make tweaks and minor adjustments then trying to salvage a relationship that’s only a couple of uncertain steps away from divorce or separation.
People typically don’t wake up one morning thinking they want a divorce. The idea creeps insidiously into their hearts and minds little by little. It isn’t born full-fledged as a desire for divorce, it slowly springs up as disinterest and then disdain. A small weed that could have been pulled (hey, wait, where’s the food analogy? Sorry, I was getting hungry) is allowed to spread and overtake the entire garden (there’s the food!).
Take the time to weigh your relationship from time to time. When things start to drift, make the course correction as soon as you can. Communicate with your partner that things feel a little off and that you’d like each of you to take some time remembering why you love one another. Make an effort to get back on track. Give her a kiss, why don’t you? Turn off the smart phones and have a romantic dinner at home. It’s a lot easier than a break up.
Steve is the founder of Straight Talk Entertainment and currently produces and writes for the audio drama Aural Traditions, recently voted Charleston City Paper’s Best Local Podcast. He’s also an Information Security professional and avid shark tooth hunter.