By Buffy Lawson
There have been tons of books about the mystery of relationships. And for good reason! People don’t typically begin a heartfelt relationship or marriage thinking, “Honey, I can’t wait until we screw this up, drag all of our friends, family and children through a nasty break-up and wish hateful things upon one another for the rest of our lives!” Unless out of desperation or convenience of some kind, we genuinely believe we have met the love of our lives when making a long-term commitment.
So the question in many of those self-help books is how to keep the love light burning over the course of time. Obviously there is no simple answer to this question or the divorce/break -up rates would be much different. So, I have decided to over simplify the situation and offer two straightforward suggestions.
Suggestion number one: Choose well. If you are a total and complete neat freak health nut, don’t choose a partner who has multiple Arby’s bags thrown on the floorboard of the car, closet and bedside table. No matter how adorable they might be, this will likely bother you. A lot. And if you think that you are going to change them…good luck.
If you are a person who has multiple Arby’s bags thrown on the floorboard of your car, closet and bedside table, don’t choose a partner who is a total and complete neat freak health nut. Likewise, this will bother you. A lot.
You might have a vision for your life of extreme wealth, or wish to be a stay-at-home mother and raise four beautiful children. In that case, you might opt against finding a partner who’s primary income is being the drummer for a local band called “SLASH”. No matter how gorgeous and how many songs have been written in your honor, chances are at some point, this will bother you. A lot.
We are all weird birds in our own way. Human beings are as complicated as it comes, but basic compatibility is such an important and very overlooked aspect in choosing well. It really doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong. The question is, can you reside together peacefully without the need of changing everything about your partner to make you happy.
Suggestion number two: Don’t offer somebody a Filet Mignon and make them settle for a burnt cheeseburger.
If you bring them coffee in bed in the early days, bring them coffee in bed when the honeymoon is over. If you left sweet little love notes in their travel bag before a road trip, continue to do this over time. We seem to play the old switcheroo on each other and present ourselves differently than we are willing to be long term. We get lazy in the relationship and forget to remember to do the little things that made us fall in love in the first place.
We are not allowed to suddenly become lazy in our jobs. If we did, we would be fired. When problems arise at work, we communicate to find solutions. We must show up on time and are accountable for the work that we were hired to do. If for one year, you arrived at work on time every day, reached goals, did extra assignments on weekends and were pleasant to be around, then suddenly played the old switcheroo, your boss would have a very serious issue.
It is incredible how clearly we understand what is required in most all areas of our lives to keep things working. But we get the laziest with the one person that we chose to spend our lives with. Take this from somebody who has ordered many filet mignons and eaten a lot of burnt cheeseburgers.