Why do relationships die? Why do people lose the shiny newness that makes the beginning of a relationship so damn spectacular? I've been asking myself that my whole life. The beginning of a relationship (any relationship, not just romantic, but the later is more so) is always so much fun. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach, the anticipation of seeing or talking to a specific person. The smile that is plastered on your face all the time and it can only be explained by referring to that special someone. So many people resign themselves to the fact that it's just the newness of a relationship that gives you that rush. That once two people get to know each other and get comfortable with each other that is just destined to fade away. Why? Why do people just accept that? What if it just doesn't have to be that way? I've spent my entire existence being told that I'm a dreamer. A romantic. An idiot. All because I was looking for that spark every day and not just at the beginning of a relationship. I was told I watched too many movies, soap operas, read too many books. And I believed it, because obviously the newness always wore off in all of my relationships (friendships too) so clearly....OBVIOUSLY....'they' must be right....Right? WRONG! Let me explain.
When I started pondering this issue I began to think that everyone who isn't feeling this spark or joy or happiness is in the wrong relationship. They settled. They chose the wrong person. But then I started thinking-that's impossible. Then I began to look at other relationships in life. Friendships, family bonds, co workers.....and I started learning about the ego and the spiritual side and how people make choices in life. I realized that the ego destroys most relationships, pride and past mistakes come into play and bam---spark extinguished. "Well, I'm not doing that for them because last week they blah blah blah blah blah." "Oh no WAY am I letting them know how much they mean to me-they will use it against me! (BTW if that's true, then maybe you ARE in the wrong relationship, just sayin') BAM Relationship happiness doomed. How can it be fixed? How can we stop this wrong? If you're in the wrong relationship, you can't. There are people that are meant to come and go in your life and that's just life. They teach you lessons, you teach them, and their portion of your life is over. But, if you are in a long haul, forever and ever, infinity and beyond kind of relationship it's really very simple. You have to choose each other first. Always. Every day. Every minute. It has to be a conscious choice---I choose you! How do you do that? It's simple really. You put their happiness and the happiness of the relationship over any petty scenario that is in your head. Now, I'm not saying to allow yourself to be a doormat (I've done that too!) but I'm asking you to ask yourself what's really important in your life. Is control, or being right really worth losing that happiness that started the relationship in the first place? I'm pretty sure if you're being honest the answer is no.
What sparked my thoughts on this was a conversation with my sons yesterday. My younger son and I have spoken and texted all day every day since I've been away the last 10 days. My older son and I have only spoken briefly and texted a handful of times. I don't compare them, they are 2 completely different people. I spoke to my oldest last night and he was a bit stressed that I would be "pissed" at him because he hadn't called me or responded to a few texts I sent him with updates on his poppa. I reassured him and said that if I had been upset with him I would have picked up the phone or texted him and said we need to talk about this. I wouldn't just sulk and then blast him when I got home. Communication works two ways and I know how he is and I accept it. He was so relieved it was audible. I don't expect him to behave in a way that is foreign to him and I don't expect him to shoulder the responsibility of this relationship. That's what got me thinking.....this is what is wrong in relationships. Expectations and not taking responsibility for what you want out of them. In the past we have had a nasty exchange or two where one or both of us have said things we regretted and that caused a huge rift in our relationship. The difference now? We both choose to allow each other the freedom to be who we are. We communicate when things start taking a bad turn and we right the wrong before it gets to that place it went to in the past. Every night, when we are in the same place, we make sure we hug, say goodnight and I love you, even if those are the only words we've spoken to each other all day. We have repaired our once sparkly relationship after a period of doom. Why can't we do that with every relationship? You have to choose! You have to allow your love for the other person and the relationship to dominate your motives.
Sibling relationships and friendships are also not immune to the dulling of the relationship sparkle, the ebb and flow of life. It does seem that those relationships have an easier time of getting the initial sparkle back then romantic ones. I'm not sure why. Do we hold them to a lower standard than our life partners? Maybe. Or do we expect them to have the bright, shiny newness for longer because we don't spend as much time together? Who knows. But it's sad to me. It's sad to see a once happy couple lose the spark in their eyes. To hear and witness them resign themselves to this bleak future of just existing. It doesn't have to be that way. I am determined not to allow it to happen in mine. I will say I'm very blessed to have found a partner who communicates better than anyone I've ever met. He never makes me feel less than or judged. To have a person like that in your life in any capacity is a blessing, but to have him as my other half? Beyond my wildest dreams. I will never take that for granted. I thank God every night for the gift of his love in my life and I'm pretty sure he does the same. It's imperative in life to be grateful for your partners presence. And not "yea, well I'm glad he is a good father but he leaves a mess in the kitchen every day!" or "She is a great cook but she spends too much money!" No! No buts. No if only. Remember every but you add is something that someone, somewhere would love to have. Appreciate your partner for their good qualities. Focus on those. The reasons you fell in love with them. Make a list if you have to. Hang it on your mirror and look at it every day. Add to it. I can almost guarantee it will grow. As you look for the good and you appreciate it something magical will happen. Your partner will feel appreciated and loved. And when we feel appreciated and loved, don't we want to do more of the things that are being loved and appreciated? YES! Don't we all want to be a priority in someone's life? Don't we all want to be understood? Well....it has to start with someone! And we can't expect change to come overnight. We all love the saying "be the change you want to see in the world" or "I'm starting with the (wo)man in the mirror" but why do we avoid doing that with the love of our lives? Fear? Ego? Pride? Control? Bullshit. I can tell you that nothing...nothing feels better than that shiny new beginning of a relationship feeling every day! And there is no way I'm letting that fade.