#ThenNowandForever: On Keeping the Romance Alive
This day and age where love marriages are ubiquitous and arranged marriages are just as popular thanks to catfishing and ghosting, it seems like getting to the point of wedding someone itself is the finish line. What more? Movies have us believing the same too. Works of fiction have long since led us to believing that once you are married to a person you love or might gradually come to, you’ve cleared all hurdles that might come your way and it is happily ever after then on.
But let’s snap back to reality and address the real-world problems plaguing our personal lives. However intense or passionate your romance might have been, all that fire is bound to extinguish at some point; one day you might just look up to see your partner and start wondering about how you two just got there- those days of giddy longing seemingly eons behind.
Those mundane Monday’s killing the passion, battles over dishes and laundry, or just about the other person snoring through the night- people’s imperfections often become more apparent as years go by, getting infected like an angry sore. People transform into prison inmates, confined to a life together either because they can’t afford to leave or are afraid of the change, or many a times, are afraid of what the society might think.
However, when things are put into perspective, just like everything else- and very much like your breadwinning career- a relationship requires both work and dedication. Love is paramount but that feeling is never really enough. It is not exactly new news that many long-term relationships eventually become boring, distant, or conflicted. Some supplement this through moving away from the relationship, adultery, or shifting focus to work. But what stands is the fact that some couples do stand the test of time (and other factors), keeping intact their love and connection indicating that you can have a more than unfulfilling/mediocre relationship forever.
Through this journey, all it takes is a little effort everyday and concentrating on the little things that bring joy to both of you rather than considering it a burden you’ve got to carry the entire time. A little understanding, focus and effort to keep the spark alive and that smile on your partner’s face lit could go a long way. And conflicts? There isn’t anything a little dialogue can’t resolve if your concerns and values are not misplaced.
Not saying that it’s easy, but it isn’t impossible either. Relationships respond well when there’s newness. Remember that first meeting? That first date? All your cherishable firsts? Well why not keep that up- be conscious, be present. Be open to learning about yourself as well as about your partner and their changing tastes and interests- it’s the growth that creates newness.
Keep the channel open. Be open to communicating, especially if the other party is trying to make way, don’t block them off. Have a healthy approach- there’s nothing a well moderated discussion cannot solve. While that might make you feel naked or that you just bared your soul hence rendering you vulnerable, then know that this very feeling is what fosters intimacy.
Have integrity and take responsibility. All of us have particularly unpleasant misunderstandings with our partners from time to time, no relationship is a smooth ride. And whenever that does happen, take a step back, retrace your own steps and actions, analyse them. Seek solutions on the grounds of ill intentions and unforgivable actions- but do not forget to keep in mind the genuine feelings both of you have for each other. Don’t make your partner take responsibility for your feelings, thereby manipulating her or him- it’s no blame game. Also, let go of the self-pity and self-abandonment feelings- it is highly toxic to you as a person than it is to a relationship.
Lastly, stay positive and embrace each other’s imperfections. Afterall, you are in it for the long haul!