Sometimes relationships suck.
They are hard.
They need work and care and maintenance.
In addition to all of life’s demands: work, work, work, bills, bills, IRS, cook, clean, exercise, errands, tasks, family, friends…to have to take chunks of time to another person to be sure that their needs are met? To have to invest in them so
What’s the purpose?
For me, the purpose is to enjoy life and grow with my best friend. To have partnership and a partner that I can rely on and trust. Someone who will stand by my side in the good, the bad, and the hideous. Someone who listens. Someone who will make me laugh and who I can make laugh. A man who I can see as a good father and who I can imagine still having something to say to when we are 60.
I don’t need an adventurer, entertainer or sugar daddy. I need a friend, passion, growth, compromise and loyalty.
Relationships only flourish and grow when you invest in them, when you water and tend them like a garden.
How can you invest in your relationship?
First you have to know how to meet your partners needs.
1. Show love how your partner feels love.
I HIGHLY recommend reading the book The 5 Love Languages. This book is an expert guide to identify the way you feel loved and how you give love. For example if I feel love by spending quality time with someone, but my partner feels love by giving words of affirmation, we will reach an unintentional miscommunication. We will be trying our best to love each other, but neither of us will receive the message with the complete depth or fulfillment of our love. I will constantly desire more time while he will tell me what a great girlfriend I am, how well I cook, what a great job I’m doing at work, and a million other things that are nice to hear, but do not help me to feel fulfilled in my relationship because I need quality time to truly feel cherished.
You can take the quiz to know you and your partner’s love language here . Once you know how they receive love and feel loved, then you can make a point to give love in that specific way, and they need to do the same for you.
2. Do what they like to do
Not all the time, but once a month or so participate in their hobby. He loves cars? Go to a car show. She loves dancing? Suck it up and put on your two left-shoes. Be involved in what they love. This shows effort, kindness and that you are willing to invest in their interests because you care about them, so you care about what they like.
3. Know when to compromise
It’s a tough one. We know that we are right and how we want things done is the best way to do them. However, the majority of us do not want to go through this life alone.
Listen to your partner. If work was hard perhaps it is affecting their mood and their short tone. Or perhaps the socks don’t have to be folded. Maybe you all take a financial budgeting class together. Find some way to give grace to your partner; do not argue over every detail.
Let Ephesians 4:32 define your relationship.
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
4. Be grateful for your partner
Sometimes we date someone long enough that instead of finding joy in their presence their mannerisms and habits start to annoy us. A kind of “Stop breathing my air!” mentality quietly slips in. If you notice this happening, then try listing the things you are grateful for about your partner. Look for their good qualities and the reason you fell for them in the beginning. It might not be that you are tired of them, but with continued exposure our senses become dulled to the sparkling treasure we have.
Try changing up the routine. Do something, anything out of the ordinary. Novelty brings with it a quality of happiness and excitement that our daily routines can not provide. And doing that with your partner will bring fresh feelings for them with the activity.
5. Serve them
Not in a subservient manner, but in a manner according to how Christ served people with love. He was our leader, but chose to kneel and wash his followers dirty feet.
You may work as hard as your partner, or harder, so the household cleaning should not rightfully fall on your shoulders. But doing the dishes goes a long way. Or rubbing their feet after they have had a long day. Taking out the trash, checking the mail, running to the grocery store. All of these chores can be a loving act of service and help you to love your partner more.
I truly believe that when we are genuinely kind to someone, look for ways to ease their day, then we cherish them.
A good relationship is worth the investment. How do you invest and deepen yours? I can’t wait to read what has kept you and your partner going strong!