How to Keep a Relationship Alive and Strong
Falling in Love
So let’s say that you go to the supermarket and you give the cashier your money. She returns to you your change and there is a brand new shiny quarter mixed in with all of the old dingy coins. You are really excited. You have never had a brand new coin before. The color is amazing. There is not one scratch or mark on it. This coin is beautiful. You have never seen anything like it. You actually keep thinking about it and it becomes special to you. You feel it is superior to all those other worn out coins you have in your pocket or purse. You have decided that you are not going to spend it. You will treasure it. Every time you go shopping you take it out of your pocket/purse but you won’t dare part with it. It is new and perfect so therefore you treat it that way.
The Love Starts to Fade
After a while of this shiny new coin being mixed in with your other coins, it begins to fade a little. It is not quite as shiny as before and you start seeing little scratches and dents on it here and there. You still think of it as special because it was in fact the first new coin you ever had, but it becomes less and less interesting to you. Just like the color of the coin fading, your attraction and amazement of the coin starts to fade as well.
Can We Find Love Again?
Now you go to the supermarket and to your surprise the cashier once again gives you change and you find that they have given you a brand new quarter again. A nice shiny new quarter, no marks no fading, its perfect.
Let me ask you a question. What are you going to do? The easy thing to do is to just forget about that old coin and replace it with this new one. No work required. Just spend that old coin and start to treasure this one. The other option would be to buy some coin cleaner and scrub the old coin, bringing back some of its beauty, though it will never be perfect again, you could get it close to what it use to be. Sure there would be a bit of scratches and dents on the coin, but if you worked at it, it could once again become special to you. Yes it might be the harder route; it might at times even seem impossible to achieve that shine again. But when you put your mind to it, take care of it every day, nurture it and work at it, you will once again find in it what it had lost.
Love Requires Work
But in reality a lot of us do not want to deal with all the work. It starts to feel like a burden. Why should we have to work so hard on something? When we received it there was not much work involved. It was just handed to you. You just feel in love with it. Not much was done on your part. Just if life was always that easy.
Well guess what. If you choose to get rid of the old coin and decide to treasure the new coin, after a while that new shiny coin will also become faded, dull and scratched up and you will once again find yourself looking for a new one to replace it. The cycle will go on and on. Just replacing the old coin with a new one. It might even get to the point where the thought of a new coin just becomes meaningless to you.
Stages of a Relationship
What is my point? My point is that most relationships are like this coin. When it starts out it is different, amazing, beautiful and exciting. You would do anything to preserve it. You separate your relationship from everything going on in your life and you think about it all the time. After a while, life starts to kick in and things start changing. Your life start blending, routine starts to kick in and that “honeymoon stage” starts to fade. There are things that you have been through that leaves scars and makes changes to the initial relationship. You might start to feel that the relationship is not what it use to be. It doesn’t feel that special anymore. The reality of real life has changed the way you feel.
So what do you do? Do you take the easy way out and just forget about the relationship all together? Do you just give up and not try to bring that amazing feeling back? Do you think that the scars and negativity that you have experienced together is just too hard to fix? Wouldn’t it just be easier to start fresh and in your next relationship try not to make the same mistakes again? While in some cases that might be the best thing to do in so many cases that I have seen with my own eyes, this is not the case. With just a little bit of work and compromise from both people you can get that love back into the relationship. Remember those scars and dents that the coin now has? Those things are actually proof of your relationship. They are real experiences, trials and problems. There will be problems in every relationship that you have. There will always be something that is not perfect. But these are the things you have gone through together. It is what made the two of you one. What will make it work and last is the fact that you have the Faith and the strength to get through it together. You conquer your problems together and it will only make you closer in the long run. Think about it. If every single relationship that you had was easy and had no problems, if you had nothing to face together, no challenges then what would make the relationship special? What would make the other person different than anybody else? Nothing would. In fact if you were to find a perfect relationship with every person you dated or married then it would not make any difference who you choose to marry or date.
Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?
Have you ever left a relationship to find the grass in NOT greener on the other side?
Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?
Though the grass may seem greener on the other side, what if it is not? Is this once amazing special relationship really worth letting go? Remember that anything worth anything requires work. Maybe you have done things in the relationship that you are not so proud of. Maybe your partner has done things that are not perfect, but that is ok. With communication and understanding you can work it out. Or at least try to work it out.
I have seen so many relationships end because one or both partners think that it would just be easier to move on and let it go. Come to find out, they never find what they are looking for. Yes you might find love again, you might even be ok and even content in another relationship but there is always a part of you that misses that first shiny coin. It has a special place in your heart. You might actually never quite feel that way again in another relationship. Are you willing to take that risk? Now you start to realize that all that work you could have put into making it better wouldn’t have been such a burden after all. It really would have been worth it.
You see when we want something bad enough we are willing to sacrifice to get it. And it is funny because at the time it does not even feel like much effort on our part. Remember the new shiny coin? At first keeping it separated and giving it extra attention did not seem like much work. All you really had to do was nurture it a little. You had to make sure that you did not spend it by mistake. You gave it a bit more attention than those other coins. You really wanted it to work at first so making an effort came natural to you. When you start a relationship pleasing the other person is what is important to you. You want this relationship to be different and you want to make it last. What happened when you put a little bit of effort into that relationship at first? It worked; you get the other person. You start a relationship. The relationship was great. You fell in love. You were happy. You felt all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Right?
So What Went Wrong?
My final point, if you put that coin in your pocket and let it just blend in with the rest, if you do not every once in a while clean it and take care of it then of course it is going to fade. In order to keep something working forever, you have to work on it forever. There is no other way to put it. So many people think all the work is done at first and that is all a relationship requires. That is so far from the truth. So before you decide that your relationship is dead, that it is not worth fighting for, think about it. Could you resolve some of the problems by changing simple things about yourself? Could you talk to your partner and figure out a way to make things better? If you try, a lot of the times you will realize that you can. What if this person is really the love of your life? Will you have any regrets in letting this person go? Do you think that the grass is greener on the other side? It might be for a while, but the nice bright green grass will start to grow higher and higher and start to look messy if you do not work and mow it. The nice green grass will start to turn brown if you do not water it. In order to have nice grass you must take care of it. If you have something real, special and valuable hold on to it. Do your part in taking care of it. What might seem like such a big deal at the moment, might seem so miniscule a year from now after the problem has been worked on and fixed. If you have love in your heart, don’t waste it. Use it and the treasure at the end of the rainbow might be different than when you first found it, but it does not mean that it is any less valuable or that it is any less beautiful. In fact, your treasure has become what it has partly because of you and that my friend does not have a price tag.