It’s not just little girls who dream of a happily-ever-after kind of love. Almost everyone wants to experience a great relationship or marriage that includes keeping love growing. The wonderful feelings that come with connection and passion are undeniable. And, once you have love like this, you want to keep it going.
An intention to experience a connected and passionate relationship might lead a person to believe that he or she has to work hard and be vigilant to make it happen. Unfortunately, this belief can cause that person to miss the wonderful moments and joy already going in the relationship. Instead, we encourage you to have fun as you allow the great relationship you’ve always wanted to unfold. You may even discover that you already have a fabulous relationship.
New Year’s resolutions was the focus of a recent editorial column in one of our local newspapers. The columnist observed how she joined the common practice of setting resolutions for herself at the beginning of each new year—particularly goals to eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight. She went on to say that at the end of the year she regularly found that she’d not lived up to those goals and felt disappointed in her failures.
This year she made a new discovery. She realized that her list of resolutions for last year was longer than what she tended to focus on. Lower down on the list included goals like spending more time outdoors, watching more movies and spending more time with friends. She was delighted to find that she did follow through on these “lesser” goals. The big message in this editorial was that we tend only see what we didn’t do or what isn’t going right in our lives.
How freeing and uplifting for the columnist when she expanded her sense of what was important and celebrated what she did accomplish.
Do you find yourself focusing on what’s not going right in your life and your relationship goals that you haven’t met?
Do you find that you are so intent on your goals that the unmet goals are all you see? Or do you not set any goals but constantly are thinking that you’d like your relationships, especially a love relationship to be better?
If so, try out these 3 tips for keeping love growing…
Tip #1) Have fun!
As you move closer and closer to the passion and connection you want with your partner, remember to let yourself have fun. It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking ourselves and our relationship too seriously. Potentially joyful moments get passed by or are muted when we are so focused on working hard for this goal. Keep in mind what you want and continue to be mindful. At the same time, however, make it a priority to enjoy the process along the way. Deeper intimacy and greater connection may be more accessible to you sooner when you are in a lighter, more open place.
Maybe you and your partner have a tendency to jump to conclusions with one another. You’ve both resolved to stop this habit. You’ve talked about it, read about it, even attended workshops teaching you how to better connect. These can be very helpful ways to make the changes you want. See what happens when you also allow yourselves to just be silly sometimes. Infuse frivolity and fun into your lives! Perhaps watching a funny movie together would be inspiring. You can continue your practice changing an unwanted relationship habit as you have fun along the way.
2.) Celebrate—even the “small” stuff
As we saw in the example of the newspaper column, it is quite common to prioritize our goals and accomplishments (or lack thereof). This can be a useful practice, but there are also disadvantages as the writer pointed out. The same prioritizing can occur in our relationships. All of our attention goes to the “big” issues which leaves many moments of “little” success discounted or completely unnoticed. How might it feel different if you and your love celebrate even the “small” successes?
Mistrust might run rampant in your relationship. This is a complex issue that certainly deserves attention. At the same time you and your partner are taking steps to strengthen trust between you, make it a point to also celebrate what is going “right.” It could be that you and your partner do a really great job communicating from the heart. When a misunderstanding arises, you have a history of clear and compassionate communication to sort it out. Celebrate this habit that you might even take for granted. As you appreciate what is going well, it might make it easier to change those tendencies that you do not find affirming.
We’ve suggested that you focus on each moment to notice and celebrate what’s going right. So it might feel like a contradiction when we encourage you to keep alive your dreams of a happily-ever-after love.
While it may seem silly or even childish, we want you to dream and keep doing it. What’s alive in your mind can more easily become real. We are not suggesting you ignore the present with your head in the clouds. Instead, we suggest that you allow yourself to see beyond where you are now and open up to the possibility of an even better relationship as you keep appreciating what you already have. You don’t have to know how it will happen, only what you want your love relationship to look and feel like.
We encourage you to keep your dreams alive, celebrate your successes together, and keep the fun times flowing.