Couples who dwell or live in the past seldom are the ones you notice moving forward with anticipation to the future. My belief it that you should only look back to see how far you’ve come and to learn from the experience. To break free from the past you must look at the future as a mystery. Let things happen intentionally. This is, plan some unexpected romance with your partner. Begin to actively explore the mystery of love and romance together.
Romance is a mystery to some of us. And it is often misunderstood. To help us have a clearer picture of romance, first we must define it. If you look up the word in the dictionary you will find that most definitions are vague and the true essence of romance is missing.
Often when coaching couples who have drifted apart, I will ask this question: “Are you still doing the things that brought you together in the first place?” The answer is usually, “No.” The romance is gone! To let this happen is a big mistake.
The quality of your love relationship has everything to do with romance.
Romance reflects an attitude of interest and pursuit. In the beginning flattering words and positive actions were clearly designed to win the affection of your partner. We put our best foot forward. When pursuit stops, romance often deteriorates.
You must continue the pursuit. It meets a deep emotional need and builds your partner’s sense of security in the relationship. Do it with an enthusiastic attitude. Be romantic with intention. Romance reflects thoughtful affection.
A lack of romance in a relationship is a red flag. It doesn’t just communicate a lack of pizzazz or that the “honeymoon is over.” It sends a message that you no longer value each other; that your partner is a lower priority.
Relationships flounder when partners take each other for granted. What you take for granted, disappears. Taking someone for granted, breeds disrespect, resentment and becomes a wedge between two lovers. Then comes the drifting apart you once feared.
Consider the consequences of romantic neglect. When you lose the spontaneity and freshness of romance, the more boring, predictable and unromantic your relationship becomes.
Romance requires constant observation and forethought concerning the needs, likes and desires of your partner. Discover new things you can do to spend quality time together. What makes the person in your life feel special or loved? Listen for ideas or things your partner would like to have or do.
Can the passion that was ignited with romance in the beginning continue? The answer is, “Yes.” It takes effort. It takes a little thought. It takes planning ahead. It takes doing something for your partner on your own initiative without being asked.
Make a promise to your partner to create together a once-a-week “date night!” AND, keep your word. Plan something especially romantic. Let nothing prevent your weekly get together. If you have children, have a trusted friend watch them at their house. Return the favor.
Continuing romance is a matter of respect. Romance is an acknowledgment of value. It is visible evidence of love. It keeps your heart turned toward your partner and develops forward movement.
In a romantic moment, to say, “I love you” is great. However, to redeem the meaning of love in your relationship, you should not just say it out loud, you must show it consistently. Romance demonstrates that the words are true.
Love with positive action is very real and is the essence of true romance. We need to put the breaks on talking and thinking about the past and live life as a mystery. It is, you know. Things happen. We often do not have control over what happens to you as a couple. After all, there are two people in the relationship. One is hard enough. 😉 The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you can have. Cherish it. Never stop working on you.
What if you didn’t know anything about your partner? Just like when you first met. What if you looked at them like a mystery? That kind of not knowing. You didn’t know then, however, now because you’ve been together you have a lot of preconceived notions about what your partner will react to and how they will react.
Listen to your intuition. It will tell you how to fix the problem. Don’t confuse listening to yourself with listening to your intuition. When you listen to yourself that is when you are likely to get off track. Stop! Listen to what you are saying to yourself. Is it more conversation about what you already know? If so, it may be just you talking again. Intuition advises you in the area of what you don’t know you don’t know. It is probably safe to say that listening to yourself is what got you where you are today.
If where you are is a mess or you think things could be better, your next step is to listen to your intuition for an answer about what to do to get out of this mess or for ways to improve your situation. The ugly truth is, life lives on the tip of your tongue. Things are the way they are because of the way you think and because you say so. Being afraid to take that first step will only hold you back.
What if you looked at your partner as if they were a mystery? Relationships and love are a mystery and making your relationship work is an even bigger mystery. What kind of a person could you discover if you dropped your preconceived ideas about who they are and let them show up as more of who they really are? AND you could be okay with that. For better or for worse. When partners are treated with RESPECT. . . things change!
Behind all the facade, there is a person who needs love just like everyone else. Give it to them. Be loving. If you don’t attempt to look at them like a mystery, you will never know whether you could have made a difference in your relationship by being yourself in this new and exciting way. When two people get together, this can often get complicated. When they really love each other, love, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness can make everything right.
Remember, yesterday is history and you cannot change it. Look to the future. You can have a say in that. Tomorrow is a mystery! Who knows what you will discover about yourself and your partner.
New beginnings are terrific. Happy endings are the result. Who knows. . . this “mystery” thing could be the spark that ignites the fire again!
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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