Why Working on Your Relationship Is a Bad Idea

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Image: Justin Follis

What comes to mind when you think of work? If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking of exhausting, worn out, fatigue, and other negative emotions. Very few people, myself included, get excited thinking about working. We like to have fun, do things that are enjoyable and exciting. Relationships take effort, not work. Your mindset going into the relationship will determine the outcome. Thinking of your relationship as work is setting a negative tone from the beginning.

If you desire to build a relationship that looks and feels good on and off social media, then focus on these three areas which will require your time, attention, and most of all, effort. No doubt, you’ve heard these before, but society has changed. There are so many things fighting for our attention, and oftentimes the people we love the most are the ones that are forced to get what’s left over, after we’ve given our best to everyone else. It’s not intentional, but it happens. A successful relationship requires communication, spontaneity, and privacy.

Communication has become a lost art. I’m talking about really communicating, where you lose track of time because you’re so engrossed in the dialogue. That kind of communication. When’s the last time you’ve had that kind of conversation with your mate? Unfortunately, electronics have taken over, and far too many people rather text than talk. That’s fine in some cases, but when it comes to relationships, an old-fashion conversation is still needed.

One day, I realized my husband and I were talking, but it was always about bills and children. Nothing exciting. We implemented small changes. The new rule was children, and bills were off limits on date night and during bedtime pillow talk. These were times when we were able to talk about funny things that happened recently, reminisced about old times, or even about a movie we’d just watched. The purpose was to communicate and enjoy each other’s company, without stress or worry. It worked. I love talking to my husband. I’d forgotten how funny he is and how much I’d missed just being silly with him. Try it and see what happens.

Image: William Stitt

Communicating is just a start to keeping your relationship alive and fresh. Being spontaneous is another way to keep things interesting, both in and out of the bedroom. When it comes to running a business and a household, routines are necessary and helpful. When it comes to maintaining a relationship, routine can become boring. It happens often and without notice most times. We tend to fall into the routine of our daily lives and eventually you yearn for more excitement. The best way to prevent this from happening is to try to be spontaneous with your partner. Take an unexpected weekend trip, invite some friends over for an adult game night, go to the movies in the middle of the week, whatever you need to do that’s out of the norm. Go to a karaoke bar and act silly. Understand that every minute of your lives doesn’t have to be planned and perfect. Amazing things happen when you allow things to unfold naturally and just go with it.

While you’re in the midst of having a wonderful, unplanned night of fun with your partner, live in the moment. Don’t interrupt the fun to take a picture and post on social media. What happens between you and your partner, good or bad, should be kept between the two of you sometimes. I get it, there will be times you’ll want to show the world what an awesome person you married or dating, and that’s fine, but you don’t have to document every moment of your time together for the world to see. I must be honest, I’m one of those people who tend to question the relationships that are always flaunted around social media. In my world, enjoying a movie and time with my husband isn’t something I need to share with my social media friends. The time I’m spending posting is time I’m taking away from him.

“Being married is like having a second job.” I used to hear women say this a lot and I’d think, why would I want to get married if it feels like a second job? I used to think it was hard work and questioned if it was for me. Once I met my husband and we got married, I realized being with him wasn’t work at all. It was making a conscious effort to be happy with the man I married, and make sure he stays happy with me. We’ve been on this journey for sixteen years, and I don’t see either of us exiting anytime soon. We’re having way too much fun.

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