Your relationship may have started off bursting with passion and now be feeling a little drab. Ebbs and flows are a part of life, and are no exception when it comes to the heart.
However, are you fully embracing the one you’re with and offering your best self?
Most of us live in the “maybe” zone. Commitment is scary, and while we long for that loving partner we equally long for our freedom. Rather than dealing with this the right way, we stand on shaky ground in our commitments by living with one foot out the door.It is that lingering feeling of, “Well, if this isn’t making me happy anymore I can always leave.”
A year into dating, I realized that I wasn’t fully embracing my relationship. With divorced parents, I had this suspicion that long-term commitments just didn’t work. I also had never fully gotten over my ex and began comparing my fiancé to that relationship, which was only holding me back from being truly happy in my relationship.I had to make a choice – I took a leap of faith and decided to put both feet in.
Image: The Photography Muse via Flickr
Now, putting both feet in isn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight. There were multiple things I had to do to get my relationship back on track:
1. Hired a coach to help me get over my past relationship.
When we’re living in the past, and comparing our current partners to others, we’re not giving them a fair chance. My fiancé was up against a ghost that was being seen through rose-colored glasses. I began doing work to truly close that door, and to see that past relationship for what it really was.
2. I had to take a deep look at my partner and myself, flaws included.
When we choose to see the people in front of us, I mean, really see them – things begin to shift. Yes, they are human and they do have flaws. But hey, so do we! No one will be perfect, and that’s okay. We can love someone for who that person is, flaws included. Further, you’ll begin to see all the wonderful things about your partner like how much they do around the house, or that they often say, “I love you”, or how cute they look when they’re sleeping.
3. I had to bring the fun and passion back into my relationship.
We had hit that year slump, and things began to get a little too “comfortable”. We knew each other’s idiosyncrasies; we brushed our teeth together and occasionally ate in front of the TV. These are the things that make a relationship beautiful, but can also leave us craving more. I decided to start treating our relationship like I did when we first met. We set a date night, I dressed up for him, we kissed with our mouths open and truly listened to what the other said. Our love life became more passionate as I allowed myself to enjoy the moment rather trying to control and criticize.
4. I gave my partner and myself some space.
To fulfill that freedom I craved, I needed to spend some time alone and with friends. I’d take a bubble bath by myself, read my favorite novel or go out with the girls. This doesn’t have to be anything big, just have a little breathing room.
5. I made the leap and put both feet in.
I no longer found myself staring at other men and wondering what a relationship would be like with them. I no longer asked myself if I made a mistake breaking up with my ex and I no longer questioned if I’d stay with this man, for better or for worse.
To my surprise, I was happier.
I had missed not only the way our relationship was at the beginning, but also the way I was at the beginning. When we first start dating, we put out our best selves. We’re funny, intelligent, spontaneous and energetic.This was the person I want to be, and there was no reason to let this person go.
I realized how much I love my partner, and could sense his behavior shifting with my own attitude change. One day I said to him, “I feel like there’s been a difference in our relationship, have you noticed?” He said he did, although he wasn’t sure why. Secretly, I knew it was because of that sole promise I’d made to myself.
J’adore mi amor,