It's easy, when your relationship is going well, to take it for granted. Oh, sure, you enjoy it, you love your guy and your life together, but let's face it. As long as something doesn't come along to rock the boat, you're content, and you turn your attention to other things. Which would be fine, except... that anything you don't tend and nurture will eventually deteriorate. It's true of plants, our pets, our bodies, even your manicure. Don't give it attention, and whatever "it" is, will decline, wither away, or just plain die.
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You know what to do when your relationship isn't going well: you try to communicate better, read self-help books, talk it over with friends, a therapist, you write in your journal, etc. What do you do when your relationship is going well? How much training did you get in school on: "How to deal with successful relationships and the maintenance of happiness"? How many articles are devoted to this idea? How often did your parents lecture you on the subject? How many seminars?
Billboards? TV shows? etc. None. Oh, maybe an article here and a show there, but the vast preponderance of the emphasis in our culture is on problems.
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So, how do you tend and nurture your relationship?
How do you go from happiness to greater happiness? Carefully. With love and patience. First value what you have. Then look for more and more to value and appreciate, both within the relationship and with your mate. The quickest way to lose a relationship is to stop valuing it. The surest way to develop a successful relationship is to find more and more ways to value it, and to do so with increasing depth.
Deliberately create opportunities to explore the wonder of the relationship, to explore the fun of it. Set aside special time together, commit to it, make plans to do special things together, give your relationship importance. Treat your guy as special all the time, express your appreciation of him openly, often.
Most importantly, never ever take happiness for granted.
Tell us: How do you tend to and nurture your relationship? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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