Seven tips that can help you build your "Forever" Relationship
Holidays can be a very emotional time for many. Especially for those, myself included, who grew you in homes where the expression of love sometimes was a little unconventional. As we see families gathering, traveling, and planning their time together our ideas about what love is becomes a big part of how we gauge our happiness. Breakups at this time of year are also difficult because we have been conditioned to imagine this time as a time of coming together not growing apart. But it happens and these occasions sometimes push us to these splits because we come to realize that we want something better, something more for-filling and authentic to our core selves.
Recently reading about a few celebrities and their relationship woes along with a few friends of my own coming to their place in life where it is time to walk away from their relationships bought me to an old post I wrote about “Forever” and what that means. I really believe that our biggest mistake from the start of any connection is placing a time stamp on it. It is just too much pressure I think, it almost stifles your growth and forces a square into a circle.
I am going to share Seven tips that can help you build your “Forever” Relationship and I would love some feedback at the end.
*Forever; ask me what that means to me today I say it's right now. As I hold you in my arms now, as I kiss you now and tell you I love you now, that is my Forever. If you asked me that at the age of twenty I would have thought a lifetime and who really knows how long even that would have been. In my youth I thought about the guy who would "rescue" me. I would read Judy Blume books and hope to someday meet a guy just like the ones she wrote about. The guy who would change everything. The guy who would always be by my side.
Then as a young woman I continued to grow up seeing and hearing about finding someone to be with "Forever". That I was to grow up and connect with someone and that would be my happiness. It would complete me and it would be a source of joy and its a goal that everyone sets out to achieve. As I began to date I kept those stories and those teachings in mind. I would romanticize these connections that actually were just passing feelings or short term connections. They were just your typical growing up right of passage. Then I met the One, it lasted numerous years but then it ended. I met the One again, and that too ended. What happened to my Forever? I thought I found the One.
But what if your Forever has an expiration date? What if it was meant to last only an x amount of time, are you a failure? If at some point you say "this is not where I want to be" should you feel guilty? Should you stick it out when you fall out of love? I commend anyone who accepts their union has served its purpose and finds strength to move on but when I read this article with the young actress Hilary Duff I found in her a breath of fresh air. She had the courage to say out loud what I think a lot of people wonder or question but just never say let alone speak about. She stated that she doesn't think people are meant to be together Forever.
We are ever changing ever growing beings and if we for some reason are the same year after year then something is wrong. Yes our core should remain the same but all the other things that fill us should be forever growing, expanding and testing. If the only two sure things in life are Taxes and Death, why do we put so much stock on relationships lasting Forever? If we outgrow toys, clothes, friends, jobs and even routine habits why wouldn't we outgrow a love? Why wouldn't it be normal or accepted that love changes and people move on?
If we don't want our Forever to expire. If we believe in happily ever after and don't want to give up on that goal, what do we do? How do we insure a better outcome? How do we lay down a better path? In my experience, through trial and error I learned the following:
Seven tips that can help you build your “Forever” Relationship:
Be in the moment- it's ok to plan and daydream, it's ok to get lost in fantasy but be in the moment. Enjoy that kiss, linger in that touch, hold that embraces and enjoy that smile. Don't rush through it expecting you have tomorrow, live it today.
Be realistic- what you put in is what you will get in return. If you stop doing the things that drew you together don't be shocked when you start to grow apart. Part of what keeps us together is mutual interest, excitement and playfulness. If you hold on to that reality then your Forever can increase.
Change your Expectations- notice I said change and not lower. if you want to make love last you can't grow under pressure. Flaws are what separate us and make us unique. Don't fall for the "storybook" instead create your own story. One that represents you and your partner, one that you can build together.
Reinvent Yourself- as time goes by we tend to become a bit comfortable. Yes those jeans we finally broke in suit us fine but people aren't clothes. Every now and then we need a jolt to remind us of why. Why we chose a certain book, a certain job, a certain lipstick. Same with partners, every now and then do something out of the box. Remind him or her why they chose you. Why they stopped to speak to you, why they asked you out. Get a haircut or change a few pieces in your wardrobe. It will be like being with someone new.
Baby Steps- sometimes we tend, especially us women to go a little over board. We meet someone and right away start over sharing all these grand plans. The clock may be ticking but pushing things to move faster than they are ready to move is a sure way to reach your end.
Like mindedness- birds of a feather do flock together. Opposites also do attract but you can't be such opposites and expect to fall into common ground. Make sure you are meeting and connecting with people with some common interests. Similar values and goals, perhaps a little adventurous so you can both try new things often.
Forever is - whatever you make it. How ever you make it. The definition of Forever realistically speaking is not the same for everyone. You could have the best of something and had it only for a short time or you could have the worst of something and have it drag on for a long time. So make your Forever count for You.
The purpose of living is to experience and grow, it is to fill our lives with that which brings us joy and pay it forward. Living is not “following” one path but walking along several and taking many things away along the journey. If you are not growing and/or allowing others to grow while by your side than you are not loving. Love is free flowing like the wind not suffocating like smoke.
What route are you taking towards your “forever”? Is it realistic or surrounded in fantasy? Share your thoughts and experiences. Something to think about over the holidays as you connect with those you love.