Entering a relationship, is like starting a long term investment for retirement. That is, if you're in it for the long haul and would like to have a nice retirement. It's no secret that relationships have highs and lows. What's important is that you repair after the lows.
You build a good relationship over time. It's the small deposits that make a big difference over a long period of time. If you aren't making a lot of small deposits, then making one big deposit won't make a bit of difference. It may actually hurt your relationship in the long run.
If you make too many withdrawals, you will end up overdrawn which can cause the relationship to end. This doesn't mean you count. Counting is one of the worst things you can do in a relationship. This means you make genuine deposits into your relationship, and take a genuine interest in your partner. Here are five simple investments you can make everyday:
- Kiss, Kiss, Kiss. This is very simple but it's easy to get away from when you are in a long term relationship. Kiss for at least six and a half seconds, twice a day. This is not a long time. When you kiss for six and a half seconds, things in the brain begin to change. Prepare for the kiss like you did in the beginning. This means have a mint on the way home from work. Your partner will appreciate this.
- Know at least one important thing about your partner's day before leaving in the morning. It's important to talk to one another before leaving. Take a genuine interest in your partner's work, friends and family. Stay positive, even if you don't agree with your partner. Let your partner know you are rooting for them, when they give their next pitch to the big boss. Be excited when your partner tells you they are having lunch with some friends they haven't seen in a while. You want your partner to feel you are on their side, and this will help with that.
- Think fondly of your partner when you are not with them. It's easy to think of all the things your partner hasn't done for you, or what you don't like about your partner. Even if you aren't saying this to your partner, this sets a tone to the relationship. You will come across with an attitude. This will put your partner on the defense. Instead, think of how wonderful that last kiss was. Think of when they helped out around the house, without you having to ask. This list is endless, add your own.
- Be appreciative of one another. This is one of those simple deposits, that we often forget after being in a relationship for a while. Tell your partner how much you appreciate them. Tell them you appreciate their smile, and can't wait to see them after a long day at work. Make sure to let your partner know how much you appreciate that they listened to you, while venting about your job last night. I know life can be stressful with work, house and children. But, don't forget your partner in the process. Appreciations don't take much time, and they make a big difference.
- Weekly date. This is a big one, time-wise. But, this one is really important. It's important that you and your partner have time for yourselves, without any distractions. This means, shut off all electronic devices. You can go out to your favorite restaurant, go for a hike, a baseball game, or have date night at home. Just make sure the children aren't around. Prepare for the date the way you did when you first met. Talk about your relationship, ask questions and listen with interest and enthusiasm. By doing this, you are prioritizing your relationship and setting a positive tone. The investment will pay off.
There you go, this list is rather simple. If you've gotten away from it, you aren't alone. Many couples get away from the simple stuff. We live in a fast paced world. The good news is, it's not to late to start. Add one of these small investments to your relationship today. Then, keep going. You can also add your own and personalize it.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She has a lot of experience in working with couples and loves her work. For more information, please visit www.LessonsforLove.com.