What does romance mean to you & your beloved? Cards, candy & flowers? Candlelit dinner? Unexpected gifts?
Those things can all be very nice if they come from the heart & not from some place of obligation.
But… If you want some deep, passionate, hardcore, dare I say delicious, real romance… then I highly suggest taking a stand for love. Real, authentic, responsible love.
That’s real romance. That’s hot stuff.
There’s this (frankly, crazy) idea that you’re just supposed to meet the “right” person, fall madly in love & hope that somehow, if it’s meant to be, your life & love will be wonderful forever more.
I don’t think most people believe this consciously, but we often find these types of ideas about relationships & love when we unravel some of the unconscious beliefs. It’s the storybook wish.
Logically, most couples know there will be work involved in their relationship but much of the time they don’t understand what their real work will be.
They think they need to “make their relationship work” (I despise that phrase), by forcing themselves to deal with grueling things & muscling through tough times. They believe that making things work means sacrificing, compromising (both people losing something), & “choosing their battles” by sucking it up & keeping their mouths shut. (Hell, it’s no wonder we call this the “ball & chain!”)
Somewhere we took a wrong turn & got lost… because that’s NOT the work!
That’s just hard, slightly insane (once you see how different it can be) & completely unnecessary.
What “WORK” in your relationship REALLY means:
- Show up for yourself. Work on yourself. This means being open & willing to become the best & highest version of yourself, for your own happiness & fulfillment first. And for your partner because you know they deserve the best you & that extends to the best partnership you can create together.
- Learn & grow together. Learn relationship skills like effective communication & set yourself up for success. (You didn’t learn them in school & you won’t learn them unless you choose to.) Become a great listener. Use these tools in your relationship to support your partner & create solid team. Be fully present with your partner, as if your lives depend on it. (Because the life of your relationship certainly does)
- Be 100% there for them. As you work on yourself & become the best version of you, be a stand for them too. Support them in their own personal evolution. Your insecurities & fears may come up as they do their work & grow. Dig deep & use those relationship skills. Be open, vulnerable & stay connected. This part may indeed feel like work because it can be scary. Scary things can sometimes feel draining. Be there & do them anyway. It’s unbelievably worth it.
- Have unrealistic goals. The “reality” is, approximately 50% of marriages still end in divorce. If you are in a serious relationship I encourage you to go for unrealistic goals & be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them. Do you want an ordinary relationship? Or would you rather have an extraordinary one? Adjust your goals accordingly.
- Be Unstoppable. Learn healthy conflict resolution habits & use them to keep your relationship clear, loving, & flowing. Don’t ever bring up the possibility of separating while you’re in conflict. Be clear that you’re coming from the place where it’s the highest good before ever addressing something like this. Being in reaction while throwing in the towel on your relationship is bad news & broken trust. You may one day feel like you want to bolt but do not make important life decisions out of temporary discomfort.
A loving partnership is definitely worth working for. It’s worth fighting for. If you want to slip into hopelessly romantic, it’s even worth dying for.
Look inside & own up to what you need to do to grow & become that person & partner you most want to be. Respect yourself & your partner. Honor your union by investing in yourself, your relationship & your dreams. Indulge in hearts, flowers, romantic dinners. But get your real romantic on by becoming all that you want to be in your life & partnership!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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