Let me start off by saying that I am not a psychologist or licensed therapist, nor do I want to be. I only have about thirty-five years of my own experiences to draw on. I feel I have learned a lot from my experiences and from successful couples and maybe it will be good to share them. I always thought that everything would work out as long as I’m loyal, do nice things, and show my love. Unfortunately it’s not that easy. When my son asked me why his mom and I got divorced I told him it was like pizza. Pizza is his favorite food, but what if he had to eat the same pizza every day for the rest of his life. Would he still like pizza as much? Although the truth about our marriage ending was a lot more simple than that, I needed to spare him the gory details since he is only eight years old.
Remember the butterflies
Do you remember in the beginning when you first started to think you might like this person. Everything they said was the right thing and you couldn’t wait until your next encounter. Then you fell in love and those wonderful butterflies were flying through your head constantly and you wished they would last forever. You and your new love were connected and you had that confident feeling that you were both on the same page. The sky was the limit as you constantly discovered new things about each other. Unfortunately all these endorphins flowing through your system will one day completely vanish. Now that that warm and fuzzies are out of your system, it’s time to deal with relationship stuff. Many issues will slowly begin to creep up and eventually something will need to be done about it.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
That’s easy for me to say. When the butterflies slowly start to diminish you will come to a realization that you are no longer exactly on the same page anymore. Things that previously were not an issue are now getting on your nerves. Is this because you’re spending too much time together? Now that the butterflies are gone you are left to sort through all the good and bad times and then you have to determine what to do next.
The chosen path
No matter who we are with or what kind of relationship we are in, we travel on our own path. If we love someone it is ultimately our responsibility to pave the way for our partner to be alongside us. Often we do the opposite without even knowing it. Although I was actually on the same path as my partner during my last relationship, our communication skills were so bad that we didn’t realize we both wanted the same thing. Regardless of what we both wanted, there comes a point in a relationship where there is no possible way for reconciliation. Sometimes we get so twisted up in our heads and we develop our own identity of our partner based on all of our negative thoughts. Although many of the negative thoughts are accurate, we fail to include all the happy thoughts. I’m fairly certain there are a lot more positive thoughts and memories that there were bad ones.
Where did the butterflies go?
Earlier I mentioned telling my son that marriage was like having your favorite food every single day. Eventually you get tired of it and want something else. It’s a natural phenomenon that is extremely difficult to overcome. The couples that I’ve met over the years that have been together for a long time all gave me similar advice. You have to forgive and forget. This can go a long way assuming you don’t need forgiveness for the same thing multiple times. Some of these couples have even overcome infidelity and it made them stronger. In my opinion unfaithfulness is a one and done scenario, more power to them for working it out. Another thing they told me was they change things up from time to time. A random surprise like flowers or preparing dinner with no special occasion in mind. After all, it’s the little things that count. They all said how imperative it is to continuously give each other verbal praise to validate the respect and love you have. Although the butterflies may be gone, there are many couples out there who are living proof that the love doesn’t have to go with it.
Is love worth the trouble?
Is it really better to have loved and lost than never have loved before? In my humble opinion the answer is an astounding “yes”. Although I wish I could bottle up all those butterflies and keep them around forever, it’s just not humanly possible. Many couples have showed us the way, but it takes constant effort from both sides and it’s not easy. Nobody wants to be alone, but maybe some of us are better off alone rather that with a partner who is not appreciative. I still remain a hopeless romantic and I will continue on with the dream that one day I’ll meet that perfect person and together we will find a way to keep that flame burning.