After the brief sparks and romantic interlude, most relationships fall into a comfortable companionship or go stale. Few maintain the excitement and eagerness to be together.
Most couples are burdened with hectic work schedules. Coupled with responsibilities in starting a family, alone time together is often least prioritized. Each is probably thinking that when retirement age comes, and the children have left the house, you will have all the time in the world.
But then, on your journey, a lot of things could happen. You never know if you’d still be together in the future. In fact, the decisions you make now would determine what your future would be. Here are a few reminders so that you don’t waste your time while anticipating your future together.
Strategize your use of time more than how you budget your money.
If you need to choose what you could save, save time because it’s a resource you could not regain. There are situations, though, where you don’t have to choose between time and money. But you need to take the initiative to maximize both resources.
You might be thinking of renting an apartment outside the city you’re working in because it’s cheaper. But your travel to work every day could go for at least a couple of hours. Think of all that wasted time if you pass it sitting, watching the world blur outside the window of a train or a car. You could use this time to spend quality conversations with your partner. It will take some effort, however, since you will need to travel together.
Over time, your body also changes. With old age, especially if you had spent your years slaving away on stressful work, your senses and body functions will be limited. One day, you might have to let go of a scrumptious beef stake so as not to trigger arthritis. You might have to get treatment for your dry eyes already blurring your vision. You might need a hearing aid to hear a world-renowned orchestra.
It is plausible that you would have more money to spend when you retire, but it’s not a guarantee that you would have the optimum experience. So splurge occasionally. Go on that much-deserved vacation. While you are also still younger, you have the energy to walk around the places you visit. Create extraordinary memories with the vigor of your youth. When you wait for old age, you might be too focused on your body aches instead of enjoying your vacation.
When you’re at a stage in your career where you need to spend a lot of time at work, go on short vacations. It’s fine if you stay at home, but don’t be tempted to open your emails or start reviewing your reports. Don’t skip holiday vacations. You and your partner should at least have those days to yourselves. As the cliché goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but too much absence makes the heart forget.
Value the sense of gratitude.
Relationships often go bad when one starts to feel that something is missing, leaving them unsatisfied with the relationship. The feeling of gratitude allows you to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t.
To feel grateful is a personal decision. People could insist on feeling discontented when they are actively looking for a reason to be. Similarly, those looking for reasons to be thankful would also easily find them in simple things. When you have made a habit of feeling grateful for any small thing that happens to you, the feeling of contentment is not far behind.
Maintaining an outlook of constant gratitude may be difficult for a couple as the two may not necessarily have the same perspectives in life. But if one feels grateful and contented, whatever frictions and conflicts would come up could be resolved. After all, the feeling of gratitude comes up because the individual feels that one or two of their needs have been met by the other. It’s more difficult to resolve anything when both of you are constantly finding each other lacking.
People have different reasons to feel grateful. You have reached a point in your relationship where you have decided to become a couple, so you must know what your partner likes and dislikes.
The beginning is the easiest part of a relationship. Don’t think that once you become a couple, you have already reached the finish line. The bigger challenge is how to sustain your partnership. There will be several doubts, temptations, and misgivings along the way. But if the two of you know how to navigate through these, then you’d emerge stronger, using your difficult experiences as the building blocks of your relationship.