When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, it’s easy to get complacent. You take your partner’s good qualities for granted and wish that his bad ones would simply disappear. And over time, a rut sets in. You co-exist. But that was never your plan. You wanted to savor the beauty of this relationship. You wanted to feel alive. So how can you keep the genuine love you felt going?
Genuine Love Means Noticing The Abundance In Front Of You
You were initially attracted to your partner for a host of wonderful qualities. Many of them are probably still there and are a big reason why you are still with your partner. But by now you take them for granted, or worse, keep feeling dismayed by the negative ones.
For years, in my first marriage, my husband and I continually focused on what the other one was lacking. It wore our marriage down. Today, I intentionally remind myself of my current husband’s good qualities. When we have a disagreement, I focus on getting it resolved, rather than dwell on it, so that I can return to focusing on the genuine love I feel for him.
What are the wonderful qualities your partner has? What do you still adore today? Compile a list so you can remind yourself how wonderful your partner truly is. When it’s right in front of you, it’s easy to forget. Quietly sit with this list, and close your eyes. Give thanks for each of the qualities you enjoy. Experience them in your thoughts and feel the warm connection this creates between you.
Law of Attraction teaches us that we get more of what we focus on. Practicing gratitude in relationships is central to keeping our genuine love for each other going. The more we appreciate our partners, the more they will reflect their good qualities back to us.
If you are feeling challenged in creating this list, it can be helpful to break it down into smaller pieces:
- List how your partner helps around the home.
- Describe how your partner makes me you feel when you are with him.
- List the gifts he gives you each year and how they make you feel.
- Describe how you feel when you are together.
- List the ways in which he shows that he appreciates you.
- Describe your favorite activities together and why you enjoy doing them with him.
- List his best qualities.
Really soak in what you experience when you think about this. Feel the appreciation it builds in you and connect with it.
Fostering Genuine Love By Growing Together
One of the goals that my husband and I have each year is that we take a class together. These have been serious workshops where we learned more about ourselves, and lately, it has been fun wine tasting classes. We decide on it together so that we are sure that both will enjoy it. What this does is that we both grow in some way together, which keeps us connected in an enduring way.
The emphasis is on “together” here. It’s easy for couples in long-term relationships to grow apart because they each grow in a different direction. We develop different interests. There’s nothing wrong with developing yourself. However, to stay connected with your partner, you need to keep that genuine love and connection alive. Learning new things together does just that. And when you choose a topic that is interesting to both, it will infuse your relationship with new life.
This year, my husband and I discovered wine tastings. This interest was sparked on our summer trip through Oregon’s wine country. While we both had enjoyed wine for years, we realized that we both would enjoy learning about this topic more in-depth.
So we picked up a great wine guide in a second-hand bookstore. And this book held more fun for us than we could have ever anticipated. We started buying the various wines suggested on the tasting lists and worked our way through one chapter at a time.
We not only learned about the world of wine but also what we each liked. To our amazement, we found that we both loved similar wines. However, they were not the wines we had been used to drinking at all, but rather were ones we newly discovered together.
This new hobby continues to fuel our dates, sending us to explore the many wineries in our region. And while I genuinely love drinking wine on my own, what I really love about this is that it something that connects us, and that we both enjoy doing it together.
So ask yourself: what is a topic you would like to learn more about, which your partner might enjoy as well? Talk to each other and research the options together. Allow it to grow between the two of you.
Strengthening Genuine Love Through A Joint Vision Statement
My husband and I sit down each year and outline our goals for the year together. We talk about what we want to achieve for our family, our relationship, our finances, our careers and our health. We each first contemplate these questions by ourselves and write down our personal answers. Then we gather and discuss our outcomes.
This is a chance to start with a new slate each year and create new outcomes. We get to let go of goals that didn’t work or to adjust them. And it’s a chance to widen your horizons and dream big together. It’s amazing how the ideas flow when you set the time aside to do this together. We often find we dream bigger together than on our own.
When you have flushed out the goals, you can simply write them down or you can create a vision board for them. This can be a wonderfully creative date for the two of you. If you have never created a vision board by yourself, download my FREE Guide to Creating a Vision Board.
Your relationship requires ongoing positive attention. It helps to establish a routine to take care of it. Just as a fire goes out when you forget to stoke it, your relationship will lose its connection without your involvement. When you establish habits that are meaningful to both of you, you are able to maintain a blaze that will warm you for years to come.