Love Series: How Do We Keep the Relationship Alive?

Wrapping up our love series, Melody from Naked Wellness shares her thoughts on taking our partners for granted. If you missed our last series post on the essence of love, you can find it here.

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For the last month or so, I’ve been thinking about that transition that happens in romantic relationships, when we go from the excitement of falling in love and getting to know each other to that space of ‘going steady,’ as they used to say.

It’s a funny space, no?

On the one hand, it might be a little scary because it feels like the sizzle is fizzling out.

We can start to wonder if something is wrong, because we don’t feel that crazy passionate intensity all the time and we think that’s what we should feel like if we’re in a ‘true love’ relationship.

On the other hand, once we’ve let our partner see all the awesomeness and all the crazy that lives within us, there’s an easing of the fear of them running away like their hair is on fire; we’ve shown them all and they’re still around.

We start taking for granted that they won’t leave us, and that can be a good thing. In this respect, it speaks of a real bond and of trust.

And yet, by taking our partner for granted we also run the risk of slacking off on taking care of and nurturing the relationship.

Just because we know they’ll stick around doesn’t mean that we don’t need to remind them how loved and appreciated they are. It doesn’t mean we can go ‘oh, X already knows that I love him/her. I don’t need to show it.

Yes, yes we do need to show it.

In the extreme, getting so comfortable with our partner sticking around no matter what we throw at them can actually lead to them leaving us because they no longer feel valued or appreciated.

In the not so extreme, we can end up in a relationship that feels rote and like going through the motions, but that is not fulfilling at all.

This is the question I’m asking myself right now, as I’m going through this transition with my partner.

There’s been a couple times when, in my trust of his love, I’ve disclosed things that were not necessary for him to know and could hurt him and/or our relationship. Things that could affect his trust in me, if he wasn’t so awesome and understanding that I’m a human being and have crazy thoughts sometimes.

There’s also been times when he’s gotten comfortable and stopped showering me with attention and little gifts the way he did before. A random text or picture to show he’s thinking of me throughout the day, for example.

This is something that both partners need to be mindful of, and talking about it when we start feeling that we’re being taken for granted in a way that is not positive.

Here’s the kicker: having that conversation with our partner can be tricky business.

In my case, my concern is that bringing it up will make him feel like he’s doing something wrong and like he can’t make me happy. And that, ironically, always leaves me scared that I would be creating the possibility of him leaving me because I either ask for too much or he feels like he isn’t good enough for me.

This is where I remind myself of the fact that 1) he is a mature man capable of having these conversations without taking them personally, and more importantly, 2) he’s been there for every step of deepening intimacy and that’s what has made our relationship so deeply nourishing and exciting.

In the end, I think any healthy relationship strikes a fine balance between relaxing into the knowing that our partner will be there no matter what, and coming to those edgy places where the practice of trusting that they will is so necessary.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, we will fall!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

And so they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.

– Guillaume Appolinaire

melody

Melody Kiersz makes it her business to turn you on… to life! Weaving a variety of counseling and alternative body-based healing modalities, her east-west approach supports her clients in reconnecting with their body and intuition so they can get clear on what’s that nagging little thing that’s missing… and have a life they absolutely love!

A native from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Melody has always been curious about what makes people tick. She received a BA in Happiness from New York University, and combined her studies with certifications as a Holistic Health Counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Reiki II practitioner, and as a yoga teacher by the Jungle Yoga Ashram.

Melody is the Founder of Naked Wellness, a boutique wellness practice, and Velvet Butter, the first line of body-positive self-care. She is based in NYC, though she also sees clients via Skype, is an avid traveler, and loves leading retreats in exotic locations around the world.

She can be reached at Melody@nakedwellness.com (Musings by the Bay readers get a 30-min Strategy Session after completing the Kicking ‘But’ Application).

Links: http://www.nakedwellness.com

http://www.velvetbutter.com

 

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