I’ve had a few lengthy chats recently with a girlfriend about relationships. More specifically, about how sometimes they can get into a rut and it can be really difficult to get out of that rut. It requires a lot of grit and determination to get rolling again.
Now, I am no expert in relationships. My last and longest ended in divorce and my current is less than a year old, so take what I say with a grain of salt. That said, I do feel like I’ve learned a lot from the death of my last committed relationship (and the ones previous) and I hope to apply that learning to my current relationship to keep it as fresh and interesting and as REAL as possible.
When Le Boy and I first started dating, he had a quiz posted up on his Facebook page about the languages of love. I’m sure this is something that most people have seen – if not, take a few minutes and go refresh your memory over here.
Le boy’s love language is physical touch. Mine is words of affirmation. Here is the blurb that goes with mine, words of affirmation:
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.
This is absolutely and 100% true to me and not just in a romantic relationship. I thrive on compliments and the spoken word. Telling me that I am loved and important will give me a boost like nothing else. I am easily dejected by an insult or a poorly phrased criticism and I remember them for years, if not forever.
Here’s the thing. Romance, to me, is not about flowers and wine and candlelit dinners. To me, romance is about recognizing what is important to your partner and doing whatever you can to make sure that you provide that for them. Le Boy is physical touch. Fortunately for me, that’s super easy. I love to hold hands and snuggle up on the couch or lay curled in bed together. It’s easy for me to do that for him. It helps that the language that came up second for me is also physical touch.
I think as our relationships get older and as we grow into day-to-day couples and not just weekend-date-night couples, that it’s important to remember those love languages and to make sure that we continue to incorporate it into our lives. We will get busy with school and jobs and with life, in general, but these things that we can do for each other don’t take all that much effort; just a desire to continue to do them, to say I love you, to stop for a kiss as we pass each other in the kitchen.
In my last relationship, it was a few years in when things seemed to go stale. It felt like we were more roommates than true life partners. I think that once you get to that point, it is so very difficult to get back out again. We weren’t able to and we ended in divorce a few years later. Le Boy and I have already talked about how we want to make sure to keep communication open. To keep trying out new things and new experiences and to make sure that we don’t wind up spending every night in on the couch doing the same old thing.
What have you done in your relationship to keep it in a good place? What have you learned from failed relationships in the past? What are you doing differently than you might have done before?