How to Avoid a Relationship RutThis is how you make it work!

It’s the middle of the day on a chilly Saturday in Atlanta. Slightly overcast and all feel calm. I’m in the centre of the city where it is usually hustling and bustling. Not today. Today it is a peaceful scene. I’m sitting in my favourite restaurant. A cozy café in the heart of the city. Walking through the door means walking back in time. Ella playing on the speakers, soft and gentle, not overbearing. A quiet table in the corner is to be my preferred spot for this most needed date with myself. A tiny vase sits in the centre of the table holding a single stem of the sweetest looking flower. This is my perfection. A good book, a great cup of coffee, a little Ella in the background and a great momentary escape.

Life is full of distractions that can quickly kill the romance. This is why many couples either don’t last or just lose their lustre. They go for years simply co-existing.  That’s not for me and it will never be us! I love her and love how it feels to love her so much that I (we) work to protect its constancy and permanent existence. So I sit in this coffee house by myself: regrouping, reenergizing, reviving myself. And where is she?…respecting my space.

Our days are filled with work responsibilities, school deadlines, PTA functions, kids concerts, parent/teacher conferences, bill paying, family drama, deaths, births, and the list goes on. In the midst of it all, we make it a point not to forget the why and how we came together. So we work on it. We spend quality time together (regular date nights help) and make it a point to allow ourselves some time apart. For as much as we have in common, we have just as much that sets us apart. After all, we are two different people. I enjoy getting my hair done, she likes playing sports or hanging out at the park. I like coffee, she drinks tea. I enjoy reading books, she likes to listen to music. Her guilty pleasures are not mine. So we allow ourselves those differences and give each other space to enjoy them. Just as important, however, is appreciating those things together once in a while. We compromise often and it serves us well. Once in a while she goes “antiquing” with me and other times, I brave it out and climb a rock wall or two with her. I love how we challenge each other that way. Focusing on the good that our differences can do for our relationship rather than forcing one to be more like the other is paramount.

Relationships really are not as difficult as most people make them out to be. You just have to step outside of yourself long enough to notice, there is someone else in it with you. Love each other for who you are together but more importantly for who you are apart from one another. Foster those differences; you were attracted to each other for a reason and that includes the things that make you different from each other. Embrace that. Life is full of enough stressors to add your own fabricated list of must have been or should be’s. Allow yourself time to miss each other. This will keep you on your toes. Surprise each other. Impromptu lunch dates in the middle of a workday go much further than you’d think. Do something that the other person usually takes care of before they get a chance to tackle it (do the laundry before she gets to it, make dinner if you get home before she does). My sweetheart wrote the book on this and in my world, it is a number one seller! It’s all in the simple details. We only live once folks, make it count! Consider one another and enjoy life!  With love.