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Dear future husband: please take note.
Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship will tell you that they often lose their spark. Couples find themselves doing the same things over and over again. They eat the same foods, visit the same places, make love in the same old positions and over time they put less effort into their relationship than they do into raising the kids, working and just about everything else.
It’s totally understandable – life is damn hectic! Finding time for each other can be really tricky. But couples need to think of their relationship as if it were living, breathing, growing, evolving organism. Just like a plant. Without any attention they won’t survive. They’ll simply wither and die.
Obviously, no-one wants that to happen. Break-ups are difficult, painful experiences. Instead, couples want a thriving, passionate, loving partnership. So it’s just a matter of giving it the attention it needs to make that happen. Here’s a few suggestions to give you an idea of where to start:
Find time to talk and listen to each other. Not about the kids, finances or mundane day-to-day living – that stuff saps us of our life force and our libidos. Instead, talk about things that you’re passionate about, things that worry you, and the type of things that you talk to yourself about. Share all these thoughts with your partner. This will bring you much closer if they know what you’re thinking and vice-versa.
Say “I love you” every-single-day. Verbalise how important your partner is to you. Sometimes we assume they know, but in reality, they need to hear it.
Plan to have dirty weekends away. OFTEN! If you can’t afford to go away, then organise some dirty weekends at home. Switch off the technology, get the kids taken care of, walk around the house naked, and make some time just for the two of you.
Get a bucket list together of things you’d both like to see and do. Research things together and most importantly, devise a plan to make it happen!
Go out on dates with other couples. Particularly on that you find interesting and fun. It’s incredible how much you’ll discover about your partner when your’re in good company.
Include laughter into your life on a daily basis. Watch comedies, go to see live stand up and play practical jokes on each other.
Share the load. Prepare meals together, share house-hold chores and make each others life easier.
Surprise your partner. It could be with small tokens of affection or doing something special for them like organising a night out. We all know how nice it is to receive flowers or gifts for no reason.
Join a community group. Do this together to fill your lives with purpose. It could be a sport, hobby, or interest group.
Encourage each other to have a rich and fulfilling life as an individual. If your partner is a happy and satisfied person, this will lead to less relationship problems in the long run.
Do as much as you can together. And enjoy each others company. Why? The more time you spend together, the harder it will be to live without each other. This is so important during times when you argue and when you might feel as if you need some time apart. However, missing each others company and presence will ultimately reunite you.
Never lose sight of love. Never forget why you fell in love with your partner in the first place.
History tells us, that for as long as romantic relationships have existed, people have sought help in finding them. From centuries old arranged marriages and matchmaking clubs through to personal ads and well-intentioned-friend-orchestrated blind dates.
And more recently, yet unsurprisingly, modern technology has been enlisted as the new cupid.
But with the internet‘s irruption into modern relationships, you have to wonder: has the internet changed the way we date, and is online dating better than traditional dating?
The answer to the first part of the question is simple, and relationship experts agree – the way we date has changed. Dramatically. No longer are we confined to love matches being sought from within our existing social or professional networks. No longer are we bound by geography to find our perfect match. The internet crashes through these barriers and opens a deeper pool of potential partners.
Not only has the internet broadened the love pool, but it has also changed the way in which we seek a partner. We no longer rely on those who intimately know us to help select our other half. Instead, we place our romantic fate in the hands of computer systems and algorithms designed to monitor our dating behaviour and preferences.
And to a certain degree, with online dating, we no longer ‘choose our chase’ based purely on the physical, as we would when spotting a love interest across the room. Instead, online dating offers a brief snapshot into the life of another in the form of a profile, which at least initially allows us to connect on a more cerebral rather than physical level.
But with the many (seemingly beneficial) changes brought about by the internet, is online dating actually better than traditional dating?
On this, the jury is out. And the debate centres around communication, chemistry and commitment.
Communicating online is not always as straightforward as it seems, and sometimes, through lengthy emails and texts, a false intimacy between strangers can develop, leading to unrealistic love expectations. The only way for online daters to really know if they will be good together, is to meet on a traditional date, face-to-face.
Which brings us to chemistry. With a slew of profiles on offer, the catalogue style of online dating can create a ‘shop around’ mentality. Many online dating websites allow the user to specify height, body shape, hair and even the eye colour of their potential mate, and it becomes tempting to by-pass any profiles that don’t meet your criteria. But chemistry is more complex than physicality alone, and if you were to meet on a more traditional date, perhaps the charms of a person would give you reason to take a second look.
Which brings us to commitment. The act of browsing large numbers of profiles can lead online daters to view each other less as people and more as one opportunity amongst the many, which in turn can reduce their willingness to commit. Simply put, we no longer take the time to get to know one another, especially when our next date is only a few profiles away.
So while the debate of online dating vs traditional dating plays on in the background of life, I offer my opinion. In your search for the good life, do both – use online dating as part of your overall approach to love. But remember, no romantic pen-pals! The ultimate goal is to take your dating offline.
I did, and so far so good. So very, very good.
Image via Pixabay.com