The last three days we discussed love in different ways. If you did not get a chance to read the three other blogs for Valentine’s Day, please read them now. They really focused on a different type of love than that of relationships. Of course, our Valentine’s day blog needs to focus on couples.
This may or may not please you when I tell you what the theme is today. It is all about commitment. Ouch! Commitment is so important to the health of any relationship. If we commit to someone and become vulnerable to them, it can be a rewarding experience. Is it always rewarding? “No!”
There are times where we commit to someone and get our heart broken. Although it is painful, commitment is an important part of life. When our heart is broken, that is when we look at the lesson we learned from that relationship, forgive the person and take responsibility for our part, and turn the focus inward to fix ourselves before we get into another relationship.
Some who know me may say, how can you talk about breakups or broken hearts, you married an amazing man and your marriage has lasted now for 21-years. Yes, I know, but before Brenton, I had many heartaches. In addition, I watched my mom and other family members go through relationship pains growing up.
Now, this blog isn’t about heartache but I did want to address the subject. Pain from another relationship can keep us from really loving someone, again. This is why it is important to love yourself first, forgive others, and enjoy life to the fullest, which were the subjects of the last three blogs.
So many believe love is a feeling. Love may start as a feeling which is nothing more than a chemical that attracts us to others. This feeling wears off after a while. If a commitment to love is not made, after a few years the feeling is gone and so is the relationship.
Here is where people may say, “Tina, what if he is not good to me or what if she cheats on me?” These types of relationships are not what I am talking about. You are more likely to find the person that will treat you right if you follow the first three blogs of this week. When people love themselves, they usually attract the type of relationships where there is love and respect.
Sometimes, though, we think that if there is no feeling than the love is gone and we need to move on. Waiting to commit to each other after the feelings are gone is another problem that can arise. The level of commitment needed to sustain a relationship needs building and nurturing.
Here are some things about the commitment that I learned through my relationship with Brenton. First, we aren’t perfect. We both have flaws that we need to work on. Sometimes, when I am so focused on Brenton’s flaws, I begin to develop negative feelings that can hurt our relationship. On the other hand, if I am working on me, I am less agitated with Brenton’s mistakes.
Second, make sure you are staying connected. Do things together that make you feel close. Brenton and I are very different people when it comes to likes and dislikes. He likes race car driving and I like shopping. Of course, we have similar likes and differences, too. What we do is partake in things we both like most of the time and sometimes do things the other person likes.
After 21-years, I actually like race car driving and Brenton likes to see musicals or go shopping with me. This is a bond that was created through mutual respect for our likes and differences. Stephen Covey said in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you must first seek to understand. We fight for the other person to understand us but, in reality, our relationships are more effective if we seek to understand the other person.
Third, this goes with Tuesday’s blog. When we coach young couples, the one piece of advice that I believe is the most important is…
Forgive right before you go to sleep all the offenses from the day!
This was something that I wish I learned at the very beginning of our relationship. Both of you will make mistakes and say things you regret but, if you forgive each other continuously, those mistakes will not ruin the relationship that you are building and trying to sustain.
Challenge: If you are in a relationship but not married yet, focus on really reading and studying how to love yourself, learn to forgive, and enjoy life. Although married couples need to do the same, it is really important that you work on the commitment as well.
Your challenge is to find something that your partner likes to do, you may not necessarily like to do it, and surprise them with that outing. If they like to rock climb, go rock climbing with them. For a partner that loves a certain movie, rent the movie, make popcorn and enjoy it with them (or at least act like you’re enjoying it). This will make their day. Those who have children, see if a friend or family member will take the kids for an evening so you can have alone time.
Don’t forget, enjoy life so that you can enjoy life together! If this is a struggle, please email me at tinawhite@mymaptosuccess and click on my free coaching session. We will talk about us working together to strengthen your relationship or, if you are not in a relationship, how I can help you get ready for a relationship. I have an eight-week couples course that is half price both members of the couple that join the coaching. I also have customized coaching if you want to do non-couple relationship coaching. Let me help you become satisfied with your life in or out of a relationship.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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