Love Works Overtime.

When we first fall in love, we are blissfully carefree. Floating on cloud 9. Every trial in our life seems like a distant memory. We feel butterflies when they come into a room. Our hearts skip when you speak to them. But what happens when those feelings fade?

When we begin to have problems in our relationships or notice things about our partners that we wish we could change, it's easy to question if we made the right decision.

Here are some ways to put those doubts to bed:

1. Don't forget to continually date your partner. Though early love always feels easy, we forget that it requires intentional effort to maintain it. During our 8 years, my partner and I have seen our share of problems, but we designate a day for weekly date nights. On these nights, we put aside the burdens life puts on us, any issues we may have with each other, and decide to enjoy each other's company. During these nights, take advantage of the opportunity to "get to know" your partner again. Check in with them and ask how things are going in their careers, in their families or just in general. Though one may think this should be a regular occurrence, it's not because the temptation to become consumed with our own lives and goals often gains priority, even in a relationship. Constantly dating your partner gives you a front row seat to the way they see the world, and allows them to feel confident knowing that they are a still a priority in yours.

2. Check yourself often. When arguing with someone, the main objective is to see eachother's point of view. However, if it has been going on for hours or is a daily event, it's okay to question if you really have a point to prove or if you're on a power trip. Be sure that the argument is resolved before you go to bed. The next day isn't promised to anyone, and if your partner doesn't see it, make sure your last words were from a and love.

3. Communication and trust. As much as we would like them to be, our partners are not mind readers. Running toward the problems in your relationship doesn't jeopardize your relationship. Running away from them does. So I encourage you to stop seeking the opinions of your friends and family and seek your partners. Embracing the hard stuff is the true test of any relationship, whether romantic or platonic. Being real and vulnerable plays a huge part in maintaining a relationship because you're putting all your cards on the table and letting your partner in, trusting that they won't abuse the privilege. If the relationship turns sour because of it, it's still a blessing because you saved yourself future heartache. Love is amazing, love is hard work, yet unconditional. This week, be open to learn what makes people tick. Understand that love takes time and effort. The best things usually do.

Live loved.


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