You’ve probably heard plenty of times that you should “spice things up” in your relationship, or “keep things exciting” in order to keep your relationship alive. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with the message that we need to constantly be doing things in order to have a great relationship, whether it be taking a trip, wearing sexy lingerie or doing something spontaneous. The message that is often lost in both relationships and life is to take joy in the simpler and mundane things in life. We often don’t stop to smell the roses in our relationship or appreciate them for what they are and not what they could be. Being able to just enjoy your partners company through conversation at home or in the little activities of every day life are moments that are actually quite meaningful. We often focus on what we don’t have or how to improve something in our lives and that is a product of being part of American culture. How often do we get advice to just appreciate what we have and to just “be” in the regular moments that make life so special? Perhaps cultivating a beautiful relationship is in appreciating it for what it is, appreciating your partner for who he/she is and taking time to reflect on how special it is to just sit on the couch and be with your partner-in-crime in life.
Appreciating the simplicity of relationships became emphasized to me after working with cancer patients for several years. It was very inspiring to see someone stick by their partner and provide comfort and solace for them when they were not able to do anything. Many of these people I worked with had lost their ability to go on exciting trips, cook a romantic meal for two, or even take a walk around the block. What they did do was soak in the company and the presence of their partner, sometimes because very little time was left to do so. We shouldn’t have to wait until there is little time left with our partner to truly appreciate them.
What comes to mind is a quote that is often used but very appropriate: “happiness isn’t having what you want…it’s wanting what you have.” You may feel empowered to realize that what you want in your relationship is actually already there.
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