Today we are going to focus on the pillar of lasting love. It’s an important pillar, and that’s why it’s one of 14 at Kickass Couples Nation. Let’s start off with a definition of terms. How do you define or think about ” Lasting Love?”
That question can be answered in a number of different ways. It’s different for everyone. For some people it is the sparks, the butterflies and the fireworks that you see when you first meet each other. Sometimes you’re just, you know, sort of crazy about each other and can only think of that other person! Lasting love for others could be the feeling of constant commitment and support. It could be having really healthy routines together . Perhaps it’s a combination of all of those things, but, overall, it’s the everyday security of knowing that your partner is committed and no matter what, they have your back.
It can be a tough combination. Keeping it exciting is difficult. It’s a hard balance. We have work we have families wee have kids. It seems like there’s a lot of repetition in our days with each other and keeping it fresh and exciting can be a real challenge.
Ideally we want both of those things at different times. We need to weave them together like a tapestry. We’ve got to be both socially and emotionally intelligent. We have to be aware of what’s happening. Happiness is intentional. We say it all the time in our close of our podcast: “Happily Ever After Doesn’t Just Happen. It’s on Purpose.” If you want to have lasting love in your relationship, there are things that you need to be aware of and things that you need to do.
Let’s walk through them!
The first thing is the consistency of really knowing and understanding your partner’s love languages. If we don’t know what those are, then we could really be missing the mark when we try to engage our spouse. There’s a book by Gary Chapman called “The Five Love Languages” that describes what they are. The key principle here is gaining an understanding of how your partner or spouse likes to best receive love.
The five languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time Spent Together
- Acts of Service
It took us a while in our relationship to get ours figured out. Gary Chapman’s not saying that you don’t receive love in all those ways, but that you have priorities in the way you receive it. We also use different love languages at different times and seasons of our lives.
Another really important area in support of creating lasting love in our relationships is tackling conflicts. A lot of the couples that we’ve interviewed on the Kickass Couples podcast say to handle it now. When something comes up, it is best to deal with it, rather than parking it. If you park everything in life and don’t deal with it, it ends up in a landslide and things overflow. In other words, when there’s a glitch you deal with it and handle it in the best way for your relationship with your spouse.
The next important area is the psychology of love and making sure you’re having balance in your relationship. Love is not just a hit list. It’s not just saying, “I achieved these five things, therefore I’ve demonstrated love”. When you understand the psychology of love and the balance, there’s going to be a sway and a flow. There may be a time when your partner needs more than you or vice versa. It’s really about consistency and love remaining love, even though it doesn’t meet an expected response. We talk a lot about conditional and unconditional love, there’s going to be times when we may not love something about our spouse or about the situation, but you can’t let that override your deep, heartfelt feelings and the reasons why you got together in the first place. Have that balance and understanding. When challenges come up, you need to give it the space, understand the balance and be willing to work through it because you’re committed.
We have to be able to be ourselves, our true selves, to create and maintain lasting love in our relationship. This means accepting one another for who we are, despite our flaws. We are all going to make mistakes. We are all human. There are going to be times when things arise and our partner is going to need to just accept us for who we are and what we stand for-warts and all. We each need grace from our partner for when we make mistakes. It’s not necessary to make a mountain out of every single mistake and track them in order to keep score.
Make sure you’re both heading the same direction. There’s a phrase called “pulling the rope in the same direction.” This is the opposite of a tug of war. If you’re pulling against each other, you won’t make any progress. There’s synergy when two people are equally yoked and working together. When two Clydesdales are yoked and pulling, they can have a three and five times the effect of what they can each do on their own. It’s the same in relationships, when the two of you are planted and pulling the rope in the same direction you can go so much farther and do much more difficult things because you’re on the same page and headed in the same direction.
We’re all fully capable and deserving of lasting love. It just has to be worked at, practiced, and invested in. Don’t be afraid of taking some of these ideas, just take one question, one thought or one concept that you read today and make it the topic of discussion with your partner. You can make an investment in lasting love. As you continually, intentionally invest in your relationship, increased feelings of trust, security and satisfaction will grow and overflow into everything else you do.
Remember, happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.