I love to chuckle at all the spam headlines from the financial industry. They promise fortunes to the unwary. So, today's headline is a bit tongue in cheek. However, not entirely so. I see so many people taking their relationships for granted, investing little or nothing in them, and then being surprised when they get a dismal return.
But, it really doesn't take all that much effort to make them much better, with just a little more effort to make them much, much better. What about you? Will you invest heavily in your relationship this year? Pay Yourself First The financial budgeting industry uses this phrase a lot. By paying yourself first, they mean putting money aside for savings and retirement before you pay any bills, before you spend on anything else, and before you fritter it away in all the other ways possible.
This works for your relationship, as well. Pay yourself first. Put your relationship first.
Put weekly dates on your calendar before anything else. Budget relationship money before anything else. Be intensional about those sweet, little thank you gifts you're going to give throughout the year. The first thing Pam and I do every morning is snuggle and cuddle for a half hour to an hour after the alarm goes off. What a great way to start the day! Pay yourself first! Are You A Buyer, or A Looker? Classical marketing teaches a very clear dictum: A buyer is a buyer, and a looker is a looker.
Marketers are supposed to spend all their time on true buyers, and forget about engaging the lookers, because lookers just aren't serious about doing or buying much of anything. When it comes to your relationship, are you a buyer? Will you invest the time, attention, energy, and money required to move things to the next level or above? Time: Find those few moments everyday. Have a date every week. Create a special weekend every month. And remember those birthdays and anniversaries! Attention: Really attend to your partner.
Listen, and really hear! Energy: Save some energy for the relationship. Figure out how to not use it all up on the job, or the kids, or on your hobby. Energize your relationship! Money: Buy books and tapes, and read them and listen to them! Invest in a marriage counselor for a quarterly check up on your relationship portfolio. And the Best Investment of All Face into your anxiety.
Emotional Intimacy means becoming closer to another human being than you ever thought possible. It's probably closer than you've ever been comfortable with before. That means being afraid to some extent.
It means tolerating the fear and talking about things you never thought you could. Your ability to do so will grow with your relationship and you'll be amazed with how wonderfully close you've become. So, watch for the things you'd prefer to not speak of.
Face the scare and start talking anyway. If such an investment were easy everyone would do it, and we'd see marvelous relationships all around us. But, it is not easy. You will be one of the few. But, you can do it! Just about anyone can with a little encouragement. Consider this article as your encouragement.
Invest in you and your partner this year!.
Steve Roberts is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist who shares tips and real life relationship secrets from over 20 years of practice. Get Insight and Wisdom for your Relationships at: www.WhatWorksForCouples.com