No one has ever said that maintaining a happy relationship is easy. When it comes to love, sometimes the road can get a little rocky. Sometimes people bail when the going gets tough, but others have learned that for successful matters of the heart, it takes patience, understanding and most of all, time.
The millennials are plagued by the notion of instant gratification. If we want to hook up, we swipe right. If we want to eat tacos at 2 a.m., we drive-thru. If we are having a good hair day, we Instagram and if we someday get in a relationship that gets difficult, we leave.
My grandparents have been married almost 60 years. My parents have been married over 30 years. This is the kind of love I was raised around. What is their secret to success?
They give each other the time of day. They spend time together. In that time, they build memories; these have gotten them through some of the tougher times in the years. They learn more about each other’s likes and dislikes, even after decades of marriage, they are still finding out new things about the other every day and are growing together. They sit down in person and work through problems, not text fight back and forth.
When deciding to get into a relationship, you are entering an unspoken agreement that says you will make time for each other. Life gets hectic. Between jobs, friends, family and other personal obligations, it can seem impossible to try squeezing in an extra hour for that person if you don’t consciously choose to bring them along through the madness of life with you. If you don’t include that person in your life, you run the risk of them feeling forgotten or unimportant. They feel like they are on the back burner and may question why you wanted to be in a relationship with them at all if all you are going to do is ignore them because you are too busy living your own life.
Certainly we all need our alone time. The down time in life helps bring moments of sanity. Consider how much down time you are going to take and if you can let the person you agreed to get in the relationship with be a part of that. Maybe you like lying on the couch and unwinding with wine and Netflix. Can your significant other be a part of that? Can they lay with you sometimes? Perhaps you like to detox from the day with a peaceful shower after work. There are few things more therapeutic than letting the hot water warm your body and wash away the grime of a hard day. Perhaps try spicing things up by having your mate take part (adding a massage to your hot shower routine sounds like a fantastic idea).
However you try to live your life, just make sure to make time for the other person in it. Spend the time together, build the memories, take the downtime, and take the good with the bad. Work through things in person and never put that person on the back burner. If you are not paying attention, you never know when that pot might boil over.
Melissa Hughes is a 30-year-old single mother of one. Girl Talk started as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa has a weekly TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, discussing activities in Weekender and a Girl Talk radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.