Would you like your relationship with your significant other to be better? I’m willing to bet that the answer to that question is a “yes”. Ok, so we can both agree that that would be a good thing. However, now comes the hard question – just how important is making your relationship better to you? I’m pretty sure that this question gets a quick “it’s very important” response from you, but are you being completely truthful? What is your relationship priority?
Why Our Relationships Get Into Trouble
Can you remember when your relationship with your significant other first started? I suspect that you can – it was a great time for both of you. When you were together, it seemed to almost be magical. When you were apart, what you spent your time thinking about was the next time that you would be together. Those were some great times.
However, things have changed since then. A lot of other things have taken over your thoughts. Mortgage payments, the kids, your job, your social commitments – a lot of things that didn’t exist “back then” are now important parts of your life. As these different things have become more and more important, what has happened is that you’ve had less and less time to spend thinking about your relationship.
This is where we all run into problems. A relationship is very much like a job – it takes work. When a lot of other things start to take up our time, the priority that we give to our relationship starts to drop. Other things become more important. Getting that promotion, helping our kids to get better grades, raising money for the association that we belong to, etc. That other person isn’t going anywhere so we feel comfortable shifting our time and attention to something else for a while. The only problem is that “a while “starts to become the way that things always are.
What Should Your Relationship Priority Be?
All of this brings up some tricky questions. I mean, you do have a job and it is important (we all like money and health insurance). We also may have kids or outside interests that need our time. Just exactly where are we going to find the time to improve our relationship? Oh, and why do we have to be the ones doing this – a relationship has two people in it and shouldn’t our partner be doing some of the heavy lifting also?
These are all valid points, but you’re forgetting one very important thing. It has to start somewhere. It has to start with you. This means that if you really do want your relationship to become better, to become more like it was in the beginning, you are the one who is going to have to make some changes. Specifically, what you are going to have to do is to reprioritize your life. You are going to have to metaphorically speaking lay everything that takes up your time out on the table before you. Look at each thing that is asking for a piece of your day and ask yourself the question: what is most thing important to me?
If the answer is “my relationship”, stop for a moment and ask yourself if you really, truly believe this. Or, are you just saying it because it sounds like the right thing to say? Either answer is acceptable – you just have to know which one is right for you. If it turns out that you really do want to have a better relationship, then you’re going to have to go about making some changes. These changes are going to start with how you allocate your time. Right now you’re not making enough time for your relationship and that’s why it’s not the relationship that you want. Your first step to improving it is going to be to reprioritize it to the top of your list and take time from everything else that you’re doing to make more time to work on your relationship.
What All Of This Means For You
Our relationship with our significant other is only one of the things that we do each day. We’ve got a lot of other things are all requesting our time and attention: jobs, kids, pets, hobbies, exercise, etc. Once upon a time our relationship was new and it was the one thing that we focused on. However, over time other things have crept up and take its spot. Now our relationship is just one of many different things that we have to worry about.
If you want to start to improve your relationship, then you’re going to have to take the time to reprioritize how you spend your time. No, I’m not saying that you can no longer go to work, care for the kids, exercise, etc. Rather, what I’m saying is that how much time you spend doing these other things has to start to decrease. You need to beg, borrow, and steal time from everything else in order to find the proper amount of time to spend on your relationship. By doing this, you’ll be on the path to making your current relationship more like it used to be in the beginning.
What’s so great about this realization is that it turns out that you can improve the relationship that you are involved in right now. The fix is actually pretty simple: spend more time working on the relationship. Yes, you are the one who has to make the first step in doing this, but once you do you’ll be amazed at how quickly your partner comes around and starts to spend more time on it also. Reprioritize how you spend your time and you’re relationship will benefit from the additional time that you can now spend on it.
Question For You: What portion of your time do you think that you should spend working on your relationship? 10%, 20%, 50%?
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