Relationships are like art...they're created out of inspiration.
Like art, relationships have a certain level of imagination, creativity and inspiration. It is amazing what a relationship does for our health and overall wellbeing. Studies say that those of us in relationships generally earn more, are happier and live longer. Whether or not that's the case in your relationship, they do inspire us to look at life from a new perspective and make choices differently than when we were single.
The word 'inspire' means to be in spirit. When we are in the spirit of something, a thought or an emotion, we are moved to take a certain level of action. Many seek relationships to bring new meaning into their lives. Usually when we couple with another person, their influence naturally causes a change in our thinking and behavior.
But, does this inspire you? Does your relationship inspire you to want to be a better person, stretch your limitations and boundaries to get a better job, take on a passion you've been too afraid to pursue, but now that you've got support feel you can make it happen? Or, does your relationship inspire you to want to get married, have children, buy property and take on more responsibility than you ever imagined?
If the answer to any of those questions, is 'yes,' great! A relationship has the power to bring positive aspirations into your life. Those aspirations can cause you to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life, For the most part, you want that inspiration to be a positive influence, To help you reach your goals as an individual and a couple.
But what about the opposite: doubt, fear and uncertainty? Right now, do you sense a shift in your relationship, where it was once very inspirational and now it's just a situation? How did you get there? What can you do to get out of it or change it? I have three suggestions:
1.Compare your goals at the beginning of the relationship to your goals now. If they are the same goals, your relationship is not moving you along. If they've changed for the better - plans and memories have been made. The 'piggy bank of your relationship' gets fuller everyday and you look forward to the future, you're on the right track.
2.The landscape of your life is different. Ask yourself is it a 'good different' or 'bad different.' True, you can't always say a situation is 'good' or 'bad,' most of life is a shade of grey. However, if you take an objective view, how do things look for you at the moment in your relationship? Are you where you thought you would be at this point?
3.Are your instincts telling you something? You know, that nagging thought or feeling you get every time a specific issue or concern arises. What is it trying to tell you? Are you listening, or holding off out of fear or anxiety? Our instincts are there for a reason. Sometimes it's a safe bet to listen.
Inspiration comes from many sources, however relationships are the most underrated, yet one of the most powerful. If you think about your relationship and the opposite occurs: apathy, disinterest or the inability to see past the current moment, take note. Either change your perspective, the relationship or both.
As soon as you decide to get serious about dating and relationships, you embark on a Love Lifestyle. Believe it or not, you start doing things that change who you are into who you want, or hope to be, in a relationship!
I talk to my clients a lot about the "Love Lifestyle." They often ask what that means and here's my definition: The Love Lifestyle is the way you live before, during and after dating. This includes mental, physical, emotional health and accompanying behavior that surrounds a romantic partnership. Individuals spend various amounts of time, energy and money when they decide to pursue a relationship. Broken down by two main categories, dating and relationships. Think about your past attempts to date. Can you assess where you've made significant effort to either participate in or continuously live in a state of romantic endeavor?
Dating - this includes searching (dating apps, websites, matchmakers, networking) for the sole purpose to meet someone you're attracted to and start a relationship (albeit mental, physical and/or emotional). In addition, going on dates, investing interest and communication with someone in the hopes that you build, primarily, an emotional and physical connection.
Relationships - the act of being in one or more relationships (simultaneously or separately) in an effort to feel or reciprocate love, desire (lust) and/or validation and appreciation.
Health, wellness, beauty and fashion are major areas of effort. For example, how many people do you know change their diet, work out routine (or start working out), fashion and perspective (on various topics) when they get interested or experience interest from a potential romantic partner? Lots of people, myself included, right? Those changes are exactly what the Love Lifestyle is, a change in mental or physical behavior to satisfy the emotional response to a potential romantic relationship.
Countless areas of enterprise benefit from this lifestyle! From the food industry (restaurants), to entertainment ('date night' movies...'Netflix and chill'), technology (aforementioned dating apps and sites), wellness (couples massages) and travel. Ways to embark on and capitalize off of romantic partnership is everywhere. I consider it a 'lifestyle' that is growing with technology and our increasingly innate desire to be romantically involved.
What do you you think, is the process to look for, maintain and find love a "lifestyle" choice?