“Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things.” – Keanu Reeves
Isn’t that the truth?! Falling in love is this mystical/magical experience that couples enjoy. It’s almost as if you’re floating on a cloud. You can endure car trouble, long lines at Wal-mart, work frustrations, and bad grades with a smile on your face when you’re swimming in the ecstasy of that lovin’ feeling.
There is nothing wrong with having a butterfly farm in your tummy as long as the relationship is being built on more than physical attraction and sweet nothings. When the butterflies stop fluttering so much, and they will, where will that leave your relationship? If you spend time getting to know each other – really know each other – during the butterfly stage, chances are you’ll leave that phase of your relationship as good friends… and good romantic relationships are built on good friendships. In fact, it’s better to start your relationship as friends than to start as sweethearts and then try to backtrack into friendship. I’m so glad Eric and I had a solid friendship before he began pursuing me! ~smile~
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler
Confession time: I used to LOVE Happy Days. It came on TBS at 5:35pm when I was a kid, and I’d beg mom to get me home in time to watch it. I would tape the shows, watch them until I memorized them, and then quote them for people who could not escape (e.g., grandma, my neighbor as she drove me somewhere, etc.). So I’m quite a fan of ‘The Fonz.’ As it turns out, Arthur Fonzarelli has some wisdom packed away.
Don’t you just hate having someone assume something about you without asking you? “I assumed you didn’t want to come with us because you said you were tired.” “I assumed you meant for me to eat the last brownie because you left it in the fridge for two days.” “I assumed you still loved your ex since you guys are still friends on Facebook.” Determining what someone else thinks, feels, or wants is insulting and it does not bode well for good communication. Eric has said time and time again that if I assume I know how people will answer a question, and I don’t give them a chance to answer, I am answering for them (e.g., “She probably doesn’t want to go out to eat. She’s been busy all weekend….”, etc.). In other words, I’m stealing their opportunity to decide for themselves.
Termites take a house down by slowly eating through the wood until the wood is porous and no longer strong. So whatever it is holding up comes crashing down. When termites get into your relationship, it weakens it from the inside. The outside may look fine for a while, but eventually the whole structure will come falling down and you’ll be scratching your head wondering why. Making assumptions about your sweetheart’s feelings for you, loyalty to you, and intentions toward you is dangerous. Assumptions (e.g., “He didn’t answer his phone… I’ll bet he’s over at his ex-girlfriend’s house!”) can easily lead to accusations (“Admit it! You were at her house, weren’t you?!?!”) – and accusations will poison your relationship.
When you aren’t sure how your sweetheart feels about something, ask him or her. Don’t make assumptions. Respect each other enough to give each other a chance to answer before jumping to conclusions.
“True love brings up everything – you’re allowing a mirror to be held up to you daily.” – Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer probably didn’t know she practically quoted Gary Thomas when she made this statement! ~smile~ In Sacred Marriage, Thomas says that your spouse is like a full length mirror in your life. He or she shows you aspects of yourself you wouldn’t otherwise see. This is why so many couples refer to marriage as sanctifying! ~smile~
Having someone with whom you share everything is a blessing even though it doesn’t always feel like one! You get to share the good parts of life, but your other half is also there to point you to some hard facts about yourself (e.g., selfishness, stubbornness, ego trips, pity parties, etc.).
Eric has been a true and faithful mirror – the kind with lights around the edges that highlights every blemish. ~smile~ It hasn’t always been fun looking into my mirror, but I am so thankful to have someone who is not afraid to call me out when I’m wrong, to walk me through the growing process, and to affirm me when I have conquered a struggle.
“I used to be a real Prince Charming if I went on a date with a girl. But then I’d get to where I was likely to have a stroke from the stress of keeping up my act. I’ve since learned the key to a good date is to pay attention on her.” – Matthew Perry
Teach a seminar, Matthew! I think he fell into a trap that many of us do when we’re young and/or immature. One saying about keeping someone interested in something is this: “What you draw them with is what you have to keep them with.” If you start a relationship being someone you’re not, even if your intentions are good, you will feel the need to continue the act. Eventually you’ll get exhausted and your boyfriend or girlfriend will wonder, “Why have you changed?“, when in reality, you didn’t change – you just stopped acting.
Girls everywhere would agree that what we really want is someone to really care about what’s going on with us. If we are on a date, we’d much rather have a guy be himself and pay attention to us (really pay attention in such a way that he could repeat back what we’ve said) than a guy who is so focused on being the man of our dreams that he can’t let his guard down and really talk to us. Don’t try to draw someone with something fabricated. A lifetime is a long time to keep up an act and I’ve never met anyone who’s successfully done it.
If were to stencil one quote above your bed after you’re married, which quote would it be? Let us know in the comments!