Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty relationships: boyfriends and girlfriends. These are extremely sticky because these relationships are less like family and more like REALLY close friends. You choose to not only be friends with this person for a season in your life, but sometimes for a lengthy time in your life. And you keep choosing it. Again and again. That’s commitment.
There are tons of “unusual date ideas” on Pinterest that can give you ideas, but here is my advice:
You definitely want to enjoy hanging out together. And I’m talking about more than just the physical part of the relationship. While this plays a part, you want to genuinely enjoy being with this person. Do things that make you laugh. I mean belly-aching laughing. There are times that I’ve found that are actually scary for me, yet my better half decides to push me, and it turns out to be a very memorable moment. Remember to find what makes your significant other/spouse laugh! It will mean the world to them, and they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
This is probably my favorite part! Try things that you normally wouldn’t attempt alone! Go for crazy and see what happens. Whether this be introducing a new international cuisine into your diet, throwing a surprise party, or deciding to take a road trip, try things that get you out of the mundane, normal, everyday-ness of life. If you want this to be long term, enjoy the down time, but don’t allow yourself to lose focus because you’re bored and are willing to slip into laziness.
A difficult, yet very important step in any relationship! I wouldn’t recommend always saying everything that immediately comes to mind. You could lose friends fast. But establish the kind of relationship that thrives on being YOURSELF. Don’t put on a facade of any kind just because you think your significant other will appreciate or respect you more for your fake self. That shiny cover has to come off sometime, and a true, loving relationship will persevere despite the rough patches, the ugly words, the strange habits, and the mistaken thoughts. In addition to this: LEARN TO FORGIVE.
This was a phrase that I picked up from one of my friends, on choosing who to date, and moving into more serious relationships. It is so important that you know who YOU are! Without that other person. That person–though we use the term “other half” very often in our society–cannot complete you. If you’ve not spent time without another person on your arm, maybe it’s time to take a step back. Go on a trip, write in a journal. Do something crazy. Find something you love.
This is NOT in any way trying to convince those who are married to start ignoring your spouse. Rather in those cases, take time to calmly figure out what you need to do that makes you come alive, and share it with that person! FOR ALL OF YOU READING THIS: Get out and share the world. Go hunting. Swim. Bake. Smile. Scream. Take time out of your busy schedule and just BE THERE.
featured image from: http://www.innerbonding.com/