FOUR DECISIONS TO LASTING LOVE
Fulfilling relationships are one the greatest joys that human beings experience. Knowing that there is one special person who loves you, admires you, adores you, challenges you and finds you sexy is not only endearing, but is gratifying. But to CREATE a relationship that offers stability, security, sensitivity, satisfaction, sensuality, stimulation, spirituality and support, two people must be committed to each other and also be committed to LOVE each other. Why? Because love is not only an emotion, LOVE is a choice. LOVE is not only an action word, love is also a decision. And, every choice has requirements, considerations, perquisites, and obligations. Every good decision has a cost. And, through my experience working with couples, I have learned that there are 4 critical decisions that make or break a relationship. Of course there are more than four, but these four have not only healed relationships, they have helped relationships. So let’s evaluate how the top 4 decisions are operating in your marriage and partnership.
The first decision is to practice VISIBILITY. In other words, are you making an effort to really “see” your partner? Do you make a decision to see your boo for who she is and who she is not? Are you familiar with her strengths and weakness? Do you discern her moods or changes in behavior? Do you give her the liberty to operate and function in a way that honors hers? Do you attempt to control her? Do you detect her pain and joy? Do you notice what she wears or how she wears her hair? Do you acknowledge what she does for you, the household or the family? Do you “see” her? These questions may seem rudimentary, but some partners are not able to fully answer those questions about their lover. And, I have found that just taking the time“to see” your sweetie can reap big dividends. So the next time you are with your partner, take the time to “see” her. You may be surprised at what you see, and I am confident that you will find another reason to love her.
However, it is not enough just to see your partner. A question that is equally as important is - do you also allow your wifey to “see” you? Are you hiding behind a tough exterior? Are you able to cry, laugh and experience all emotions with her? Can you share your dreams, desires and disappointments? Can you share your past, your embarrassments and your failures? Are you helping her see you, or do you keep the best parts of you hidden? Are you being vulnerable, transparent and authentic? Remember, partners who really love each other, SEE each other. They are emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, spiritually and socially visible to each other. They welcome openness, freedom and honesty. So the question is -Do you allow your sweetie to see you? If you do, continue making that choice. If you don’t, I invite you to open your hand, your heart and your head to a wonderful soul. Giving your partner an opportunity to SEE all of you will CREATE an intimacy that will be deeper, broader and more fulfilling that you can ever imagine.
The second decision is to practice VALUE. Why? Show me a person who is a high performer, who goes the extra mile and is a consistent contributor, and I am sure you will also find that the person feels valued. Why? Because feeling valued speaks to your sense of worth and significance. Feeling valued makes you feel respected, treasured and cherished. Feeling valued makes you feel important to yourself as well to your partner. So if being and feeling valued is important, why don’t partners do more of it? And, if partners made their lovers feel important early on in the relationship, what happens? Good question..... A few things happened. First, if you are like the rest of us, you got too comfortable with yourself and your boo. You stopped doing those things that made her feel important and special. Believe it or not, too much comfort makes all of us to regress. When life/love gets too easy, we sometimes fall back into old habits and get stuck in ruts. Secondly, we start taking our partners for granted. We start viewing what they do for us as an obligation and a responsibility, rather than as an opportunity to show and share love. The truth is - we sometimes start to underperform and under-function as a partner, and sometimes forget to let our lovers know that we love them. And, it is not good enough just to tell your partner that you love her, it is important to let her know why. Also, it is equally as important to remind yourself why you love your partner. Just by daily reflecting on how much you love your sweetie and how much she adds to your life, you may just find yourself falling in/deciding to love her all over again. The adage is true – you don’t miss the well until the water runs dry. But if you are constantly reminding your partner of her worth and her significance in your life, there’s a good chance that the well will not run dry.
The third decision is to practice VALIDATION. In other words, what ways do you confirm your love to your partner? What do you do or say to demonstrate your love? How do you give her proof? One of the most important ways to validate her and your love for her is through affirmations and actions. For example, when was the last time that you told your boo that she was pretty? When was the last time you told her that she was interesting and that you enjoy being with her? When is the last time that you told your wifey that she was generous or loving? When is the last time you told her that you loved her smile, creativity and dependability? When was the last time you did something nice? When was the last time when you showed her love according to her love language? Like the song says, if you love me, say it. If you want me, do it. Always remember that love requires that you do and say something! Love is an action word. So never miss an opportunity to tell and show your partner how much you love her. Let her know that she is VISBILE and VALUABLE to you. So tonight when you see your partner, give her an honest and heart-felt compliment. Remember, everybody wants and needs to hear good things about themselves. Make sure she hears good things FIRST from you.
The last decision is to develop a VISION for your relationship. Like Imani noted in her last article, love is not enough. You need to know why you are in a relationship, and what you want the relationship to offer and provide in your life. Having a relationship vision will do that for you. A vision will help you overcome relationship challenges and help you hold on to each other when times are tough. A vision will help motivate you in the face of failure, emotional hardships, differences of opinion, and/or personal/relationship crises. Having a shared vision will help you both be accountable to each other and to the relationship. Having a relationship vision is important. So, CREATE a vision for your relationship. Have a good idea of what you want your relationship to “look like” so that you both can work toward the same goals – Satisfaction, Fulfillment and Happiness!
Visibility, Value, Validation and Vision – four important decisions that result in loving relationships. Together with you partner, discuss and implement the four decisions or make other decisions that solidify your bond. I am confident that you will identify ways to make your love last a lifetime. Create Love, and remember that love is a choice, a decision and a discipline.
Looking forward to seeing you at the Create Love Conference to share more tips. Early registration ends soon.
Minister SharRon Jamison
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