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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You Can Choose to Keep Your Love Alive

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oing and saying simple things to give your partner the message that you notice, appreciate and respect them helps fill their buckets and makes your relationship feel like a great place to be. Taking each other for granted can leave either of you vulnerable to positive attention from others. When you are not giving and receiving positive attention at home you can become so starved for compliments that when someone does pay attention to you, you are more drawn to them than you might otherwise be. When home is not a warm and welcoming place, sometimes work or other places can seem more appealing.
It is also surprising how much noticing, appreciating and respecting your partner will fill your bucket as well and help you feel more loving toward them. The adage, love is a verb, is worth remembering. The choice to act lovingly helps feelings of love to grow. When you choose to continue behaving in a loving way toward you partner, even on those days when you don't feel particularly loving, then they will feel more loved and accepted and you will feel more loving toward them.
The ability to make this choice begins with awareness. When was the last time that you gave your partner a genuine compliment? When was the last time that you told them how much you appreciate them? Those little daily acts of noticing, appreciating and respecting are what keep the love alive. Do your words and actions help your partner feel smart or stupid, caring or selfish, excited or defeated, cared about or neglected; are you helping your partner feel good about himself or bad about herself. It is not that you are responsible for how your partner feels; it is that helping them feel good about themselves when they are with you will greatly increase their loving feelings toward you. We fall in love with or stay in love with someone because of how we feel about ourself when we are with them. It is only natural to want to spend time with those people who help us feel good about ourselves.
If your partner does or says something that hurts you do not retaliate. Retaliation brings out hateful feelings in even the best of people. If your inclination is to lash back if you feel hurt, learn to take a deep breath and hang onto yourself. Take some time to cool down and then choose your actions, rather than reacting to what your partner has said or done. Feeling justified in treating your partner badly, because you feel hurt or upset, will be cold comfort as your relationship spirals downward. Sometimes it is more important to choose to be happy than it is to maintain that you are right. Put your ego aside and focus on creating what you want. Choosing to love your partner when you least feel like it, can begin the change to an upward spiral toward a more satisfying relationship.

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