Each week I get about a dozen emails from various relationship coaches or therapists offering their best practices for making love last, getting back the love you lost, keeping the love you found… you name it. And for a while there I was reading each one in earnest bookmarking pages, taking notes, and committing these tidbits to memory.
Love won’t be tampered with,
Love won’t go away.
Push it to one side and
it creeps to the other – Louise Erdich
See, overthinking things is one of my biggest struggles. I am constantly seeking new ways and best practices ceaselessly striving to improve myself. In and of itself, improving one’s self is fine. But when you drag another person into your Self-Improvement Crusade, you can quickly become a drag.
Unbeknownst to me and against my best intentions, I was doing this to my relationship. I was overthinking my relationship.
Basically, I was “Boot Camping” my relationship. Like – THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST RELATIONSHIP IN THE WORLD OR WE’RE GOING TO DIE TRYING!
Eventually, my dear partner (poor man) was like, ‘HONEY! Cool it!’ I was completely driving him crazy with my incessant need to do more and be better.
What can we be doing better now?
O.k., how about Now?
And now? What can we be doing right now?
See how that would get annoying?
Like, real quick.
So I finally had to calm the F- down and chill out. Stop all this DOING and just BE.
Which for me and my overactive brain is a hard thing to do.
I started deleting the relationship emails without even opening them. I had become so caught up in the language of a “conscious relationship“. A conscious relationship doesn’t happen by accident. You must be intentional in order to create a conscious relationship. If you’re not intentional and doing things every day with intention then your relationship will fall apart! (Duh-duh-dumm!)
See how that kind of thinking could soon drive you batty? I put down the idea that we always had to be doing something to actively improve our connection.
And what I discovered, to my immense delight, when I stopped acting like a relationship guru on steroids, is that our relationship is pretty freaking amazing as is.
We’re totally goofy with one another, which to me is the hallmark of a great match. Can you be just flat out silly with your partner?
“Anyone can be Passionate, but it takes
Real Lovers to be Silly.” – Rose Franken
We support each other in our respective pursuits. There is ample tenderness, love, and affection between us.
And we just plain love being around one another. That is the most striking thing to me about us. Even after being together day in and day out for days on end we’re both like, ‘Yeah, sign me up for more of that.’
If I had to give relationship advice to anyone choosing a partner, I would say this one thing is crucial: Pick someone you cannot get enough of.
Then whatever comes your way you know you two will be able to withstand it because you love being with one another that much.
Now, I breathe easier and relax in the knowledge that we’re actually pretty great. And we’re getting better just by being ourselves.
“Love doesn’t make the world go round,
love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Franklin P. Jones
© 2019 Tamara Jefferies.
Dedicated to my partner, Gary.
Writer and photographer couple, Tamara and Gary (respectively), are based in Long Beach, CA, and spend much of their free time taking photos and writing about the new places they discover together. Learn more about what they do at imaginedphoto.com, tamarajefferies.com, and evolvinglifeco.com.