In a world full of constant taking, many of us live with a ““What can the world do for me?” attitude, and while that may work for some things, it certainly won’t work for very long in a relationship.
It is sort of natural for us to get used to things, and even those of us lucky enough to be in great relationships are often guilty of growing complacent and neglecting to contribute value back into our relationships and our lover’s life.
So how can we keep a relationship alive, help keep our partners happy, and most of all, how can we challenge our partner to grow while simultaneously accepting our own opportunity to grow as a person?
A relationship is a lot like a bank…
When you first get into a relationship it’s like opening a new account, since you don’t know each other very well, there is very little invested into the account of your love. It just takes that first initial deposit to get started, but we all know it takes more to really build a bank account.
Every kind deed or word, every kiss, every fond memory and smile, they all add up in your relationships combined account, and every malicious word or look, every dirty look and bad memory all withdraw from it.
In the beginning, we are afraid to lose our initial investment, so we start making deposits constantly. We usually start being our best self, we are kinder than we normally are, more positive than we normally are, more spontaneous and alive than we usually are, and then we eventually feel like our bank account is big enough that we can do whatever we want.
We slowly stop making deposits, and start making a lot more withdrawals, at first it doesn’t matter too much, because we have built such a nice reserve, but then eventually we start getting over drafts, and before we know it everything is gone.
So how can we add value into a relationship, instead of only taking out it’s worth?
There are a lot of different ways that we can add additional funds into our love account, but they pretty much all boil down into 6 major categories.
- Better ourselves.
- Help our partner become better.
- Do something to build trust.
- Do something to build investment.
- Do something to make our partner happy.
- Conquer an obstacle
- Better yourself.
One of the very best ways to add value in your relationship is to better yourself, while it may seem counterintuitive, when you become a better person your partner will benefit too. Think about it, if you invest time into reading 3 books about better communication skills and you start applying what you learned in your life, guess what happens?
You will develop BETTER communication skills!
Getting in better shape, going back to school to get a better job, conquering your insecurities, or just focusing on how to be a better lover: all of these forms of self improvement, and many more, will add value into your relationship, because when you get better you will bring new value into your relationship.
- Help your lover become better.
Just like investing in yourself adds value into your relationship, investing in your partner or helping them with their own investments adds value as well. Sometimes the best way to help someone is just by offering moral support, other times it may be through leading by example, other times still, it may be by actively lending a hand when your lover needs it.
If they have a dream of going back to school, help them financially, pick up more hours so they don’t have to work as much, or offer to do the cleaning around the house so they have more time to study. By enabling and encouraging your partner to grow, your love will grow as well.
- Do something to build trust.
Any action that builds trust in a relationship is a great investment to make. Things like keeping promises, and always being there for your lover when they need it go a long way towards increasing the feelings of trust in a relationship.
Love is incredibly scary and overwhelming at times, and the more we open up to others, the more vulnerable we feel, but by ensuring that we create a safe and comfortable space within our relationship we can ensure that our lover feels comfortable to make the big investments of trust we want them to make.
There can never be too much trust in a relationship’s vault, so go ahead, keep those promises, and try to be the rock they can hold onto through the storm.
- Do something to increase investment and or bonding.
Activities that increase investment are any activities that increase the commitment level in your current relationship. Keeping promises, bettering yourself, or building trust can all increase the feelings of commitment you give off, but you can also take more direct steps to build commitment as well.
Show your lover just how committed you are by doing something kind, surprising them with something they will love, or simply by taking your relationship to the next level. Likewise, anything that increases the bond between the two of you will add value into the relationship as well. Doing new things, taking a trip, or just going on a few dates can all increase and rekindle the special bond between the two of you.
- Do something special for your lover, just to make them happy.
Taking time out of your day to do something special for the person you love may seem like an impossibility, but not only does it increase your bonds, it also makes them happy…and when your lover is happy…you are happy…because you love them and they love you.
Seriously, what beats watching a smile form on the lips of the person you love, and having the knowledge within you that YOU are the reason for that smile!? Not only will doing special things for someone you care about make them feel loved, appreciated, and cared about, but it will make YOU fall more in love them as well.
- Conquer an obstacle together.
There are going to be times when mistakes happen: someone lie’s or betrays trust…someone oversteps a comfort boundary, or says a few choice words with malice and intent to harm; we are all human, but even the biggest mistakes come with opportunities.
When communication breaks down and someone ends up hurt, it can be a great opportunity to fix deep problems and issues in your relationship that you can’t normally access.Imagine a big fight not as a permanent loss of your love investment, but rather a loan you take out with a high interest rate.
If you don’t hurry up and pay it off soon, its going to build interest and turn into a serious debt, but through hard work you can pay it off quickly, or if you are really smart, you can even use the loan to invest in something new that makes an even bigger contribution to your relationship.
Overcoming a serious relationship struggle or disagreement can bring two people closer than almost anything else. When big withdrawals happen, just focus on paying them back and getting things back in order as quickly as possible.
What kind of investments are you making into your relationship and what are you doing to make sure that you don’t end up bankrupt? Share your comments and tips here with our other readers. What do you think? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on facebook!