When it comes to relationship maintenance, consistency is key

By Gina B.

 

I have a few Humpday questions . . . do you know why your significant other fell in love with you?    What were the qualities that attracted them to you in the first place?  Are you consistent?

 

Don't underestimate the importance of consistency.  Whenever I'm feeling skeptical about relationships, I get an attitude adjustment by talking to one of my role model couples. 

 

One couple in particular comes to mind, as I've known them for a long time and watched them sustain a happy 15+ year marriage, still smitten with one another. 

 

I asked the wife if there was anything she would change about her husband, if she could.  She said that she wouldn't change a single thing about him.  She dated a lot before meeting her husband, and what differentiated him from her previous boyfriends was his consistency. 

 

He's always done everything he said he was going to do, and he's treated her the exact same way since the moment they started dating.

 

She had a point.  Lack of consistency can kill a relationship. 

 

When we meet a guy and decide we like him, we are attracted to him based on who he is when we meet him.  A few months later, when we're settled, he may let his guard down and slack off on the very behavior that attracted us in the first place.

 

Years ago, I dated a man who brought me flowers once a week.  I loved the flowers, but I was more excited about the gesture.  I loved the thought that he had spent time picking out something just for me.  I appreciated that he noticed which flowers that I liked the best and made sure that the next bouquet included my favorites.  I smiled whenever I looked at them.  I liked him for many reasons, but the flowers were the icing on the cake.

 

A few months into the relationship, I realized that I hadn't received flowers in a long time.  The last bunch I remembered had long since been dried and used as potpourri.  Granted, once a week was a bit excessive, but he started it, and I missed the feeling of receiving them. 

 

I casually brought it up one day and he laughed and told me that he brought me flowers in the beginning because he was wooing me.  Once we'd been dating for a while, he didn't feel the need to woo me any longer. 

 

I felt cheated.  One of the things that I really liked about him was his tendency toward thoughtful acts of kindness.  As it turned out, his act of kindness was merely an act to get in my pants.

 

Keep in mind that relationships are intricate, and actions always cause reactions.  If we stop doing the things that our boyfriends or husbands appreciated or relied on, we should expect a negative reaction.

 

Ladies, we also need to be on our game.

 

For example, in the beginning of your relationship you might have hooked him by cooking special meals on Sundays and giving him regular backrubs. 

 

He thinks he's hit the jackpot.  A woman who's attractive and whose company he enjoys, also enjoys pampering him?  He's sold!  Her behavior made him step up his game and inspired him to be more thoughtful toward you. 

 

Fast forward six months.   You no longer have time for massages or cooking, and you can't understand why his behavior has also changed.  He no longer does those cute, thoughtful things that you loved in the beginning.  He pays less attention to you.

 

Pretty soon, neither of you are getting what you want and the relationship is in jeopardy.  You might look back on your fallen relationship and wonder what happened.

 

Here are a few key tips to ensure consistency in your relationship:

 

1.      Don't start behavior patterns that you can't maintain.  If you can't keep it up, don't set the expectation.     

2.     Don't pretend to love anything that falls outside of the realm of your natural behavior.   If you hate outdoor sports, don't feign an interest for his sake.  Eventually you'll stop participating, and he'll wonder what happened to the hiking buddy that he loved so much.   Don't be deceptive.

3.     Understand what your significant other likes, and keep doing those things.  If they're things that you enjoy doing, you should enjoy putting a smile on his face.

4.     Don't slack off!  Maintenance is the key to a successful relationship!

 

What do you do to ensure consistency in your relationship?  Tell us!

 

XO,

Gina B.

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