In our very active and full lives, it is so easy to get caught up in the daily demands of our life and sacrifice love. Many struggling couples ask me, "Can you fall out of love?"
The truth is, love requires nurturing. No matter how deeply you love someone, if you allow weeds to grow in your relationship, they can crowd out love and choke the life right out of your marriage. It doesn't take long for two people in a loving relationship to become distant or "fall out of love." Because of the day-in, day-out details we are continually juggling in our lives, we can slip into autopilot in ways that slowly eat away at the loving feelings we once felt.
Any routine actions become a habit and are automated by the brain because it's efficient—even if the habit has a negative effect on our lives. It can be automatic to make sarcastic comments. It can be a habit to nag your spouse for things they haven't completed or even pick fights when things are going well. It's common to replace quality time with pass-by logistics and talking about scheduling conflicts and the latest news. And of course, there's always Facebook or Netflix to ignore the gnawing feeling that something's missing in our relationship.
However, it's not so easy to shift when a habit of criticism or discontent sets in. Mindlessly the days fly by and couples can forget to take the time every day for loving gestures that nurture one another and strengthen their relationship.
Are you tolerating an unhappy relationship? Have you gotten lazy in love?
Are you neglecting the muscles that strengthen your love life? Has your kindness to your partner gotten a little flabby?
Are you cultivating a healthy and loving bond or are you saying and doing things that increase the distance between you?
Don't let love pass you by on cruise control.
Get in the driver's seat fully awake and mindfully nurture your relationship.
By giving love in small doses each day, you'll vitalize—or revitalize—your relationship dramatically.
Related reading: "Reasons People Fall Out of Love (Even After Being Happy for Years"
How to Be More Mindful to Build a Healthy Relationship
Here are some simple (don't underestimate them!) and proven keys to creating a happy and thriving partnership in love.
LOVE ACTION #1: Greet your partner like you're happy to see them!
When we are preoccupied, we can forget how essential greetings are. Think for a moment of a time when someone happily or excitedly greeted you. Maybe you were picked up at the airport after an extended visit away. Or perhaps your Black Labrador welcomes you with his tail in full swing. When someone is happy to see us, the message is clear: They missed you. You are important to them. Greetings are immensely validating!
So the next time your partner comes home, stop what you're doing and greet them. Enthusiastically show your love and give 'em a big hug and kiss.
LOVE ACTION #2: Focus on what's right in your relationship!
I've heard dozens of times from couples, "he/she only tells me what they don't like" or "I feel like my partner doesn't like me anymore; they only point out what's wrong."
We often make the mistake to focus on past hurtful actions instead of investing in the quality of connection we desire. When we only visit—or continually visit—what's wrong, it's discouraging for your partner. Train yourself to focus on what you love about your partner. Let them know how much they mean to you.
And yes, because we are human, there will be things we don't like. No partner is perfect. When you do want something different from your partner, keep reading!
LOVE ACTION #3: Ask for what you want from your partner.
When communicating with your partner, ask specifically for what you want instead of pointing your finger at what you don't want. For example, if you feel ignored and miss your partner because they're working too much, instead of saying "You never spend time with me," you could say, "I feel sad when we don't spend time together and I miss you. Let's schedule a date night this week!"
Related reading: "Love Is a Choice—the Best Marriage Advice!"
Are You Falling Out of Love?
When we first fall in love, our partner can do no wrong. Don't let the little annoyances take the spark out of your love. Nurturing relationships is critical.
LOVE ACTION #4: Practice mindful loving. Give what you say you want from your partner, (attention, random kindness, quality time together, loving affection), and watch the weeds die off and love bloom again. It only takes one person to shift relationship problems to relationship bliss.
And pretty soon, just like the song, you'll be thinking and feeling, "I got love on my mind!"
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