Ah yes, there is nothing like falling in love! Maybe you can remember when you first fell in love. There is something magical about those moments in the beginning – whether those moments last a few months or a few years. You feel like you are on top of the world and have the corner on the market on what love truly feels like. It’s that place of absolute excitement and anticipation of what is to come, and you can’t wait to get there. Have you ever had that? If so, you know what I am talking about. Here are some things that you might also know.
While true love can be the most magical experience you have ever known, the reality of what is required to keep that love alive is something that far too few people ever take the time to learn. The result is a dwindling passion and excitement in your love relationship that eventually leaves you feeling like you are stuck in a relationship instead of blessed with it.
Maybe this is why so many relationships fail over time. The passionate pursuit seems to fizzle down into more of casual drive by affirmations, then on down the road of indifference to a place of wonderment of what the attraction was in the first place. How is that possible?
How did that magic that made love so special in the beginning fade to only a whisper of what it was to where that special feeling you once had feels more like a restlessness as if you want to run away?
How can someone that was so in love begin to lose interest in the other person?
Ever asked these kinds of questions or been in a situation like this… or maybe you feel like some of this is happening right now in your life. If you can relate or you know others that might be able to relate, there is good news. If you think love and the wonderful passionate experiences that are supposed to be a part of love are worth fighting for, and you don’t want to lose that special someone, there is lots that you can do to turn things around. the secret is rooted in this one simple truth.
The desire to feel that you are important (respected and appreciated) to someone else is the deepest urge in human nature.
This truth is especially true if you are married or in a love relationship. Respect and appreciation play important roles in keeping love alive. This is as true for men as it is for women, but unfortunately, most women do not realize that the self esteem of men can run low – even when they look and act like nothing affects them.
If you believe you married a Superman, you are sorely mistaken. In most cases you married a little boy in a man’s body trying to be everything to everyone that they think they should be. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to bring that little boy inside your man into his full potential. If you are willing to establish your thoughts on what God says about your man, and choose to allow your actions to reflect the same towards him, you will be amazed at how blessed your relationship will become as your interest grows into his fullest potential.
Gentlemen! (and even you guys that aren’t gentlemen)
If you think that the love of your life is not susceptible to discouragement, frustration, and disappointment, or that she does not deal with low self esteem, think again. Believing that lie will be the biggest mistake that you will make IF you want to keep your love alive and thriving. Make it your dialy goal to make your woman feel the ‘zing’ in your heart for her. Become her biggest encourager. Speak life and hope and love over her every day. Build the anticipation of even your next kiss when you are away from her. It will transform her into something so good that you will think you died and went to heaven as a result.
Busting Open the Nutshell to Find the Meat of it All
Consider this, …the human heart is fragile, and whether you are male or female, it is susseptible to pain and discouragement, and especially that of feeling unappreciated or respected (actively loved). When in a love relationship, the greatest threat is not from the outside world as much as it is from within the relationship itself.
Success in relationships require you to do things and be nice even when you don’t “feel” like doing things of being nice to anyone. The secret is how YOU relate to your mate even when you don’t feel like saying something nice or doing something nice for them. It is about always making a willful choice to speak life and health over your relationship, and not fear, doubt, and suspicion or skepticism over it.
NO ONE is always on their game in a relationship. This is why we must make a willful choice to encourage our mates and be kind to them, even when we are struggling ourselves. The focus should always be on the other person and not ourselves. Yes, we all want our own needs met, but the secret weapon against a love gone cold is that even when we have needs of our own that we want fulfilled in our relationship, we choose first to seek after meeting the needs of the other person over our own needs.
This principle is spiritual in nature, i.e. learning to give out of our need in our lives. If we don’t feel loved, show love towards your mate. If we don’t feel respected, show respect towards your mate. If we feel insecure, seek to make your mate feel secure. Get it? Learn to give out of your own needs, and you will reap the same. This principle is best understood when you understand the meaning of sacrificial love – agape. This ‘selfLESS love’ is the driving force behind every lasting love relationship – bar none.
Two Biblical truths that are worth knowing even if you are not a follower of Jesus Christ:
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” ~ Jesus (John 15:13 NLT)
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7 NIV)
Ask yourself if you are willing to do whatever it takes to win the heart of your sweetheart everyday as if it were the first day of your pursuit. This is key to being successful in a love relationship. Also, remember that whatever you are dishing out to others, you will also get the same in return. Wouldn’t you rather be getting heaps of lovin’ and kindnesses from your mate instead of scorn, ridicule, and sarcasm? Of course you would.
The Take-Away and Action Plan
What we say, what we do, and how we act or react can mean the difference between hope and life, and that of discouragement and dispair; the difference between a happy, healthy heart or a sad and broken heart. It can even mean the difference between life and death to the relationship itself.
If you truly have found someone that rocks your world and it is someone that you are willing to fight for to make a life with, be willing to commit to a life of saying and doing the things that make a love relaitonship flourish. If you have found someone that leaves a smile on your face every time you are with them, then determine in your heart that you will NOT let your “I love you” be just lip service to them.
If you can’t imagine a life without that special someone in your life, and you are not just in the relationship for the sake of your own selfish desires and ambitions, be willing to roll up your sleeves and put your ‘love’ into action. Become committed to ACTIVELY showing it in both the words you say and in your actions towards them.
Here is a list I believe provides some great ideas that will help you to make your love interest feel important. You may have already seen some of these in books on marriage or relationships. The list is NOT all-inclusive, so be creative in your own life and see how many more you can add to it.
- Thank them for everything they do that demonstrates their love and appreciation towards you.
- Remind them continually that just being with them fills your heart.
- Let them know that they fill your cup and how much it means to you that they do.
- Be their biggest cheerleader and encourager.
- Take them on a date or getaway without the children if you are married.
- When someone criticizes them, let them know that you are with them and are willing to help them work through that criticism.
- Always look your best so that they will be fill that you care about your appearance.
- Be their covering by praying for them more than you pray for yourself.
- Refrain from giving them the silent treatment or avoiding difficult conversations.
- Be respectful even if you are angry. NEVER yell when you have issues with them to discuss.
- Respect their dignity by not criticizing them in front of others.
- Watch your words towards them and choose them carefully. Speak life and NEVER speak death over your love for or relationship with them.
- Don’t make them feel fearful of being called stupid because they expressed themself freely.
- Keep yourself in shape and work at it. The best way is to work out together.
- They are not a mind reader so don’t expect them to be one.
- Watch TV or a movie with them even if it is a program you do not like.
- When they make good decisions, give them praise and encouragement for it, and reaffirm your belief in them.
- When they make bad decisions don’t criticize him, but help them to work through their bad choices.
- At home or in public, hold their hand – even when you are falling off to sleep.
- Don’t argue with them over money; Discuss things peacefully, keeping in mind that times are tough, and you are not their mother.
- Don’t put blame on them when things go wrong. The blame game is a dead end for relationships.
- If you are struggling in the relationship, do not just decide to bail out of it for what looks like greener grass on the other side. There is no such thing. Take the time to talk things out and share your frustrations, even if it takes repeated attempts to get them to open up and share their heart with you.
- Don’t treat strangers better than you treat them; be courteous.
- When they say something wrong, give them the benefit of the doubt.
- When they get home or come to visit you, greet them with a long hug and meaningful kiss.
- DO NOT BE A FLIRT or put out the vibe with members of the opposite sex.
- Spare them from boring details your day or conversations you have had, and get right to the deeper things that came from those events or conversations. Turn your conversation as quickly towards them and their day and how they are doing, and do not dwell on your own day or feelings.
- Respond to their sexual gestures, and become a passionate pursuer of their heart. The goal is to truly ruin them for anyone else but you.
- A person’s intelligence and what they know and think are important. Don’t criticize or belittle them when they talk or try to share how they are feeling or what they think about something. Just be a great listener.
- If you are making plans that include both of you, make sure that they are has agreed to them.
- When you do things for them, do it out of love for them and not a since of obligation. Don’t do things for them for the recognition of what you do, and do not look for or expect a thank you.
- Don’t compare them to your previous love interest or to others of the oppositie sex that you know or see.
- Never speak badly of their relatives.
- Never make them choose between you and their family, or you and their children. Yes, when in a one flesh with someone, next to God they are to be the very most important priority in your life – married to them or not. But, do not force them to choose you over their children. If their priorities are straight, they will recognize that placing you as their number 1 priority under God will allow your children and their children to be most blessed by your relationship.
- If your habits annoy them, work at getting rid of them. No habit you have is worth injuring your love relationship.
- Handle them with much care because they belong to God.
- Men, this is a big one, so pay attention to it. When they need it, help them finish their goals in life, even their education. Be their biggest advocate, even at the expense of your own dreams while they acheive theirs.
- Give your love interest plenty of time to recover when they are in a bad mood or struggling and need time alone.
- Be a “help meet” to them whenever they need it, even if it is inconvenient for you or for your personal needs.
- When they come home from work, give them time to decompress and unwind.
- In front of your children, be sure to honor and respect them, and never speak badly about them. Children need to see how to properly treat their spouses – or even their boy friends or girl friends.
- When they are tired, keep your conversation brief, and focus on their needs completely so that they feel protected and nurtured.
- Whether they are in your presence or not, always brag about and talk about how wonderful they are.
- NEVER ever dump the dirty laundry of your love life or struggles in your relationship with your friends. This is brings death to your love, death to your love interest’s esteem and emotions. Take things to God or pray that you can lovingly confront the one you love and try to resolve the issue – even if it will be painful. This is what you do when you are truly in love.
- ALWAYS speak life and hope and love about or over the one you love.
- Save enough energy in your day, so that when you are able to be alone with your love interest, that you have enough of yourself left over from the demands of the day to be fully able to enjoy intimate and satisfying time together.
- ALWAYS take the time to hold each other in non-sexually motivated, but intimate ways. It’s not always about sex, but connection.
- God created spiritual authority for a reason. Wives (and even lovers), learn to look to your man as someone who is in your life to protect you and lead the two of you through life. Read Ephesians 5:33
- Men, recognize how great a responsibility you have to protect and nurture the woman in your life. Read 1 Peter 3:7
- Do not belittle, ridicule, insult or slander your love interest either to their face or to others. Love covers a multitude of sin. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
- Become their greatest advocate for their success in life and promote them to everyone for what they are capable of.
- Write love notes all of the time, make gifts, take walks, and whisper loving things in their ear that only they can hear.
- Be a continual encourager and recognize their hard work or efforts.
- Give gifts often, even if they are simple. A gift does not have to be expensive to be invaluable.
- When you fall into sin where your sin had injured the heart of the one you love, don’t just admit it was wrong or that you made a mistake, but confess it as sin and repent of it.
- No sin is too great overcome in a love relationship when two people are truly committed in their love (remember that love is an action and not an emotion).
- When offense or sin comes to your relationship, remember that we are all imperfect and all capable of making terrible mistakes in judgment. Be quick to forgive and forget, and move forward as quickly as possible when bad things happen in your relationship. A good love – even when broken – is worth focusing on the reasons you fell in love in the first place.
- When you blow it with your partner, expect that there will be a need for healing time for their heart. Heart wounds take time to heal, so tread gently and patiently there.
- Be willing to go the distance when tough times come and your love will be tempered to last a lifetime.
- Don’t make them feel guilty for the time they need to be alone. We all need recharge time and sometimes its best done alone. Even Jesus went of early in the morning to be alone, or pushed off in a boat to get some time away from the disciples that he loved.
- Show them that you need them in your life not only by your actions, but in your words. Affirm your love for them and desire to grow old with them.
- Here is a BIG one: Don’t allow your family members to disrespect them either in front of them or behind their back. This is undermining to your faith and hope for lasting love, and will erode at the foundation of your love relationship if you allow it to happen. Better to keep family at a distance, than to expose you or your sweetheart to such criticism or ridicule. Set clear boundaries with extended family and maintain those boundaries.
- Stay focused on the things your love interest does right and not pick at their faults or shortcomings.
- Realize that the airbrushed models in magazines are not real. No one is perfect physically and no one will stay young for long. Continually seek to build your mate up by speaking encouragement over their physical attributes that you love the most, and help them with those they don’t like to improve upon them if it is at them.
- Look for ways to keep laughter in your conversation. Yes, there is a time to be serious, but always seek to bring joy and laughter into your communication.
Realize that people have feelings and emotions and they are all very fragile. The choices you make that affect these will ultimately either bless your life or bring sorrow. Remember that we reap what we have sown, so always seek to sow gentleness, goodness, kindness, and mercy into your love interest’s life.
Never stop telling the one your love that you love them, and mean it when you say it. There is nothing worse than an insincere “I love you,” to the heart of a trusting soul.
Every once in a great while, true love is truly realized and it is worth fighting for against all odds, but both people must be willing to make the commitment to love (actively pursue) one another. Almost all of these tips can be applied to all relationships that you have.
If you do not have a sweetheart in your life right now, there is GREAT NEWS for you. If you make it your determination in life to love everyone UNselflessly as these tips enourage you to, it will be easy to love your sweetheart when you meet them – and you CAN live happily everafter once you do