We’ve all briefly imagined how much quieter and calmer life would be without our partners when we’re annoyed or upset with them. Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of another disagreement or just tired of clearing the dirty dishes off the table for the hundredth time, it’s only natural to wonder.
While there is nothing wrong with a little imagining, it’s important to remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Once the “honeymoon” phase wears off, you’ll naturally notice your partner’s idiosyncrasies and flaws, but you’ve got to remember that no relationship is perfect.
A relationship builds over time, becoming more strong and stable, if you give it a chance and are willing to put in a little work. Before you toss in the towel, consider what life would be like on your own, and try these five ways to stop taking your partner for granted right now:
1. Look At Your Shared History
Your past milestones and memories together are unique to you and your partner, so don’t forget to cherish them every once in a while. Take a stroll down memory lane by flipping through some photo albums, your cell photos or even just by reliving some great times in your mind.
This will help you remember what’s special about what you and your partner share and can even spark some new appreciation. Talk over some of these memories with your partner if you feel like it, as this can really invoke some wonderful emotions for the both of you.
2. Enjoy The Comfort
We’re all warned against getting too “comfortable,” but that can be a benefit in a relationship. Suddenly, forgetting to shave or skipping make-up or cologne isn’t a big deal. You don’t have to suck in your stomach or worry about those age lines or freckles anymore; your partner doesn’t mind.
Take the time to appreciate being comfortable enough with your partner that you don’t have to deal with all the bells and whistles. Don’t forget to extend the same courtesy to your partner!
3. Feel The Support
When you’ve had an accident or illness or just a long day, it’s nice to come home to someone other than your cat or dog. Pets are great companions but terrible conversationalists, and sometimes, you’re going to need someone to talk to who can talk back.
Your partner is there to help back you up and look after you when things get tough, and there are advantages to having someone else to depend on if need be. Remind yourself of all the times your partner has been there for you, and what it would have been like if he or she wasn’t.
4. Love The Sex
The idea that committed couples must have boring or unfulfilling sex lives just isn’t true. When you’re with someone for a long period of time, you have the ability to experiment in a comfortable, safe space and learn each other’s bodies in a way people in a fling do not.
Remember all the fun times you’ve had and think of what you will have in the bedroom with your partner and what starting over with someone else would mean. If you’ve been out of the bedroom lately, try a little date night to get yourself back in gear.
5. Look At The Stability
Having a committed partner means more than just emotional support. Your shared financial resources make life a bit easier for the both of you and allow you to enjoy perks you may not have if you were alone.
Take stock of the financial benefits you reap from combining your income with your partner’s and what this means for your future. While a flush retirement account may not sound romantic, the promise of a stable future can have a bigger impact on your life today than you may think.
Reviewing the future you and your partner are building together is another way to cement your appreciation for him or her. Not only will you be energized by the promise of a bright tomorrow, but it will shine a little brighter when you realize you’ll have someone to share it with.
Keep in mind, if your relationship has a hit a brick wall with problems past the usual annoyances, such as drug abuse or infidelity, that you shouldn’t force yourself to stay. Be realistic about what is making you unhappy and impacting your relationship before you make a final decision on what to do.