How important is connection to your relationships? Once a relationship is defined and/or feels secure, do you feel the connection will continue at the same level? And how exactly do you maintain a connection with someone anyway?
I liken the connection in relationships to maintaining a car. Think about it. If you work hard to buy a new car, you are excited. It is shiny and new, and you want it to stay that way! You are careful with it, determined to take care of it, and you want it to last forever. Before long, however, the newness fades and it becomes a chore. The energy you intended to invest in your car is hard and we become less diligent and consistent about it.
Just like with a car, your relationships need you to invest in them. Go sit on the stands and watch your kid in marching band, or soccer, baseball, or wrestling. Listen to your daughter while she tells you about her dolls. Listen to your wife as she talks about what’s going on in her life. Go to the boat sport and travel show with your hubby. Take time away from the kids to spend a weekend together just the two of you. Have lunch together in the middle of the week.
When you first got together and you were pursuing your mate, you invested a lot of thought and went to a lot of effort for your loved one. After the relationship is secured, (living together, engaged, married, etc.) many times we start putting less and less effort into it. We are focused on other things. This is when a relationship starts to run off the tracks, however. When we’ve achieved the level of connection that we desired, we assume it will stay that way and move onto something more challenging.
Much like that shiny new car – when we give it regular oil changes, a set of new tires, a tune up, new battery, a radiator flush, or even a run through the car wash, it can last us for a long, long time.
Our relationships need attention and effort. ALL of our relationships. What have you done lately to invest in the relationships that matter to you? Do you need to call and catch up with someone? Or send a text to let someone know you love them? How long has it been since you wrote a love letter? Bought flowers for your love, lately? Have you shown interest in someone else’s life lately? When was the last time you inconvenienced yourself for your friend or loved one? Would you drive through a blinding rain storm and give up a precious weekend to visit your kid in college? How likely would you be to pick up someone you care about at the airport? Would you do something that made you uncomfortable, if you knew it was important to the one you want to stay connected to?
We occasionally stand back and look at what our cars need. Can you stand back and evaluate what your relationships might need from you? A little bit of time and attention can make all the difference in just about any relationship!