Stop Being Nearsighted: See Your Sweetie in a New Light
By Claire Aldrich
Sometimes it's easy to fall into the habit of focusing on what's wrong with your relationship. She talks during football games. He won't talk at all. She leaves her clothes all over the bedroom. He forgets to take out the trash until it's overflowing.
But try to remember: You can do something about it. Take some action!
Notice What's Going Right
First, stop yourself when you're thinking about what's wrong, and then refocus on what you want to be right. Try setting an example for your sweetie by working to improve one weakness you have in the relationship.
On the flip side, try to notice the sweet, considerate things your lover does for you. And make a point to say thanks...often!
Be Prepared With Praise
Your significant other wants to know that he or she is significant to you. Everyone loves to be appreciated. Find little ways to describe why your honey does it for you physically and mentally - and be specific. Leave a sticky note on her mirror. Put a napkin in his lunch telling him what he did yesterday that will make you think about him all day today. You don't need to shower your baby with false praise, but some genuine compliments will go a long way.
You'll serve a dual purpose if you praise your sweetie's efforts to improve: "Yum! This stir-fry is really delicious! I'm so glad we're eating healthier meals." "Wow! I can tell your workouts are paying off, honey! I can't keep my hands off your bulging arm muscles!"
Experiment With New Activities
Instead of bringing the relationship vibe down with your gripes, make it your mission to jazz it up. Not in a fake, "I'm all sweetness and light" kind of way, but in a "let's spread the love" kind of way. Think about what you can do together that will make you both smile and laugh. Go to a comedy club. Or buy a hula hoop. Go roller skating together. Have a water gun fight in the yard and call a truce in the bedroom.
If you're not too risk averse, try something even more outside the box to get your relationship on a different level. Try rock climbing or snow tubing if you've got the nerve. Do something unusual that will inject some excitement into your life. Find new ways to spend time together actively and you'll have new things to talk and laugh about when you're back home snuggling.
The next time you find yourself overanalyzing your relationship, stop and take action to get back on a positive track. Don't think yourself toward the brink. Race toward the embrace!
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