There’s nothing like that feeling of falling for someone who makes your heart skip, but feelings aren’t enough.
There was a time in my relationship that I was convinced it was over. After years of dealing with my B.S., my wife had enough. I left our home to live with a friend, and we started the process of getting divorced. Plain and simple, I was a jerk. She should have left me long ago.
It was during that separation that I woke up. This woman was the love of my life, and I was blowing it. I determined to do whatever I could to get her back in my life. It took a year of working on myself and showing her–through more than words–that I wanted us to be together.
Relationships are hard work, and too many guys would rather move on than commit to doing what it takes to grow. Love is an incredible privilege most of us will get to experience at some point in our lives. If we get the chance to be with the love of our life, we shouldn’t take them for granted. We should commit to making the most out of the time we have together because it’s not long enough.
Love is a decision.
The movies we’ve watched growing up have given us a twisted view of love. We see it as something we have to constantly feel when the reality is that love is a constant decision you make. Love starts with feelings and attraction, but mature love grows beyond what you feel because feelings change. Love is a decision that you wake up each day and make through your decisions.
When you decide to resist the temptation to cheat, you’re choosing love. When you commit to listening to your partner, to be there for them through good and bad times, you’re choosing to love. Love has to move past what you feel and to a place where you’re committed to keeping those feelings strong through your choices. Love isn’t a feeling. It’s a decision.
Commit to being better.
A lot of the problems in relationships can be traced to feelings and things we’re struggling with inside of us. Self-limiting beliefs and a negative self-image have kept many guys from opening up and giving themselves entirely to another. To grow our love, we have to put in the work to be the best version of our self.
Being the best version of you means getting in better shape mentally, physical, and emotionally. These are areas of our life that every guy can work on and grow in. When you’re happy with who you are, it’s easier to be with someone else.
Put in the work.
The honeymoon phase in your relationship doesn’t have to fade. Your love can grow in every single way if you do the work it takes. Don’t get lazy in the bedroom. Relationships end over sex—they don’t have to. Sex is the fun part of physically expressing your love. Commit to keeping it fresh and frequent.
In addition to sex, communicate what you’re going through. It’s hard for us as men to open up, but it’s important. Over communicate and develop a real friendship with your love. Be there for them and embrace their family. Extended family is something we all have to deal with one way or another. Choose to love by not giving up when it seems like it’s too much to handle.
It takes more than love to maintain and grow a healthy relationship. It’s hard, but it’s worth it to be with that one person who understands and accepts you more than anyone else. Don’t come to the end of your life regretting love lost.
Get honest with yourself. Get honest about the kind of life you want to live. Get honest about where your relationship is. You have a choice to make, and if you’re reading this, it’s probably not too late. Wake up every day and put in the hard work because your love is worth it.
How do you help your love last and grow?
Photo: Flickr/ Accidental-Tourist