"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" is the clarion call of the environmentally conscious individual. This is suitable advice for everything we buy, use, or dispose of. I would like to take it one step further. What if we applied some of this common sense to other areas of our lives?
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle for Modern Relationships
So, you are in a long term relationship and you just seem to grow closer to your significant other as the years go by. You work together, play together, and even start to look kind of like each other. However, underneath all this domestic harmony you may start to feel like your partner's clone and not just his or her other half. If this starts to happen, maybe you should:
Reduce the amount of time you spend together just a little. Take up a hobby of your own in which your loved one has no interest. You can still talk about it together when you get back from your photography class or rock climbing adventure. Make some friends of your own and hang out with them once a month. You may be surprised to find that you are more interesting to your life partner if you have a life outside your relationship.
All couples argue and some of these confrontations will start to seem familiar after a while. No one ever "wins" these fights and they just build negativity and resentment. Fortunately, if you are paying attention to how you and your partner respond to one another in different situations you will notice that there are also positive dynamics at work in your relationship. Once you identify these you can:
Reuse the strategies that work for bringing about peaceful conflict resolution. For example, you realize that if you don't interrupt your partner's venting he or she eventually runs out of steam. After this you can have a rational conversation about whatever the issue is. Or, when your spouse is worried about money, you find that what helps the most is to sit down and go over the budget together - sharing responsibility for your future.
The first days of a new romance are filled with excitement. If you are lucky enough to find a person you are truly compatible with this may grow into a lifelong commitment; However, entropy acts on all things and as our youthful bodies and minds begin to show the affects of time, so can our relationships. If you want to keep your love fresh and new, it is a good ides to:
Recycle some memories from the good old days. Don't just get out the photo album, be inventive. Take a trip to the same place you went on your honeymoon or plan a tryst in a favorite parking spot. You can even write a surprise letter to your partner recounting the story of what made you fall in love in the first place