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Healthy and Happy Love Relationships. Originally written in 1986, and a free online guide to time-tested attitudes & tips since 2001.

When a Relationship is Worth Keeping

From here, we’ll assume you have found a relationship worth keeping ...one you are comfortable with, and which you want to continue into the long-term. Having found your relationship, this is not where the work ends; it’s where it continues. Don't expect that to stop because as your love relationship grows and evolves, change is required to stay in harmony with each other.

A relationship is like any living thing ...

You can’t just plant it and leave it alone.

It requires ongoing nourishment,

care, and attention.

When someone plans a trip, they establish a destination, plan an itinerary, pack the appropriate gear, make their way to the terminal purchase a ticket, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip -- watching the scenery pass by, reading a book or sleeping, being catered to by attentive stewards throughout. Being in a relationship is different, of course. Once you’ve boarded for the `trip’, you must continue the planning and effort. It’s a ‘working trip’ where you play an integral part in reaching your destination. If you don’t, there’s every possibility you will find yourself ‘dropped off’ at some unknown port of call along the way. All your original planning and effort wasted -- on your own to start making new plans just when you thought you could relax and enjoy the ride. Who needs the frustration, disruption, delay, or loneliness in some place they didn’t expect or want to be in? I doubt anyone does, but it is just where you are likely to be if you allow yourself to fall into a `comfort zone’. A "comfort zone" is a self inflicted rut; occurring primarily because humans have a tendency to become complacent, & take each other for granted. The ‘trick’ is to take something which would normally be routine or mundane, and dress it up a little to let your partner know, subtly, that you were thinking of him or her when you did whatever it was -- not just doing it because it had to be done. Most often it’s not an intentional thing. It’s a variation of the old adage which says; "familiarity breeds contempt". In this case it should be read as "familiarity breeds complacency". The only way there is to avoid finding yourself in this rut is to continue putting effort into your relationship. At this juncture, let’s clarify that we’re not referring specifically to the type of effort put into household chores, or into an occupation; although those are part of it. Instead, we’re speaking of putting effort into your partner, and the quality of the relationship overall. The best way to do this is by keeping romance alive and consistent.
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True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. — Francois de La Rochefoucauld