Is taking your partner for granted “normal” after you’ve been together for a while? According to one study, most people think it is. And, many argue, taking their partner for granted just means they are comfortable with them which surely isn’t a bad thing. So maybe we do put in that extra energy at the start of our relationships like shaving our legs every day to look our best or sending flowers for no special occasion — but who can sustain that sort of effort for very long?
Judging from the number of relationships that go bust clearly not enough people continue to be on their best behaviour for long enough. While it’s unlikely many relationships will end because someone didn’t shave her legs one day, or only sent roses on Valentine’s Day, becoming complacent in a relationship doesn’t bode well for its future.
And while it may be “normal” to start taking our partners for granted after months or years together, in the sense that many do, that doesn’t make it right. Perhaps if more people considered it “abnormal” to take their partner for granted, there would be many more happy couples in this world?
Are You Taking Your Partner for Granted? Take This Test to Find Out
No one likes to be taken for granted. And while many may accept it as part and parcel of being in a long-term relationship, resentments will start to creep in, eventually. Once the “shine” of a relationship has worn off, it just looks “ordinary” which may be “normal” but surely not very exciting.
Are you taking your partner for granted? Here’s a “test” to find out: How “different” do you behave toward them now than you did at the start of your relationship?
I’ve been married a long time. Of course, my husband and I are more “comfortable” now than we were in the early days of our relationship, (ok, maybe I don’t shave my legs every day) but our relationship looks pretty “fresh”. We don’t take each other for granted; nor do we take our love for granted either. We know that couples can fall out of love as easily as they fell into it. Complacency is often to blame.
How to Put Energy Back (Like It was Before)
Think about what mattered to you and your partner at the start of your relationship, the way you treated each other that drew you closer together. If you’ve slipped too far away, perhaps it’s time to put some energy back—before it’s too late.
So, make a list of five things that mattered in your early days as a couple. And, if you don’t do any of these things anymore (or not as often), direct some energy back there now!
Here’s my list (which may look similar or different than yours).
“I love you”
Texts, call or emails end with “love you” even if we are just communicating about ordinary day-to-day domestic things like who is going to pick up milk from the grocery store.
We have dinner together, even during the week, even if it means not eating till 9 pm because of schedules; it’s often not “fancy” but we light candles and have a glass of wine.
Saying “thank you” to acknowledge each other’s efforts even for little things like cleaning up or taking the dog to the vet.
Interest in Each Other’s Interests
Participating in events the other enjoys even if we’re not that keen—just to be together.
Speaking in a respectful tone (we don’t yell, snap or belittle) even if we’re in a bad mood.
You Can Do This!
The good news is that it’s pretty easy not to take our partners for granted. If you had the skills to do it at the start of your relationship, you can certainly pull it off now. Someone sent me a quote recently by Dr. Robert Holden: “One of the big mistakes I think we make in relationships is that we don’t give our best energy to the people that matter most.”
Those are words to live by.