In this world of technology and online everything
it seems every week or so
you hear about some breach, hack or system that has failed.
Last week it was Ashley Madison’s turn.
If you are not familiar, Ashley Madison is an online dating website
that caters to people who are married or in committed relationships.
It’s slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair”
Up until last week, it claimed to create anonymous hookups.
Post data base breach, this claim is no more.
Over 37 million users are now at risk
of having their personal profiles released to the public.
But this blog isn’t about security breaches.
It’s about the state of relationships.
I have been thinking about the mathematics of this.
If 37 million people are registered with one affair-based dating site,
how many more millions of non-registered people are on the verge?
Or what about the numbers of people who are just unhappy and don't know what to do?
A lot more millions I would guess.
It is becoming much more common in this day and age to divorce
than to ‘death to us part’ and so the question I wonder about is:
Is this really inevitable?
Are all long-term relationships doomed to end, or cheat or be unhappy in?
I am not saying I know the answer to all relationship questions, but I do know
there are at least 3 things you can do to give your relationship
a chance in NOT becoming the next divorce or affair statistic.
Dust off your vows. When you are in the throes of love and planning your wedding, a lot of energy goes into the vows. You research the very best words. You write them yourself. You speak them out loud. Maybe you even framed them or carefully glued it into a photo album back in the day when we printed photos. But where are your vows now? Do you know them? Do you live by them? Do you still promise to keep them? It i a great exercise to do as couple to renew, re-write or simply remember the promises you made to each other.
Inject something new. One of the biggest killers of relationships is apathy. So often in long-term relationships we get apathetic. About everything. Telltales signs are when you stop setting goals - for yourself and for your relationship. When you stop doing interesting things and fall into boring routines that involve massive amounts of TV or screen time, wearing sweatpants every day and not getting excited about life in general. This is like a petri dish of problems. So get off the couch and plan something new to do together. It can even be something old that you used to do when you were dating or newly in love. Just inject something that you don’t normally do into your relationship.
Be a raving fan. I have noticed an interesting trend in long-term relationships and that is the tendency to people to move from cheerleader to critic. Notice if this is you. When you first met, everything they did was “awesome” or “cute” or “funny”. Take these same idiosyncrasies or habits a few years later, and suddenly they are now irritating. The short fix to this is to simply fire yourself from the critic role. Your partner did not hire you to be their critic, their coach or their fix-me-person. So stop it. Be your partner’s raving fan. Instead of looking for opportunities to point out what they have done wrong or could do way better, look for ways to praise, support and love on them instead. I cannot stress this tip enough.
I’d love to hear that these tips work you (and other ones that keep your relationship feeling alive and happy).
To loving more,