Falling in love with the right person is effortless. At love’s inception, we tend to daydream about the Other and want to spend a majority of our time together. It is not a bother to demonstrate our love via cards, flowers, gifts, emails and texts.
However much we want to capture those feelings forever, they fade over time. Then it takes work – not hard work, but vigilance – to keep that love alive.
Since staying in love takes a commitment, the first decision we need to make as the radiance of a new relationship begins to decline is: Do I want to continue to love and commit to this person?
The realization that we have found the person we want to be with and commit to triggers many further choices. We must choose to focus on the good in the Other every day, rather than concentrating on the negative things that irritate us. We must choose to accept the Other, support them, and love them exactly as they are. If we cannot, then we have not made a wise choice in whom to love. If we enter a new relationship thinking we can shift and change the Other, we are destined to fail and subject ourselves and the Other to a painful experience. None of us are perfect – or anywhere near it – and accepting flaws in the Other is a major part of love.
When we are unhappy with our relationship, we must choose the sometimes difficult path of discussing it with the Other. It is often easier to avoid “confronting” our partner by sweeping the irritants under the rug. Unfortunately, letting minor problems build up transforms them into major issues, which can destroy our love and eventually the relationship.
We must also make a daily choice to recall the reasons we first chose to commit to the Other. We must choose to be realistic, to acknowledge that our relationship will not always be butterflies and roses, and that there will be times we hurt, disagree with and even fight with the Other. While we work through our trying times, it is imperative to constantly remind ourselves of why we initially chose to love the Other.
Love is most accurately then, a series of choices. We choose to see the good and ignore the frustrating; avoid trying to change the Other and look for ways to uplift our partner, always remembering why we love them. Making these choices on a daily basis results in the ultimate outcome we are seeking: sustaining the feeling of being in love.