Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Relationship Rescue Series: Installment #1 - Date Your Mate

When we get into a relationship or a marriage we often fall into a comfort zone. We merely exist within the relationship. As a result we either end up taking our mate for granted, or they take us for granted because we figure, “They’ll be there.”
In this case it is important to make a conscious effort to date one another in order to avoid complacency, lack of growth or having either or both parties stray away from the relationship.

I often hear stories from our elders about how they used to “court” back in their day.

Courting was a practice that happened when men would date a woman who he was interested in being in a relationship with. These days we skip that crucial step of getting to know and trying to pursue one another for a greater purpose. We go straight to being physical, living with, and even having children with one another. Marriage and relationships are often secondary to those things or an afterthought.
Then we wonder why, years down the road, we find ourselves at a dead end. We look up and we are with someone that we’ve grown to love, but fail to like. Or, we find ourselves with someone that we call our boyfriend or girlfriend, but that’s more so just a title because the truth is that neither of us are boys or girls and we are not friends at all.

So, what are we to do to reverse or better yet, avoid these circumstances?
Here is what I recommend…

• Be Planful* and Intentional about scheduling creative and engaging dates with your mate. Even President Obama and First Lady Michelle have a designated date night with a back up night in case something comes up.

• Set a Date and Keep It just as if it is any other important appointment in your planner. Make the commitment.

• Be Present when you are on the date. This means limiting or eliminating all distractions such as talking on the phone, texting, watching television, or reading a book or magazine. Use this uninterrupted time as an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation. It will promote bonding and you may learn new things about your mate.

Dating your mate may not be as easy as it sounds, especially if you have fallen into years of the same old pattern. This is why I have only listed three steps to take toward rejuvenating your relationship. Take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and once you have mastered these three steps we can move on to more complex challenges. In the meantime take time to reevaluate where you are in your relationship and DATE YOUR MATE!

*Planful is not actually a word, but I use it all of the time and I love it. So just consider it a part of the MMJ Vocabulary. Perhaps I’ll create my own dictionary. 

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