Jeremy says we have a high maintenance relationship.
I say every marriage is a high-maintenance relationship.
Ours may or may not be a higher-maintenance marriage. And I'm okay with that. I think he is, too.
In the early days of a relationship, you put in a ton of effort, but it feels effortless because the payoffs are all you notice. "I said something witty and made her laugh!" "I spent hours getting ready and he said I look beautiful!" It's all a part of being twitterpated.
...which is totally fun and feels amazing!
So, somewhere in the course of a relationship journey, we tend to stop putting in the effort in general. The effort starts seeming more like work. Our focus shifts. Suddenly, what once was new and exhilarating has a tendency to become common and expected. And it feels less-than-amazing. It feels normal. It's routine.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that we need to be love-drunk 24/7.
I came to a point in my life where I started thinking that there's gotta be more to this marriage-thing than putting in my time. I'd love to be able to tell you that I identified the problem and came up with a God-honoring solution and everything has been super hunky-dory since that day.
It didn't work like that.
We hit many, many bumps in the road. We got stuck in potholes. There were days I thought we'd never go anywhere. Our relationship was drowning in apathy, complicated by selfishness.
I'd guess that if you were being honest with me, you'd tell me that yours has been there, too. And maybe to varying degrees, we'd agree that in some ways we're there today.
We had some friends over to have dinner with us last week. The husband commented on how green our yard was. With the drought Texas has been experiencing this summer, green grass is something of a novelty. Yes, we have green grass. It's because the sprinklers are programmed to come on at five o'clock in the morning and we keep paying that water bill. It takes effort.
You see, it might have taken us a while, but we finally learned this principal:
We cannot expect to have a thriving and healthy relationship, if we don't put any effort into it. So, if Jeremy and I require a high-maintenance relationship to flourish, then we're both more than okay with that!
Totally, enthusiastically okay!
For us, one of those efforts is date night. They must be fun. And they must be frequent. We're always looking for something new to try on together our dates. We like to make a habit of taking photos on date night. Probably partially because I grew up in a family that believed you had to take pictures or it didn't happen! But maybe even more so because it allows us to retrace the footprints of our relationship.
What follows is a gallery of date night pics. 'Scuse the self-portraits!
|Convertible in Cali... driving to Hollywood|
|Double-date dinner at a winery in California|
|Out for sushi at Azuma and some great conversation|
|Movie at Star Cinema Grill|
|Bingo at SPSJT Lodge in the Heights. |
Jeremy almost had a Blackout!
|Adventure night: searched for a new resale shop in the Heights|
(which we only found after closing!), dinner at Cyclone Anaya's,
|Off to a musical at the Hobby Center|
|Japaneiros for a Friday lunch date. Can't beat their lunch special!|
|Double-date at the Rodeo|
|Live music with friends|
|Out celebrating New Years Eve|
|Triple date for sushi at Azuma|
|SEARCH Homeless Services Picnic in the Park. Followed by a super fun concert.|
|White Linen Night 2011|
|Motorcycle date to dinner in Town Centre|
|The date pic from a few years ago that pops up when Jeremy calls my iPhone.|
|Seriously old school. Our first spring banquet together in college.|
How do you "water the grass" of your relationship?